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Being a necessary business cost, most organizations spend a large proportion of their budget on waste management. As a business owner, you have to factor in a wide range of waste disposal costs, including costs of containers, transfer vehicles, treatment facility, legislative compliance, waste processing, and storage. Note that such costs increase your overall production costs, reducing your total revenue.
For that reason, it’s not enough to just establish a system of garbage removal. Rather, you must develop an effective waste management plan that presents the right strategies for handling waste. The policy in place should incorporate the best sustainable practices. In that respect, this article provides ways to adjust waste disposal expenses and save on your operational costs.
1. Invest in Waste Compaction
Depending on the scope of work, various businesses produce different volumes of waste daily. Owing to that, whether you’re in construction or retail, you must strive to acquire the appropriate tools of trade that meet your needs. If you generate a significant amount of junk, say about 150 cubic yards of garbage a week, then overloading and stuffing your skip bins can be more expensive. This is because dumpster charges are based on volume and frequency of collection.
For that reason, when it comes to bulky waste materials, waste compaction is the cheaper and most effective alternative. By installing the appropriate commercial trash compactors, you’ll create an opportunity for long-term cost savings on your hauling expenses. It’d be a matter of time before you can get a good return on your investment.
With that in mind, below are some ways waste compaction can slash your waste disposal costs:
- Reduces your waste volume by a significant percentage
- Saves space, thus reducing the number of storage containers you’d have to hire
- Reduced waste means fewer waste collection trips
- Potential new revenue streams
- Lowers labor costs
- Gain tax relief from the government by contributing to a green environment
- Reduces pest extermination costs
2. Analyze Your Waste Levels and Patterns
When you comprehensively understand your company’s waste streams, you’re better positioned to find effective ways to reduce your waste disposal costs. In that regard, you need to make your entire waste system open and transparent. Make an effort to conduct an exhaustive assessment of your current business waste levels.
You need to determine how full your containers usually are during collection, and whether or not the trash volumes fluctuate throughout the year. For instance, waste generation can increase during peak seasons when there are more activities. For deeper insights, try to inquire with your staff in the different divisions.
Afterward, based on your findings, decide on the changes that can be made to make the whole process more economical. If your containers don’t get full at the maximum capacity, you can lower your costs by:
- Decreasing the number of waste containers
- Reducing the size of the waste container
- Reducing the frequency of waste container collection
3. Recycle the Type of Waste That Has Financial Value
Recycling involves the processing of trash into new valuable products. The common items to recycle include cardboard, paper, plastics, steel, and electronic waste. Fortunately, there’s a growing market for recycled products, and this can provide your business with a potential new revenue stream. There are three types of recycling:
- Mechanical recycling: Residues like plastics are mechanically transformed into new products without altering their chemical structures
- Energy recycling: Converts waste into thermal or electric energy, e.g., turning food waste into fuel using a bio-processor
- Chemical recycling: Involves a complex process of modifying the chemical structures of the waste materials to be used as raw materials in a different industry
For that reason, depending on your type of waste materials, it’d be best to determine those with commercial value. Thereafter, you can decide on the best separation method, then choose a recycling service provider. Remember that some end products can be helpful to your organization; for example, the fuel energy recycled can power your business establishment. Aside from that, there might be available neighboring businesses that may use the finished goods.
On the whole, recycling is a value-adding service. You not only cut your waste disposal costs, but you also produce priced products that earn you more profits.
4. Integrate Internal Waste Reduction Initiatives
In every organization, there must be major inside operational activities that generate significant garbage. Therefore, it’d be best to single out these internal processes and identify areas of potential savings. It’d even be better to have a green team to oversee waste management in the workplace. This team can provide an action plan to combat the high amounts of waste.
Even without a dedicated team to fully implement the green measures, there are simple ways to achieve minimal waste and eventually save your business money. On that account, below is an outline of the most feasible internal waste reduction strategies.
- Lowering resource consumption
- Implementing paperless processes, e.g., by streamlining business operations
- Using biodegradable products
- Improving inventory management to prevent wastage
- Ordering durable items in bulk for minimal packaging
- Requesting for shipping using returnable containers
- Providing customers waste-reducing choices, e.g., repairable merchandise
- Donating unwanted items, e.g., to charitable organizations
5. Collaborate with Neighboring Businesses
As expected, every proactive organization always finds ways to reduce overhead costs. This extends to waste management. One of the areas where you can realize great savings is the disposal of hazardous waste. Environmental authorities require businesses to manage this type of waste specially.
For that reason, companies are looking to efficiently dispose of hazardous materials through waste consolidation. It involves the combining of waste products in the same storage container. This way, they can share the costs amongst themselves. To accumulate any hazardous waste, many jurisdictions require companies to have a remote site, a consolidation site, and a licensed transporter.
Furthermore, businesses can take advantage of economies of scale by negotiating prices with waste contractors in an integrated manner. Therefore, if you have a common contractor with the nearby companies, you can negotiate for a price cut. This way, you can enjoy group discounts and even bonus services.
6. Review Your Waste Disposal Contract
Reviewing your waste disposal contract should be a standard practice to ensure you’re not paying for poor or needless services. Most waste collection companies charge a fixed price for regular waste collection and additional pickup fees in certain situations. For instance, when your amount of garbage exceeds the standard weight. Thus, considering the changes in your organization, you need to evaluate if the contract is still suitable for you.
Try to examine all the costs tied to your pickups and compare them with your current waste streams. While at it, you can discuss the following with your waste contractor:
- The recent patterns of your business waste as per the reports
- The possibility for new terms, e.g., to have a reduction in containers if you offer better segregation of waste
If you’re dissatisfied with most aspects of the contract, it’d be best to opt out.
7. Find a Cheaper Contractor
In the event that your current waste contract brings about constant fee increases, you may want to switch to a more affordable waste disposal company. While looking for one, aim to take advantage of the best prices by getting several quotes from different providers. Below are some of the essential factors to consider before settling for one.
- The fixed price for waste collection
- The variables that necessitate additional pickup fees
- The annual price increases
- The length of the agreement and the opt-out clause
- The facility’s compliance standards with the state or local regulations. Don’t forget that waste traced back to your organization results in huge fines.
Also, if the contract is more comprehensive than your needs, discuss the possibility of removing some of the elements you don’t require.
8. Reuse Some Waste Material Diversion Strategies
Finding alternate uses for specific waste materials is more co-efficient than dumping them in trash containers. Indeed, many of your business waste materials can serve a different purpose in their present form. Here are some reuse strategies to consider for your business:
- Repairing old furniture and equipment
- Designing products for reuse
- Using reusable cartridges
- Creating an office supply swap area
- Using rechargeable batteries and appliances
- Supplying unwanted magazines to libraries or hospital waiting rooms
- Installing reusable furnaces
- Initiating giveaway programs to swap shops, scrap exchanges, and surplus stores
By carrying out such reuse operations, you take responsibility for the waste you create and save money by:
- Delaying the disposal of the respective items
- Reducing the current waste stream
- Conserving resources
Companies focus on waste disposal cost-cutting to secure considerable financial and environmental savings. Even so, without an effective waste management plan, your company may still have to spend more than intended. For that reason, you must find the waste solution that best suits your current business needs. Also, you should make the necessary adjustments depending on your organizational changes.
Altogether, you can generally reduce your commercial waste disposal costs through waste compaction, reusing, recycling, internal waste reduction initiatives, and waste consolidation. Also, it’s vital to select a reputable waste contractor that suits your budget needs. Remember that poor waste management practices not only increase your waste disposal costs, but also result in adverse health issues and environmental degradation.