commercial waste

How to Conduct a Commercial Waste Audit

Property owners and facility managers know all about waste. From new waste reduction legislation to changes in the recycling industry, it’s important to measure a building’s waste output on a regular basis. Conduct a commercial waste audit to “right-size” a building’s waste service and make service contracts more efficient and effective.

These waste audit tips are taken from “Right-sizing Commercial Waste Solutions” by Dan Studer. Dan is the division manager for the ZTERS commercial waste division.

Why is a commercial waste audit important?

The Frontier Group, a policy research organization, estimates people throw away seven pounds of materials—per person—each day in the United States. Now multiply that by the number of residents or occupants in a building. That adds up to a huge amount of garbage.

Add to that the rising cost of recycling and new waste-related legislation. Property owners and facility managers have to keep close tabs on waste. Otherwise they’re paying overage fees, or worse, penalties for not disposing of waste properly.

How to conduct a commercial waste audit?

A waste audit, or waste assessment, establishes a baseline for future waste reduction efforts. Here’s a three-step method for conducting a basic waste audit:

  1. Examine waste records. Review waste hauling and disposal invoices, recycling contracts, supply invoices, and operating and maintenance logs. Identify costs associated with each phase of collecting and removing waste.
  2. Walk through the facility. Observe where waste is generated and where it ends up. Talk with members of each department to find out what type of waste is produced and where it ends up.
  3. Conduct a waste sort. Physically collect and weigh a day’s worth of waste. Decide how to quantify the waste. For example, is it paper, plastic, metal, or organic material? Determine which materials can be exchanged, sold, reused, or recycled.

Bottom-line benefits of a waste audit

Waste audits aren’t just useful for gauging and managing a building’s waste stream. It also helps property owners and facility managers determine how to improve recycling and reuse efforts. It identifies areas of overall system improvement. And it can provide data to help renegotiate waste contracts or evaluate new waste solutions.

ZTERS Commercial Waste Division helps commercial property owners and facility managers evaluate their waste streams and find the right solution to meet any budget. We work with properties nationwide to provide custom waste solutions, one point of contact (no matter how many facilities you own or manage) and streamlined invoicing with one account manager.

Streamline your waste service with ZTERS. We’re your one-stop partner in commercial waste services. Give us a call to find out more.

temporary dog fencing image

Ask Angela: Temporary fencing for dogs?

Angela Phillips is a Senior Account Manager III at ZTERS Waste Solutions. She helps customers with some of their most challenging site service issues, and she answers your questions here on our website.

Hey Angela, we’ve got some dogs visiting our property for a short time. Can we order temporary fencing for dogs?

Hi, there. Thank you for asking. You have no idea how many times we hear this question. It seems logical, right? Just put up some temporary fencing and you’ve got a dog run? But unfortunately, the answer is almost always no, and here’s why:

Temporary fencing is made specifically for people. Construction site fencing and event fencing for crowds are designed for areas where you need to keep people safe and away from dangers like heavy equipment, high-voltage electricity, or traffic and other dangers to crowds. We even wrote a blog post on how temporary fencing saves lives.  

Think about how temporary fencing is constructed to meet these needs. You’re going to rent either large panels that are weighted down for construction sites, or the shorter “bicycle fencing” used at events. Neither of these styles are made to keep a dog penned in.

If you’ve ever had a dog, you know how often they dig under, or jump over, fences. Dog fencing has to be sturdy enough to handle dog shenanigans. With standard temporary fencing used in construction and events, strong dogs could potentially push over panels. In any of these cases, you’ll end up with loose dogs to round up.

Even if you dig posts and create a more stable temporary fencing solution, it still isn’t as good as a dog run or kennel panels that are designed for dogs.

All in all, using temporary fencing rentals for dogs opens up a lot of liability issues. It also creates an unsafe environment for the dogs. What happens when they get out? With dogs…any and everything.

The good news is you can buy kennel kits at any home improvement or hardware store. Some of the large big-box stores also carry them. And of course, you can order them online. These kits are designed for dogs, and they come in many different sizes. They’re relatively easy to install, and in a lot of cases they’re less expensive than trying to create your own system using temporary fencing rentals.   

We always recommend people invest in an outdoor kennel kit and not temporary fencing for dogs. You might think kennel kits look very similar to the temporary fencing you rent for construction and event use, but they’re not the same. Get a kennel kit designed and tested specifically for dogs. From a liability standpoint, it’s a lot better than having your dogs on the loose.

I hope that answered your question. Keep the questions coming! We’re always here to help. And give us a call for any of your non-dog temporary fencing needs. We can bundle all your construction worksite or event site services with one call.