Waste management is an important part of any business. You need to make sure that you are disposing of your waste responsibly and legally. This can be a daunting task, especially if you don't know where to start. In this blog post, we will discuss how to find the right waste vendor for your business. We will provide tips on what to look for, and how to compare different vendors.
At a recent event, our CEO Dan Collins participated in a discussion in which one of the topics was around "how companies find a waste vendor, what their common needs are, and what they find difficult about the process." When asked how companies go about finding waste vendors in their area, the majority of attendees said they start with a Google search. Others said they ask their network for referrals or look for vendors that specialize in their industry.
In general, finding a waste vendor is typically limited by the options in your geographic area. There are a few waste companies with a truly nationwide footprint, but the majority of haulers and waste companies operate on a regional scale (though that region may include several states).
Narrowing Down Your Choices for a Waste Vendor
Once you've narrowed your choices down to your regional options, you can start to compare vendors based on their services, prices, and reputation. Here are a few tips on what to look for:
- Services: Make sure the vendor offers the services you need. If you generate hazardous waste, you will need to find a vendor that is licensed to handle and dispose of it. You should also inquire about additional services that might be useful, such as recycling or waste audits.
- Prices: Get quotes from several vendors and compare their prices. Be sure to ask about any additional fees that may apply, such as fuel surcharges or environmental fees.
- Reputation: Ask around for referrals, and check online reviews. You want to make sure you are working with a reputable company that will provide good customer service.
Many of the participants at the event agreed that no one waste company truly does it all, though one company may also play the role of a waste broker and pull in other companies as needed for the areas that they don't handle in-house.
Looking to find waste handlers in your area? Check out our free Waste Handler Locator.
What Businesses Want: One Data Source for Reporting and Statistics
With a variety of waste companies providing services to businesses, it can be hard to find a cohesive way to track and measure volumes, costs, and trends.
This is where reporting and analytics come in. Businesses want one data source that they can use to track their waste and recycling data. This data can be used to measure the performance of their vendors, set goals, and track progress over time.
Some waste companies have created their own solutions to provide data to their customers, some leverage the expertise of a dedicated waste software company like Wastebits to provide solutions for them, and when a third party tool is used that ties in with multiple waste companies, they can get closer to the dream of a single source of all of their waste reporting.
Digitization vs. Digitalization vs. Digital Transformation
When it comes to the waste industry, there is a lot of talk about digitization. But what does that mean?
There are three levels of digital engagement for the waste industry, and waste vendors have implemented these to varying degrees (and some not at all!):
- Digitization: This is when a company uses technology to automate manual processes or tasks. For example, using an app to schedule pickups instead of calling the dispatcher.
- Digitalization: This is when a company uses technology to create new ways of doing business. For example, using sensors to track fill levels in dumpsters and optimize pickups.
- Digital Transformation: This is when a company uses technology to completely transform its business. For example, using data analytics to identify trends and optimize their entire operations.
The goal of digital transformation is to create a more efficient, sustainable, and profitable business. It starts with a digitized foundation and builds from there.
Waste companies that can provide reporting and analytics, optimize their operations, and create new value for their customers will be the ones that thrive in the digital age.
Many businesses are still using manual processes to track their waste data. This means that someone has to manually input the data into a spreadsheet or database and then analyze it themselves. This can be time-consuming and error-prone.
When selecting a waste vendor, make sure you understand to what degree they are working towards digital transformation, and how this will affect your business.
There are now software solutions that can leverage automation for the data entry process, and provide businesses with valuable insights into their waste streams. These solutions make it possible for businesses to digitally transform their waste management processes and are the core tenants of the Wastebits software.
Why Zero Waste Initiatives Often Fail
One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is how to reduce their waste and become more sustainable. We often hear about zero waste, sustainability, various certifications, and recycling programs, but many of these programs fail because of a lack of defined processes and communication. They fail because they are not well-designed or properly executed.
There are three main reasons why zero waste initiatives fail:
- They are not properly planned: Zero waste initiatives need to be carefully planned to be successful. This includes setting goals, identifying stakeholders, establishing policies and procedures, and creating a plan of action.
- They are not properly executed: Once the planning is complete, the execution of the initiative is critical. This includes implementing the policies and procedures, training employees, and monitoring progress.
- They are not properly supported: Zero waste initiatives need to be supported by senior management to be successful. This includes providing resources, setting expectations, and holding employees accountable.
When zero waste initiatives are properly planned, executed, and supported, they can be successful. But often they are not, and businesses end up back at square one.
If you are selecting a waste vendor to help with recycling or any other support for a zero-waste program, inquire about their holistic approach and how it can help you build a program with a successful outcome.
When a company has the proper training, software solutions to back up their program's execution, and buy-in up and down the chain of those who will use or be affected by the initiative, then success is a much more likely outcome.
Wastebits has worked successfully with manufacturing companies to power green initiatives and supercharge their recycling programs. If you'd like to learn more schedule a demo to discuss your individual needs.
Whether you are just getting started with digitization, or are looking to transform your entire business, it is important to partner with a vendor that can help you achieve your goals.
At Wastebits, we have the experience and technology to help businesses of all sizes digitally transform their waste management processes. We offer reporting and analytics to help businesses optimize their operations, and create new value for their customers.
If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you achieve your digital transformation & reporting goals, please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and requirements.