Dealing With Unexpected Costs From Waste Haulers

by Global Trash Solutions

Most businesses budget their commercial waste disposal costs at a fairly static rate, and expect it to remain in line with the quoted price and contract they signed with their trash hauler. However, due to unexpected costs, added fees, and fine print annual increases, your bill can double or triple over time.

What tactics do waste management companies use to raise prices while keeping you locked into a contract, and what can you do to keep these costs reasonable and predictable?

What Tactics Do Waste Haulers Use to Raise Prices?

A stack of coins and an arrow pointing up over

When haulers set rates in their contracts, they are typically supposed to remain static for at least a year at a time. However, many times the hauler will increase the pricing before the contract allows them to. In some cases, the base rate itself does not increase but additional charges are added which drastically increase the monthly bill.

Here are some examples of bill padding practices:

  • Container or equipment “maintenance fees” which require businesses to pay for hauling company equipment and container maintenance.
  • Environmental fees, which may not be required by local governments, are vaguely defined, and represent normal operating costs to a business waste disposal company.
  • Fuel surcharges, which made their appearance when fuel prices spiked, but have never gone away, even though gas prices have returned to lower levels, and fuel is a normal operating cost of a waste services company.
  • Automatic annual increases to the base rate or percentage fees which are hidden in the fine print of your contract, or may not be outlined in your contract at all.
  • Fees for overages, extra yardage, or “overflow charges” for situations where the customer is not at fault, for example when pickups were delayed or provided containers are deliberately inadequate.
  • Requiring customers to pay exorbitant fees to terminate their contract or change solid waste vendors, even when the contract was automatically renewed without negotiation or action on their part.

What Can Your Business Do to Combat These Practices?

Staying on top of your commercial waste management costs can save your business or organization thousands of dollars each year. If your facility is one of the millions affected by these uncontrolled costs, consider these strategies to take back your bottom line:

  • Carefully review your existing service contract to determine which fees you are obligated to pay, and when that contract expires.
  • Keep detailed records of incidents of overages or overflowing containers to determine if larger containers, compacting equipment, better recycling practices, or more frequent pickups make financial sense based on your waste production.
  • Request quotes from competing vendors, even if your contract still has months or years to go, and use the current market rate as a negotiating point.
  • Determine if it makes financial sense to change vendors for commercial trash service even if an ETF (Early Termination Fee) will apply, and whether there are legal loopholes that might allow you to renegotiate terms or change vendors early.
  • Work with a waste management consulting team to perform a waste audit, negotiate with your current hauler and competing vendors, or provide a detailed plan to reduce the volume of waste your organization produces.

Armed With Facts, Renegotiate Your Contract

Keeping quiet about your rising waste management costs and the questionable practices of your hauling service is unlikely to stop the rising costs. Knowing the details of your current contract and learning more about the tools and resources available that can drastically lower your monthly bills will empower your business to invest appropriately.

Signature of a sales contract by a young couple

The price discrepancy team at Global Trash Solutions (GTS) specializes in tracking down the causes of rising costs and providing alternatives to businesses nationwide. We ensure that our customers are opted out of any unnecessary fees and add-ons, in addition to getting credits back when they are charged incorrectly.

We deal with trash service contracts daily and can quickly spot when haulers overcharge or pad their bills. Our consultants know who to go to within waste management companies to get the issue resolved quickly. Our team of experts can advise you on your next steps or manage the situation for you directly. If you are tired of feeling unable to control your waste management budget, contact the experts at GTS today for help.

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