New NW Houston Headquarters for ZTERS Site Solutions

A 27,000-square-foot campus will meet the needs of rapid expansion

HOUSTON, September 24, 2020 – When Jon Farley launched ZTERS Site Solutions in 2009, he brought decades of waste industry experience to the table, and he knew he could improve the customer experience. He also knew he could build a company that would provide jobs and grow over time. Ten years later, the family-run company has opened a new 14,000-square-foot headquarters which will anchor its corporate campus in northwest Houston. The campus includes a second 6,000-square-foot office building and a 7,000-square-foot fitness studio.

“We have a strong presence in our neighborhood,” Farley says of the campus. “We provide well-paid jobs with a full range of benefits not only to local people, but we’re attracting new people to the area.”

ZTERS was named a Houston Chronicle Best Workplace in 2019 and is up for the award again in 2020. The company’s growth also landed it on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies list for the second year running in 2020.

“ZTERS has grown tremendously over the last 10 years, selling services the way our customers want to buy them, and the trend towards online purchasing continues to accelerate. ZTERS is still a small fish in a very big ocean, but we continue to innovate and excel with the tools and services we provide our customers and vendors,” Farley says.

The company reached another milestone this year – employee number 100 was hired. Employees went remote during the pandemic, with most employees still working from home as of September 2020. When the pandemic struck, ZTERS invested in telecommunications technology to keep people employed and to continue business operations throughout the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The new headquarters is built, but it may be a while before all employees are back in the office. In the meantime, operations continue remotely, and the new fitness center is available for use (with proper social distancing and following all health and safety guidelines). However, growth has been strong, even in 2020, and the new building will enable more employees to come on board.

Top 5 Benefits of Dumpster Camera Technology

There are three major problems our customers tell us keep them up at night: how to cut waste costs, how to hold haulers accountable when service requirements aren’t met, and how to implement new sustainability goals, whether they’re issued from municipalities or their own corporate headquarters. In 2020, we implemented Compology camera technology in all our dumpsters to address these issues. Here are the top five benefits of using dumpster camera technology.

Reduce waste spending

Companies that use dumpster cameras report saving as much as 30% compared to pre-camera service levels. This reduction primarily comes from cutting down on unnecessary pickups and saving on recycling contamination fees. Dumpster camera technology helps us determine the real waste volume a client is producing (rather than just a guesstimation). From there, we can right-size their service level and keep them from overspending on pickups.

Compology dumpster camera technology is also able to detect more than six common types of contamination with 98% accuracy. Customers can more easily identify and remediate recycling contamination before they’re charged hefty fees.

Reduce pickups

It’s no surprise to anyone reading this, but 2020 brought huge shifts to commercial waste service levels. Businesses may have been closed during the shutdown, but their waste contracts were still in effect. During unexpected business disruptions—whether it’s a global pandemic or a natural disaster—dumpster camera technology can remove some of the guesswork from waste volume estimates.

One of our customers saw their waste output drop by nearly half during the height of the pandemic. Yet they were still paying for near-empty pickups. Camera technology enabled us to get a closer look at their actual waste volume and adjust their service schedule. Not only do customers save money, but fewer pickups means less time on the road for trucks. This leads to a smaller carbon footprint.

Support Zero Waste

Companies and municipalities around the globe are committing to Zero Waste goals. Microsoft, for example, set the ambitious goal of diverting 90% of their waste away from landfills and incineration and producing 100% recyclable devices and packaging by 2030. They’ve also committed to building infrastructure to recycle everything from electronics to food waste.

What does that mean for property owners and managers? More waste awareness. Dumpster cameras help cut down on unnecessary pickups and truck travel, but it goes beyond that carbon footprint. With camera tech, you can analyze the types of waste produced and identify new recycling opportunities. You can also prevent recycling contamination in existing waste streams.

Reduce contamination

Compology dumpster cameras are up to 98% accurate at identifying the six most common contamination categories. And their proprietary artificial intelligence system is constantly learning to help improve contamination identification.

