Businesses of today are focusing on cutting resources use and business waste disposal costs to bring about significant financial and environmental savings. As waste management experts, our experience has shown that following the steps outlined in this article will help your business implement both quick wins and longer-term foundations for further improvements and cost-cutting.
Where do business waste management costs go?
The charges levied by your waste contractor over a wide range of costs inherent in commercial waste disposal. These include:
- Your containers
- Capital costs for waste collection/transfer vehicles
- Treatment facility costs
- Labour costs (drivers, facility operators, administration and management overheads)
- Waste processing and storage
- Landfill Tax
- Gate fees at landfill sites
- Licensing and legislative compliance costs.
Thus, to reduce your business waste disposal costs, you’ll need to help cut your contractor’s overheads in providing the service to your business. For example, you could:
- Reduce the number of containers and collections required
- Increase the proportion of waste that can be recycled
- Avoid purchasing wasteful materials and packaging
Here are 10 ways to cut business waste disposal costs
1. Find out more about your waste contract
Your waste contract may have been in place for many years without close scrutiny. A good place to start when cutting waste costs is to check your contractor’s service level agreement, contract or pricing schedule.
- Does your existing contract efficiently meet your current waste needs?
- Are you paying for a more comprehensive service than you actually need?
2. Determine your current business waste levels
Assess what waste you are routinely having collected and check how full your waste containers are at the time of collection. You should also ask your operational staff whether waste levels are consistent throughout the year, or whether there are significant seasonal fluctuations.
If your waste containers are regularly not full when they are collected, you could cut business waste costs immediately by:
- Reducing the number of waste containers you hire
- Reducing the size of your commercial waste containers
- Reducing the frequency of business waste collections
3. Determine where business waste is being generated
Which of your internal processes produce your business’ various waste streams? What you may find is that it’s a relatively small number of operational activities that account for the vast majority of your business waste. Knowing the level of resource consumption and waste generation of each of your business’ internal processes will help you set priorities and targets for cutting waste.
4. Recyclable vs. non-recyclable
How much of your business waste can be recycled? What types of waste can be recycled? And how much is left for regular business waste disposal thereafter?
Once you have an understanding of the types and quantities of waste being produced, you (or your waste contractor) can accurately determine the number and size of containers you will need, as well as the frequency of collection required.
5. Compact bulky waste streams
Consider hiring or purchasing a baler or shredder to compact bulky waste streams. For example:
- Baling cardboard or waste paper prevents the material from being contaminated and reduces the number of containers you need to hire and get emptied
- Shredding plastic containers can dramatically reduce the number of containers and collections you require
6. Identify if your recyclable waste has any financial value
These days, there’s a growing international market in recyclable waste. It may be that some of your recyclable waste streams have commercial value, so it’s advisable to determine the worth of your recyclable waste—it could provide a potentially significant revenue stream.
7. Benefits from economies of scale
Find out if any neighbouring businesses have similar waste streams to yours. Your contractor’s charges are closely linked to the distance that waste collection vehicles must travel between pick-ups. So, if a group of nearby businesses with similar waste streams all use the same contractor, you may be able to negotiate a group discount.
8. Initiate internal waste reduction initiatives
Turn opportunity into reality by training your staff in reducing waste production.
In most cases, if you’re able to make significant improvements in lowering resource consumption and waste generation, you’ll be able to lower the amount of waste that needs to be collected, and thus lower your business waste disposal costs.
9. Renegotiate a lower-priced contract
Having followed the previous steps, you’ll have a clear idea of exactly what service level you require from your waste and recycling contractor. Therefore, you should open negotiations with your existing contractor to determine what additional services can be provided, eg providing better data on your waste, and what reductions in the number and type of containers and collections they can offer if you can provide better onsite segregation of recyclable materials.
10. Switch to a cheaper waste supplier
Seek quotes from alternative contractors who may be able to provide a better service at a lower cost. At Smarter Business Waste, we can do the hard work for you. We consult and advise you on the most suitable waste collection services for your unique needs and we’ll create a bespoke waste disposal package to optimise your business’ waste hierarchy in reducing, recycling and recovering waste.