Before you choose a waste management company to help you reduce, transport and dispose of your waste, you need information about the services that waste management companies offer. You also need to know how to choose the right partner for your business’ requirements. Finding a company that understands the general needs of business waste management is important, but you’ll also want them to have had experience in your particular sector and provide the services you require. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to choose the right waste management company for your business’ needs.
What Does a Waste Management Company Do?
A waste management company takes care of a company’s waste by recycling it or disposing of it. A responsible waste management company will do everything in its power to reuse the waste. When the time does come to dispose of it, they will do so in the most environmentally responsible ways possible.
Business waste is an umbrella term that refers to waste generated by companies in the course of their operations. At times, this kind of waste is also referred to as commercial or industrial waste.
However, there is a difference between commercial and industrial waste. For example, a commercial property waste management company will deal with waste from the trade, business, education, recreation and entertainment sectors. This waste will not come from industrial, agricultural or residential sectors. Services like commercial waste pickup or general commercial waste management processes may be slightly different when compared to the strategies used for industrial waste.
When you’re looking into a waste management company, see if they have experience in your industry. If the waste management company only advertises industrial waste management, they may not be right for your company if the majority of your waste is commercial. As you look into companies, check if they offer services like property waste management, commercial waste management, industrial waste management and environmental waste management to see if they have services related to your industry.
Also, the waste that smaller businesses produce will often be considered municipal waste. Waste will often be given that designation if the business has an agreement with the local government and does not need to dispose of a significant amount of material. For other companies that generate more waste, they will need to coordinate the collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of the waste they produce.
Why Is Waste Management Beneficial?
Some business leaders might wonder why their company needs a waste management system. Of course, they know that the trash needs to get taken away from their facility, but they may not recognize why it’s so important to have a system designed to dispose of each piece of waste properly.
Proper waste management will keep waste from piling up at your facilities and give your waste disposal process consistency. Along with consistent waste disposal, commercial and industrial waste management services save you money as you will recycle more products instead of sending all of your waste to a landfill. Finally, waste management recycling and proper disposal practices will make your company more environmentally responsible, which benefits the community at large.
How Do You Manage Waste Effectively? How Can Waste Be Managed?
When a business first comes to a waste management company, the prospect of managing all of their waste can seem daunting. To put their client’s mind at ease, an experienced waste management team will create a turnkey solution that’s personalized for the needs of the company they are working with.
With a turnkey solution in place, a waste management firm will handle the entire waste management cycle, from reducing the amount of waste you generate in the first place to the final disposal of material is no longer usable. The waste management company will take the responsibility of waste disposal out of your hands, letting you focus on more exciting things than waste.
Instead of having to wonder about how to best practice waste management, you’ll have a company in your corner who can direct your efforts and take on the responsibility of proper waste disposal. All you’ll have to do is turn a key, and your waste management system will be up and running.
What Waste Services Do You Need?
The type of waste services that you need will come down to the industry you’re in and what sort of waste you tend to generate at your facilities.
One way to choose a waste management company is to make sure that the company has experience in your industry. The following are some of the sectors that waste management companies serve and descriptions of what services companies in those sectors typically need.
1. Manufacturing Waste Management
When you start working with a quality waste management company, a representative of the company will meet with you to discuss your waste management options. After they figure out what your goals for your waste are and how they can assist you in meeting them, they can begin creating a plan.
You can be confident that you’re in good hands if the company immediately seeks to implement lean manufacturing and sustainability practices. With these practices in place, every step of the waste process will be examined and then adjusted if there is a possibility for improvement. The goals of this evaluation are to make waste management transportation easier and to reduce the amount of waste being generated. Lean manufacturing can be a huge money saver for companies.
