Are You Paying Too Much for Waste Disposal Services?

by Global Trash Solutions

The costs of industrial waste management and commercial garbage disposal can vary widely based on your business location and the way you manage your contracts.

When was the last time you re-negotiated your waste disposal services contract? Do you know the difference between collection costs and disposal costs? Why does the cost of your solid waste management keep rising?

What Are the Typical Costs of Industrial Waste Management?

Throwing Away Money

Every industry creates municipal solid waste, or MSW. Most businesses consider waste management service a fixed cost and do not have the leverage or expertise to effectively lower the cost of commercial waste management contracts. Working with a waste management consultant can help you identify where your company could be saving money on waste management.

The price you pay for solid waste management will include:

  • Fees for containers
  • Charges for collection
  • Transfer or hauling fees
  • Landfill tipping fees or disposal costs
  • Additional fees for overages or other hidden costs

Why Are Industrial and Commercial Waste Management Fees So High?

Negotiating cost-effective waste management contracts can be challenging as a single business or manufacturing facility in the United States. You may be required to use one of a limited number of approved local waste management services, and industry standard policies and fees can add up on top of the quoted rate. Some factors to be aware of include:

Many Waste Service Contracts Auto-Renew

One common feature of waste service contracts is they will auto-renew if you do not renegotiate the terms and conditions by a set date. Upon renewal, there can be language in the initial contract that states you will be charged the current rates for trash hauling and removal services. Even if the type and amount of waste you generate has changed, you remain locked in their standard service and rate system, including scheduled rate increases and additional fees.

Many Waste Service Contract Charge for Early Termination

Other types of fees hidden away in waste service contracts are early termination fees. If you decide you want to change providers, you could be stuck having to pay for the remaining time left on the contract along with an early termination fee. Because of the automatic renewal feature of many contracts, it might be years before your current provider for waste management cancels service.

Many Waste Service Contracts Charge More for Extra Trips

You may be shocked to discover that if you need extra pickups you will be charged an excessive amount, often equal to your normal weekly or monthly rate. Your waste hauler has no motivation to help you find ways to reduce waste generation or recommend commercial garbage disposal equipment to eliminate charges for overfilling containers or extra pickups.

You May Be Paying by Volume Rather Than Pickup

Another questionable practice some waste haulers use is to charge you based on the weight or volume of trash you are generating, not the actual pickup. This can cause fluctuations in your costs and make it difficult to budget for disposal of waste and recycling.

What Can You Do to Find Out if You Are Paying Too Much?

Pensive businessman working with a laptop

The first place to begin is digging out your waste service contract and carefully reviewing it. You want to read through the contract and understand all the terms and conditions. Pay careful attention to any mention of additional fees, cancellation processes, renewal increases, and so on.

Next, review your recent invoices and compare what you were invoiced to what is listed in your contract. Chances are, there will be some discrepancies between the two. It is quite common to find that you are paying much more than the base contract rate.

You might choose to have a professional waste consultant review your current contracts and invoices for you and offer suggestions on how to reduce waste and lower your costs. There are many ways to improve waste management processes that could ultimately save you money.

Reducing Common Costs of Commercial Waste Management

National waste consultants have the professional network and industry knowledge to renegotiate your waste handling contracts and help you reduce these common costs and fees:

Commercial Waste Container Fees

You probably pay based on the size of your collection containers. Average rental rates based on the containers you choose can drastically affect your weekly and monthly costs. It might benefit your business to purchase containers rather than rent, and commercial trash compactors and recycling balers can dramatically reduce the volume of waste that requires pickup and container space.

Pickup and Collection Frequency

Once you right-size your containers and reduce volume, scheduling the ideal collection frequency is another area where you can make a big impact on your waste management costs. Food service businesses may need frequent pickups for hygienic reasons, but many industrial and commercial facilities can reduce their pickup frequency while improving their waste management processes.

Waste Transfer and Hauling Costs

Depending on where your business is located, your commercial waste and recycling may be taken to a waste transfer station. The farther you are from commercial landfills and recycling centers, the more likely it is that you will have waste transfer fees added to your bill. When you work with a national waste broker, your business can receive lower transfer rates and hauling costs.

Landfill Costs and Tipping Fees

When your commercial or industrial waste is hauled away, and properly sorted recyclables are diverted, the remainder goes to a landfill, which charges a tipping fee. The waste hauler pays somewhere between $25 to $150 per ton, a cost which is passed on to the customer. A professional waste broker can often negotiate preferential rates for large businesses or group together their customers to receive the lowest landfill rates possible in your area.

Beware the Hidden Fees for Commercial Waste Disposal

Huge garbage piles next to the dumpster after city fair

When the legitimate and necessary costs of hauling your waste have been accounted for, what is left are the hidden fees and additional charges that many waste management companies use to increase their profits and run up your monthly invoice. Some of these to watch for include:

  • Overfill charges. When the lid of your container will not close, some waste collectors charge you an overage fee.
  • Gate service charges. If waste haulers must open a closed or locked gate to access your containers, they may charge this fee.
  • Enclosure or dismount and push charge. If the garbage pickup driver must remove containers from an enclosure and then replace them, there is often an additional charge.
  • Key charges. If your containers are locked and the pickup crew must use a provided key to open them, this can be charged on a per container basis.
  • Long walk charge. Containers that the truck cannot drive right up to might be subject to an additional charge.
  • Regulatory fees and environmental surcharges. Although waste haulers are required to comply with environmental protection laws, many prefer to pass these charges along to the customer as additional fees.
  • Fuel surcharges. Some time ago these were added to pass fluctuating fuel prices on to commercial waste management customers, and some companies continue to add these fees even when fuel prices are steady.

Reliable Solutions to Waste Management Woes

The fastest way to find out if you are paying too much for waste disposal services is to schedule a waste audit with a qualified waste management service like Global Trash Solutions. The purpose of the audit is to review your current waste management processes and waste services and identify opportunities to lower your costs.

We will explore different service providers, equipment, and process changes that could help you lower waste management costs and keep them under control. GTS is a leader in waste consulting and brokerage services that has helped thousands of retail businesses and large industries reduce their waste management budget by 35% or more.

Call Global Trash Solutions at 866-760-8194 today to speak with one of our experienced waste consultants or waste brokers for a free initial consultation. Let our experts deal with the complexities of the local market and the unique needs of your business to create a cost-effective and predictable waste management solution that will boost your bottom line.


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