In the past, you had to manually check the recycling bin and hope everyone was following the recycling rules. Needless to say, contamination is a major problem at most facilities. Dumpster camera technology removes the guesswork, so your recycling ends up recycled and not diverted to a landfill because of contamination. Not to mention saving the associated fees.  

Verify your waste service

On the subject of manual verification, how do you know whether a garbage pickup happened when no one is on site? For many of our customers, the shutdown meant no one was on site for days or weeks at a time. Trash was piling up for some of these businesses either because scheduled pickups weren’t being made or because there was a huge increase in waste production (for example, take-out restaurants and apartment buildings).

When no one is available to confirm scheduled service, dumpster camera technology can track when (or if) a pickup occurs. This information can hold haulers accountable. The data can also support billing or service disputes. Over time, Compology’s AI system can learn the facility’s service schedule and dumpster volume so it can alert managers to potential overflow situations.

Since implementing dumpster camera technology, we’ve seen promising results with right-sizing our customers’ service levels. To learn more, or to find out how to get ZTERS dumpsters at your facilities, give us a call

Ask Angela: How far in advance do we need to order a dumpster for a clean-out or remodel?

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.

Angela, how far in advance do we need to order a dumpster if we’re doing a clean-out or home remodel?

Not surprisingly, we get this question a lot in spring and summer. People are spending more time at home in 2020, and we’ve seen people either starting or planning major clean-outs and renovations. Here’s what you can expect when renting a dumpster for residential use, including how early you need to order a dumpster.

In most cases, if you call to schedule before noon you can have a dumpster delivered the next business day. (There’s usually a rush fee if the next day is a Saturday and you absolutely have to have it that day.) However, keep these things in mind:

  • Storms, natural disasters, and times when there is a large demand for dumpsters will almost always have a waitlist. We’ve helped customers bring in dumpsters from other areas, so that’s possible. But keep this delay mind if there’s any kind of increased demand in your area. I’ve written about storm debris cleanup before. Check out that article to read more about disaster cleanup.
  • You’ll need a dumpster that fits in your driveway or the front of your house (check permitting regulations!). This usually means a 10-yard dumpster. In some areas, especially where a lot of residential work is happening, there may be short supply of smaller dumpsters. Call a few days ahead to make sure you get the size you want.
  • Dumpsters aren’t usually delivered first thing in the morning. Standard delivery times usually fall between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., but it’s not unusual for deliveries to happen as late as 5 p.m. If you have a crew coming, or you need to start using the dumpster in the morning, we highly recommend you have it delivered the day before you need it. That way even if it’s delivered late in the afternoon it’ll still be ready to go the morning you need it.

When in doubt, call and schedule a few days in advance. It’s better to call a little early than to not have a dumpster when you want it.

On that note, if you ordered a dumpster and it hasn’t shown up by 2 p.m., give us a call so we can check on it. Most local delivery offices close between 4 and 5 p.m. (with many offices closing at noon on Fridays!), so if the delivery hasn’t shown up, we need to know as early as possible.

Before you make the call, here are a few other tips when you order a dumpster for residential use:

  • Make sure you check for city or county permitting regulations. Some cities even rent dumpsters to residents (like Spokane, WA).
  • Make sure there’s enough clearance for the delivery truck to safely set the dumpster in place. A good rule of thumb is double the length and height of the dumpster.
  • Make sure you’re setting the dumpster on a hard surface like a driveway. They can’t be placed directly on soft ground because rain could cause it to sink and you run the risk of ruining the yard. There would also be extra fees if the dumpster sinks or gets stuck in mud because it’ll have to be towed out, costing extra time and expense. For extra protection, put down 3-4-inch plywood to prevent damage to whatever surface the dumpster is placed on.
  • You can’t put hazardous materials or chemicals like paint, antifreeze, or oil in a dumpster. Other no-go items include batteries, electronics, tires, and appliances. We compiled a list of items you can’t dump on our dumpster rental page.

Renting a dumpster for residential projects is pretty easy and straightforward. You can usually schedule it within a business day. This was a long answer to a short question, but hopefully you found the tips useful! If you need to order a dumpster for residential use, give us a call and we can help you set it up.