Companies should also offer some form of the following services:
- Tank management
- Industrial cleaning
- Transportation and disposal of bulk liquids and sludge
- Facility shutdown
- Permanent compactors
- Transportation and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous containerized waste
- Recovery and recycling of oil
- Treatment of wastewater
2. Construction Services
If you’re in the construction industry, you’re likely aware of the amount of waste that comes from building something new or demolishing an old facility to construct an updated one. Due to the amount of waste produced in construction, and especially in demolition, it’s essential to have a company in your corner that can offer construction services that dispose of materials safely and efficiently.
Some companies will choose to build their own construction demolition waste recycling plant, but it’s usually not the most time- or cost-effective option on the market. For example, if you run your own recycling plant, you open yourself up to new costs that may take years to pay off. You’ll also have to invest a significant amount of time in creating and operating the plant.
Instead of building a plant, many firms hire waste management companies to develop a system for them that takes care of their waste. As there are a variety of construction and demolition jobs that generate different kinds of waste, your waste management company will need to be versatile in what they can handle. A company that can tailor their services to your needs will put you in the best position to save money and recycle your waste responsibly.
Some of the services that a construction waste management company can provide will be:
- Tank, roofing and HVAC waste management
- Management of concrete waste
- Waste collection and disposal
- Demolition waste drop off, recycling and management
3. Pharmaceutical Services
The proper disposal of waste is crucial for any company that is in the pharmaceutical industry. Proper disposal can save your company money, improve your company’s environmental performance and ensure that you comply with local, state and federal pharmaceutical waste regulations. As pharmaceutical companies have many regulations to adhere to, the waste disposal company that works with your company should have experience providing pharmaceutical waste services.
Pharmaceutical companies handle hazardous chemicals in their research and the production of medicines. Though these chemicals can save lives, when they’re discarded, they need to be disposed of properly, or they can harm ecosystems and people. Even if a chemical by itself is not hazardous, over time, it can still harm the environment, and if inadvertently mixed with another substance, it could become volatile.
Most of the time, chemical and lab packaging waste is stored in large, secure barrels that have multiple compartments to keep the various kinds of waste separate from one another. Waste management companies that know how to handle pharmaceutical waste will know how to transport this kind of material and dispose of it according to regulatory requirements.
4. Oil and Gas Recycling Services
Oil and gas extraction companies need to be able to recycle oil and gas to maximize its value. Also, the automotive, defense, manufacturing and other industries that rely on these fuels need to have a waste management recycling and disposal plan in place for the oil they use.
Typical oil and gas recycling services include:
- Cleaning of fracking tanks
- Transportation of bulk liquids and sludge
- Disposal of containerized wastes, whether they are hazardous or non-hazardous
- Treatment of wastewater
- Soil remediation
Some waste management companies also offer more specialized services such as recycling of oil and hydraulic oil, oil pickup, automotive waste oil pickup and motor oil removal.
Many companies that utilize a great deal of gas in their day-to-day operations understand how crucial sustainable fuel resources are for their bottom line and for the planet. An environmental waste management company will provide responsible solutions that either allow for some of the oil to be reused or dispose of it in a way that minimizes its impact on the planet.
5. Marine Waste Management
If you’re a company that uses boats and other water-based vehicles, you probably also know that there are strict regulations for the disposal of waste set by the Coast Guard. You can’t just go and dump your waste into the ocean. Instead, you’re supposed to keep it in a marine tank and empty it later at a proper facility.
It’s environmentally irresponsible and illegal to dump waste into a waterway. As you can face severe penalties for polluting the ocean, it’s crucial to work with a company that offers marine waste management services. With these services in place, companies can make sure they are following all regulations.
An experienced waste disposal company that has worked with marine waste will take the responsibility of disposing of materials out of your crew’s hands. When you look for a company, see if they can dispose of bilge wastewater, ballast wastewater and other forms of marine waste you generate in a way that complies with regulations.
Types of Waste
Along with knowing the general needs of the industry that you’re in, you can examine the types of waste that a waste management company has the means to dispose of. As you choose a waste company, look for ones that have experience handling a variety of materials.
