What to Consider When Choosing a Waste Management Company (Aside From Price)
Do you feel like you’re playing Russian roulette when you’re choosing a waste management company?
You’ll never know what your waste provider is like until you pull the trigger and sign the contract.
Hopefully it’s a problem-free chamber.
Or you could – BANG – be shot down with a year-long contract of messy bins.
End of the contract, will you choose to play another round of the Russian roulette or stick with the devil you know?
Looking for a new waste provider might feel risky and always comes with a lot of unknowns.
The only thing we can compare easily is their prices. But keeping yourself informed can help you make better decisions rather than blindly picking whichever has the lowest cost.
Here are a 8 things to consider when choosing a waste management company (with a handy checklist at the end):
Of course, this is the first thing everyone thinks of, and with valid reasons too. You’d want to spend money on improving your business’s service or product, not emptying bins!
We’d all like to just compare quotes, pick the cheapest and call it a day. But there are other important factors to consider as well. Price isn’t everything and we get what we pay for. Do you drive the cheapest car on the market? If not, why not?
Whether or not you view pricing as the top priority, it’s good to remember other factors could help you save money in the long run or add to your overall satisfaction with a service.
Service quality could be just as important as pricing. After all, you’re paying the waste provider to get the job done. If you are paying the cheapest rate only for someone to miss a collection 9 times out of 10, you might end up paying more for the trouble it causes you.
It’s hard to know their service quality without trying it out. So the best way would be to look up reviews online or ask around. Or if you’re lucky, some companies might be doing a free trial you can sign up for!
Our world is becoming more conscious of our future and sustainability. As a waste management company, are they doing their best to move waste up the waste hierarchy? Are they recycling as much as possible? What is their landfill diversion policy like?
If you as a business owner care about the planet just as much as a waste provider should, look for a provider who aligns with your environmental vision. Together, you can be working towards a better future with your provider.
Customer Service Quality
Sometimes your waste collection plans are not as straightforward. For example, you might need to change your collection schedule according to seasonal variations in trade.
That’s when you need to talk to someone – the customer service team – from the waste management company. You’ll know it when you’re speaking to a friendly helpful team. It’s also important to know that a good office team would have great communication skills so that they could relay your message to other parts of the company and vice versa.
If you’re speaking to a customer service team when first enquiring about a waste provider, it’s usually a good indicator of how well their team communicates with you!
Company Location and Size
This depends on your business’s location and size too. If you are a small local shop in North Yorkshire, a regional waste provider who knows your area well might suit you. Regional waste providers have better knowledge of local areas so they can focus on giving the best service to these locations.
If you own several premises or branches, some even outside of North Yorkshire, a national provider might be better for you. National waste providers provide services all across the country and often have a similar network of infrastructure to match a nationwide business’s needs.
For some businesses, waste management is as simple as someone emptying their bins once a week. But for others, they might need something more. It all comes down to knowing what you need.
Types of Waste
Most waste management companies will collect your general waste and recyclable materials like plastics and cardboard. But for example, restaurants may want their food waste collected separately (because it can save money!). Or if you create hazardous waste, you’ll even need to be extra careful because of regulatory procedures.
Be sure to check whether a waste provider can collect all your waste streams. Or consider finding an experienced specialist for niche services.
Types of Containers
If you are a humble shop in a local area, you might only need a bag for your waste with no space for a wheelie bin. If you are a manufacturer who produces a large amount of waste, you might need a large skip or even a compacter. This is why it’s important to ask if a waste management company provides containers with suitable sizes for your volume of waste.
For businesses (like manufacturers and factories) that need large containers, working with a waste provider becomes all the more important. Larger containers take up more space and depending on where they are placed, there could be operation issues when the driver collects your waste. Work with a waste provider and ask for their advice.
Ah here comes the boring part. But it’s important that you get familiarised to avoid breaking the law.
To put it simply, you will need to find a licensed waste management company that has a waste carrier license. This proves that they are legally authorised to carry your business’s waste. You can check whether a waste provider is registered on the government’s page.
An attentive waste management company would be on hand with all your legalities. That includes the completion of your waste transfer note, which will prove your legal compliance.
This is a conscious choice you can make as a business owner. The waste and recycling industry is dubbed the second most deadly industry in the UK. Accidents could range from fire due to bad reactions in the pile of various waste (such as batteries) to injuries when operating a refuse collection vehicle.
A responsible waste provider will do all they can within their company to protect their staff’s safety and yours. While this doesn’t affect you as a customer directly, you can trust them to keep you safe if you ever find yourself near a transport vehicle or within their waste site.
Look for any safety certificates or accreditations that indicate they care about their workers and public health and safety.
Making the Decision
Now that we’ve gone through the 8 factors to consider, we hope it doesn’t feel like you’re leaving up to fate when you choose a waste management company.
Here’s a checklist that concludes all the things to look for:
- Compare quotes
- Look for customer reviews online
- Talk to your neighbours who are customers (if any)
- Check out their accreditations that indicate their strengths and values (such as sustainability, customer service quality, safety policies etc.)
- Think about whether a regional or national waste provider will suit your business
- Ensure they provide all the service types and containers you require
- Check if they are a registered waste management company
- Check if your environmental vision aligns
- Look out for free trials