Chapter 2: How Expensive Is Waste Disposal?

Business owners naturally want to know how much waste removal costs and how they can save. Waste disposal does not have to be expensive if you choose the right waste management service. A service that focuses on efficiency and sustainability can help you save big in the long run.


In this chapter, we’ll explore the average cost of waste disposal. If you have any questions about costs and how we can help you save money with our streamlined process, reach out to us today.

How to Calculate Waste Disposal Costs

The easiest way to calculate waste disposal costs and factor them into your budget is to go through your company’s records and look at what you already typically spend. For example, you can use accounting records to calculate the current cost of waste disposal and recycling services.

Make sure to include equipment costs and employee labor associated with collecting waste in your facility. Other options include:

  • Ask your waste management company for past receipts or records, and use this information to help you estimate future costs.
  • Use this worksheet provided by the EPA to help you estimate current waste removal costs.

Don’t forget to consider the cost of a new waste management program, which should include staff training, labor, the purchase of efficient equipment and switching to a better waste removal service if needed. Include cost reductions that will result from your waste management plan in your calculations. Also, estimate the potential reduction in waste disposal costs by removing recyclables from waste. You might calculate potential income generated by the sale of recyclables.

What Is the Average Cost of Industrial Waste Disposal?

Costs vary greatly depending on the type of waste and the amount generated. For example, a manufacturer of rubber automotive parts in Ohio spends $67,000 a year on the treatment and disposal of wastewater. Sludge disposal costs the same company $10,000 a year. Disposal of rubber scraps requires $80,000 a year. The point is that the cost of waste adds up quickly, but waste management reduces these expenses by reducing waste.

How Much Does the US Spend on Waste Management?

The United States produces over 30% of the world’s waste.

According to Columbia University, Americans produce about 4.5 pounds of waste per person every day, or about 1,642 pounds per person per year. With over 330 million people living in the U.S., that’s a lot of garbage. Nearly two-thirds of this garbage (65%) winds up in a landfill or an incinerator.


Almost all of this waste (97%) is produced through industrial processes. For example, the construction and demolition industry generated over 500 million tons of waste in 2014. Oil and gas production produces an estimated 286,600 tons of waste each year.


It’s tough to say precisely how much industries spend on waste management, but we know it’s a lot. According to Statista, the solid waste industry generated $60 billion in revenue in 2016. Also, consider the following:

With businesses generating millions of tons of waste each year, it’s easy to imagine how fast these costs add up. The good news is that manufacturing facilities, contractors and other businesses can save on waste management costs by working with a company that values sustainability, innovation and individualized solutions. With ERC, you can expect all of the above, along with peace of mind.


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