Whether you need property waste management, industrial waste management or commercial waste management, the company you work with should be able to transport and dispose of a variety of wastes.
The following are some common materials that waste management companies should be able to remove::
1. Bulk Liquids
If you generate liquid waste, you’ll need to dispose of it safely. Improper disposal, such as dumping liquid waste into waterways or allowing it to leach into the ground, can lead to the contamination of the water supply.
Working with liquids comes with a risk of spills, which can cause damage to your facility, the environment and your company’s reputation. Spill require fast responses, so emergency waste removal is a must for companies who work with liquids consistently. A responsible waste management company will have the tools, equipment, resources and vehicles needed to clean up a spill quickly.
Other liquid waste management services you should ask about depending on your needs include acid mine wastewater disposal, machinery wastewater disposal, wastewater pre-treatment, ballast wastewater management and marine waste management.
2. Sludge and Solvents
If your business produces solvent, silt or sludge waste, it’s crucial to dispose of it properly. A sludge treatment company should offer silt and dredged materials disposal, waste solvent recycling, industrial sludge removal and cooling tower sludge removal.
A waste transportation company should have experience with industrial waste management, as industrial organizations often produce sludge. A waste management company with expertise in sludge and solvent waste disposal can help improve your company’s bottom line, reduce its environmental impact and ensure compliance with regulations.
3. Waste Drums
Containerized waste that comes in waste drums requires specialized transportation and disposal. The waste that comes in waste drums or totes can either be hazardous or non-hazardous. When the materials are hazardous, waste transportation companies need to take special precautions when transporting them to disposal facilities. Whether you need a single waste drum disposed of or a truckload of 55-gallon drums, you want a company that knows how to handle this particular form of waste properly.
4. Construction and Demolition Waste
Construction and demolition sites produce a great deal of waste that requires proper disposal. Proper and speedy disposal should be a key part of your property waste management strategy. As you select a company, check to see if they offer construction services, can keep up with your work schedule and know how to dispose of the debris responsibly and legally.
5. Lab Packing Waste
The chemicals used in labs are often stored in specialized lab packaging to ensure that they are as secure as possible. Often, lab packaging comes in the form of small individual containers that are disposed of in waste drums. A waste management company needs to be able to transport the waste drums and process the packaging and chemicals contained within the drums properly.
Companies who can dispose of lab packaging waste are crucial for companies in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. As lab packaging may come into contact with hazardous substances, commercial waste management companies need to have specialized disposal methods in place to dispose of them properly.
6. Oil and Gas
The way your company handles its oil waste can have a significant effect on its environmental impact and reputation. An industrial waste management company can provide the equipment and expertise needed to increase the amount of oil and gas you reuse and recycle. Extending the lifespan of these oil and gas products through these oil and gas recycling services will help your bottom line and give your company’s image a boost.
Can a Waste Management Company Save You Money?
While it will cost money to hire a waste management company, in the long run, utilizing professional waste management services can save your company money. As you prepare a waste management business plan, it’s crucial to find a company that can help you cut down your waste-related costs.
Look for a waste management company that will put systems in place that are cost-effective. Responsible waste management is not just about reducing the amount of waste you generate and disposing of it properly. It’s also about financial responsibility.
Choosing a waste management company is an opportunity to set yourself up for long-term financial success. As you compare companies, see if they can offer the following benefits:
1. Reduced Inefficiencies
When a company deals with waste haulers and recycling companies on their own, they are opening themselves up to inefficiencies and increased costs. It’s common for companies to run into issues with missed pickups, service charges and price increases if they are trying to manage their waste disposal processes on their own.
2. Greater Efficiency
Unlike a hauling or recycling company, a waste management firm does not just concentrate on one area of the disposal process. Instead, they take a look at the waste system as a whole to optimize every aspect, from waste generation to transport to disposal.
With an efficient system in place, a waste management company can find the most cost-effective options for your company. They will streamline the process so that you never have to give your waste disposal a second thought throughout the day.
