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What is a Waste Consultant?

I get asked this question A LOT! What is a Waste Consultant? Whether I am at a networking event or talking to parents on my kid’s teams or school events, I usually go into my 30 second elevator pitch. Sometimes people are still looking at me with that awkward eyebrow (yeah...you know what I'm talking about :)), I can always tell that they are still not quite able to wrap their head around what it is exactly.

So today I am writing this article to explain what it is that a Waste Consultant actually is and what I do. Every Company that produces waste needs garbage services, so I will be explaining all your choices in the market today which are a waste hauler, broker and consultant.

By the end of this article you will have a much better understanding of each so you can make an educated decision on the avenue you want to take when deciding on how to handle your waste services moving forward.

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All companies have the choice to use different waste haulers for waste services in all open markets throughout the country (I will go into Open Market vs. Franchise Market in a future article, sooo Stay Tuned!).

So this is the natural thing to do, you will have each hauler sales rep come out to the property and have them offer a proposal for services that suit your property needs.

Sometimes the hauler may make some recycling recommendations or just requote the current services and then you as the customer will select the best priced proposal for garbage and recycling. The hauler chosen will then have you sign their long term contract for services.

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In my experience when working as a sales rep for the largest hauling company in North America, these agreements are always very one sided and not in your favor. Then there are add on fees, excess charges, as well as verbiage that allows for high price increases along the way.

This may go on for years before you as the client get really frustrated because you keep going from hauler to hauler and they are all raising the rates and fees on you without any recourse. Prices get better for a while, maybe you implement some recycling to save money and then they just start climbing back up for no apparent reason, leaving you frustrated and feeling as if this is just the "cost of doing business" for your garbage services...

Some companies will get a little better at negotiating along the way as they start to learn the tricks the hauling companies play with fees and increases as well as hauler protective verbiage on the agreements, but remember, the haulers are always two steps ahead since you are signing THEIR agreement.

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The next option is the Waste Broker who will have a relationship with most of the major haulers due to the business that they generate. The broker takes all waste dealings off your plate and deals directly with the waste hauling company broker department for pricing, invoicing and service issues.

In most situations the broker will place you with the hauler that is offering the best incentives to the broker since they do so much business together. The Waste Broker will charge a fee to you for each location to handle all the billing and service related issues, which may provide a slight discount on price but nothing else.

The main reason for a company to pursue a relationship with a Waste Broker is usually when you have multiple locations to get a discount and utilize the broker as a centralized billing system and service related problem solver.

However, if you want the best pricing and services, the broker is not the route to go because they won’t do a deep dive into each individual property as they are already getting a fee from you as the customer and don’t understand or necessarily even care about the individual location dynamics.

And guess what? The haulers usually can’t stand dealing with these brokers because most of the time, they are out of state and don’t have an the knowledge and understanding of what’s going on at each individual property in REAL TIME which causes frustration for the hauler, broker and you as the company.

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The 3rd and in my humble (cough, cough) opinion, the absolute best option is the Waste Consultant who has no other obligation but to make sure you achieve the most optimal services with the best hauler for your company and save the most money possible with a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise. I had a situation recently where I was trying to earn the business of a local Gas Station that I frequent which is close to my home.

The business is in a Franchise Market which means they HAVE to use the hauler chosen by the City who is the Franchise Hauler and the rates are locked in the same for every business and service level which is usually pretty steep for garbage services. I spoke with the owner about adding recycling and he told me that they have a Waste Broker who handles their waste and I could give them a call if I wanted to.

His location had one 8 yard garbage container going 3 times per week and the costs were pretty astronomical in this City for that type of service. I knew there was a great opportunity to save money by reducing the container size and with adding in recycling and especially with a recovered materials hauler (more on this in a future post as well!).

I called the Waste Broker and asked if I could help them out and handle the waste for them here locally. Well as you can guess they snuffed at the request and told me they were handling it. I did let them know that the owner may be calling them because I had already told him that there were recycling opportunities out there and there wasn’t a recycling container anywhere in site…why not?

Well…weeks went by and finally about 2 months later I stopped by and sure enough there was a recycling container on site now... An 8 yard recycling container and now a 4 yard garbage container. This definitely reduced costs for them. But guess what, why did the broker not do this for them before I raised the flag with my visit?

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Because they were already making their money on the client! It took me as a Waste Consultant to talk to the owner about saving money for this to happen. The broker won’t do this and the hauler will overcharge for the services keeping profit margins high. Want to hear something even worse?

I asked the owner a little later what he is paying for the 8 yard recycling container, and found out that he was getting taken to the cleaner because the broker used the same company for recycling as they had for garbage, which they didn’t need to…

The broker thought they had to or maybe because of their relationship they used them, whatever the case may be, but neither the hauler nor the broker is really looking out for this client’s best interest. This gas station could have used an even better recycling hauler which would have saved them another $500+ or more a month totaling $6,000+ per year. Had the broker hopped on it they could have saved the client for 2 more months as well…

This is why most people should utilize a Waste Consultant, because as a Consultant we are looking out for each individual location and teaching each company, owner and waste champion how to handle their unique situation to optimize the savings. At WSS we do this for EVERY Client and location we work with. 92% of businesses are overcharged for their waste services and acquire some sort of savings with our programs with an average of 49% in waste cost reduction across the board. We are looking out for YOUR best interest…

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A Waste Consultant has only 1 job, and that is to save your company and you as the client the most money possible and make sure you have the best agreements and services in place that are in YOUR favor.

The Waste Consultant such as Waste Service Solutions should have years of experience in the Waste and Recycling industry and knows all the tricks of the trade that the waste haulers play in order to keep their profit margins high. A legitimate waste consultant will also help you negotiate and secure a client favored agreement and usually take a small percentage of the savings that they help your property achieve.

Some agencies like WSS can even then act as a broker if the company would like to utilize the agency as a central billing and services or just to watch the invoices like a hawk moving forward making sure you are not taken advantage of ever again.

This is a WIN-WIN for both parties while you can achieve peace of mind knowing that you have the best services, pricing and most optimized operations for your specific business needs because you had an EXPERT utilize their X-Ray Waste Vision.

A compassionate, educated and ethical Waste Consultant will have a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help you achieve results FAST!

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I hope you enjoyed this article and now have a better understanding of the options associated with the waste and recycling industry today. Most companies don’t even realize that they have these kinds of options available, but now YOU do!

Waste Service Solutions is taking this even further as a Waste Consulting and Education Agency. We are here for you every step of the way, We want to make sure you are going to make the best decision on how to handle all your Waste and Recycling needs moving forward so you can become a Waste Savings Champion!

If you are looking for more tips and information, feel free to Download our FREE Report: “3 Simple Tips to Reduce and Control Waste Costs”

You can also visit our website www.wasteservicesolutions.com