3. Increased Recycling
A waste management company will ensure that you’ve optimized your recycling system. With a system in place, more items like pallets, glass, aluminum cans, paper and packaging material will end up being recycled rather than going to a landfill. As many companies will charge less for hauling recyclables than trash, your company could be losing out on money if your current system has too much waste going to the landfill.
A quality waste management company will get an overview of the type of waste you generate and make sure that recyclable products actually get recycled.
4. Eligibility for Financial Incentives
When you revamp your recycling system, keep in mind that waste is a public safety concern. Improper waste disposal could lead to health issues in the general public. Improperly disposed of hazardous waste could contaminate drinking water, for example.
Due to the effect that poor disposal practices can have on communities, many cities and states offer incentives to reward companies for using proper disposal practices. If there are federal, state or local tax credits, grant opportunities or incentives available for your business, a waste management company can help you qualify for them.
5. Reduced Cost of Waste Transportation
Waste transportation can be a costly affair if you try to do it on your own. You’ll need to purchase or rent vehicles that can handle the amount of waste that your company generates. Often, working with a professional waste management company is a more cost-effective way to transport your waste. They can provide the necessary transportation resources, saving you from having to make large upfront investments in them or coordinate everything yourself.
6. Improved Reputation
In a more abstract sense, building your reputation with responsible waste management practices can bring more business to your company. Customers care about environmental sustainability, so it’s wise to associate oneself with industry-standard recycling practices. Highlighting your green practices, especially your waste management processes, can attract new customers and give them a reason to trust you.
The incorrect disposal of certain materials can result in substantial fines. Even honest mistakes can cost companies significant amounts of money. Keeping track of all of the relevant waste management regulations, however, can be challenging and time-consuming.
Employing a waste management company will take the responsibility of proper disposal out of your hands. No longer will you have to worry about fines adding an unexpected expense to your company. A responsible waste management company will have the proper accreditation to dispose of waste, and they will also be aware of the various forms, permits and regulations that govern the disposal process.
Scheduled Pickup and Delivery
Along with finding a company that will save you money, look for one that has the tools to keep a consistent schedule that serves the needs of your company. Some businesses need pickups every couple of days, while others might need it weekly. Regardless, the waste transportation company should be able to set and keep consistent pickup times, so that you can count on your waste being disposed of before it builds up at your facilities.
They should also be able to handle pickups without any delay no matter how much waste you have to get rid of. ERC avoids delay by coming equipped to take large amounts of waste away at once. We use 55-gallon drums and totes to handle large quantities of containerized waste.
Whether you go with ERC or another waste management company, you’ll want whoever you partner with to be able to scale their services quickly for whatever your company requires. Working with a company that has experience with clients of various sizes will enable you to keep your waste on track, even if your company grows.
Responsible Waste Management
Much like any employee that you hire, you’re likely going to want to partner with a waste management company that is responsible. A responsible waste management company will take steps to minimize impacts on the environment, work to reduce your disposal costs and offer education for your staff.
An environmentally responsible waste management company will get as much use out of your waste as possible before disposing of it entirely. Recycling facilities and knowledge of potential reuse opportunities lead to reduced pollution, less waste in landfills and less space dedicated to landfills.
Additionally, an environmentally responsible company will know how to prevent accidents that could harm human health. They will know how to store, process and transport materials without dangerous chemicals or toxins being released into the air or water.
Along with environmental responsibility, a top-quality company will be financially responsible as well. They will always be on the lookout for new pieces of equipment and services that can save their clients money. Instead of simply offering services that will make them the most money, they will provide services that aid the environment and are in their clients’ best interest.
Finally, responsible waste management comes from education. When forming a waste management plan, the waste management company will ensure that their client knows the differences in the various kinds of waste they are producing. After educating their client, employees should know what can be sent immediately to a landfill, what needs to go in a recycling bin and how waste should be handled prior to waste pickup.
How Can Waste Be Reduced in the Workplace?
Producing some waste is inevitable, but you can take steps to reduce waste in your workplace and make sure that you are getting the most out of your waste management services. So, how do businesses reduce waste?
The following tips are some of the steps you can take to lower the amount of waste your business produces:
1. Measure Waste
As you try to reduce the amount of waste in your workplace, one way to cut down is first to understand how much waste you are currently generating. To measure a large amount of waste, you can weigh it. The weight will give you an idea of how much waste you are producing over a given period. With those measurements in place, you’ll be able to set targets for reducing the weight and work to get your waste down to an ideal weight.
If a company doesn’t have a large amount of waste or doesn’t have the means to weigh the material, someone can visually assess the collection bins that are used. Before the waste management company comes to pick up the waste, look at how full each container is. Take time to estimate how much waste is in each bin and record your findings. With the information that you’ve recorded, you’ll be able to estimate how much waste you’ve been producing and take steps to reduce it.
2. Reduce How Much Waste Goes to the Landfill
Recognizing the amount of waste that you’re sending to the landfill can actually help you reduce the amount of waste you are generating. Landfills should be the last resort, as the materials in them can take thousands of years to decompose. Before you throw away a piece of material, think of ways that you can reuse it before discarding it. Also, make sure to keep recycling items in proper containers so that they don’t get sent to a landfill by accident.
3. Find Local Collectors That Understand Your Industry
As you look to reduce waste, you will want to find waste management collectors who can dispose of your waste and recycle it, if possible. If you follow the first two tips, you’ll know how much waste you produce and how much of it can get recycled. With those numbers, you’ll be able to determine who in your area can handle your needs.
Some collectors will not be able to handle certain kinds of material, so to reduce all of the waste in your workplace, you’ll want to find a business that can meet all of your company’s needs.
4. Be Aware of Contracts
Being knowledgeable about the kind of waste or recycling collection contracts that you’re entering into is crucial for any attempt at waste reduction in the workplace. For example, you don’t want to hire a contractor who specializes in only one kind of waste if you need a variety of materials disposed of properly.
As you think about reducing your waste and recycling materials, examine the contracts that you’re considering entering into to see how they will impact your recycling efforts. If one company can recycle your materials while another will just dump it in a landfill, it will be more environmentally responsible to go with the first option.
You’ll also need to make sure that the waste management company is giving you all the tools you’ll need in between their pickups. For example, it’s crucial to have a recycling bin or bins that are large enough to hold your waste between pickups. If your containers are not large enough, you will either need to change the terms so that they either provide you with more bins or come to your facilities more often to pick up the waste.
A good contract will keep waste out of sight and out of mind at your facility, reducing its presence and letting you rest easy knowing that it’s getting taken care of.
5. Utilize Trash Compactors
When you select a waste management company or are looking to organize your trash before a waste management company comes to pick it up, you’ll want to make sure that they use trash compactors. These pieces of equipment are important because they reduce the volume of the trash.
As a result of compressing the trash into a smaller form, there will be less threat of pests, dumpster divers, odors and fire damage. A trash compactor will be made to handle either wet or dry waste, so you’ll need to ensure that their compactors can handle the material you need to be compacted.
If you follow the five tips above, you should know what methods your business can use to minimize waste.
Ready to Choose a Waste Management Company?
If your business operates in the Mid-Atlantic region, ERC can help you implement a company waste management plan that can handle every step of the waste disposal and recycling process. With locations in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, D.C. and West Virginia, ERC has the infrastructure to facilitate your needs.
As a waste management company that can provide a turnkey solution that is specially designed for your company, ERC can handle your needs. Whether you need recycling, waste-to-energy, landfill services or wastewater treatment, ERC can tailor your waste solutions to be as sustainable and cost-effective as possible. Contact one of our representatives to build a waste management plan that works for you today.