3 Types of Commercial Waste Audits

Financially, environmentally, and even from a public relations standpoint, getting an accurate commercial facility waste audit is the key to improving diversion efforts and achieving sustainability goals. You need a baseline to work from because the more waste produced by your building, the bigger the problem is. Conducting a waste audit can help you identify opportunities to cut back waste, improve diversion and sustainability measures, and save money. Use a commercial waste audit to get a baseline on your garbage output, so you can put together more effective sustainability and diversion initiatives.  

Benchmark Commercial Waste Audits

A benchmark waste audit is a baseline auditing process that helps a facility identify opportunities to cut waste. This is the easiest and least time-consuming audit. During the process, you will identify the waste streams within your facility and make surface-level changes that reduce waste. This could include employee education on how and when to recycle. If you work with a waste maintenance company, they can recommend changes to your service levels to ensure that you’re paying for the right level of service for your business. The goal is to identify ways to streamline your waste and save money on waste pick-up. 

For example, we frequently perform these initial waste audits for companies and make recommendations that right-size service levels. Benchmark waste audits aren’t meant to be a deep dive into your business processes. If you’d like to cut waste but aren’t in a position to make dramatic changes to the way your business works, a benchmark waste audit is a good starting point. If you decide to go deeper into your commercial garbage down the road, you can always conduct a deeper dive later. 

Forensic Waste Audits

During a forensic waste audit, all of your facility’s waste is sorted, separated, weighed and analyzed. It’s a good idea to hire waste experts for this process, because it can be time consuming and overwhelming for an in-house team to try and do this themselves. Look for an experienced commercial waste company that knows what to look for and how to divert the different types of recyclables being thrown away at your facility. For example, we dig into the actual volume and types of waste produced by your business, then we make recommendations that allow you to divert waste from the landfill and into recycling centers. This includes metals, pallets, food waste, and other materials. 

Your facility could be missing out on opportunities to divert waste, and if so, this audit will uncover those issues. This is a deep dive into your business waste, and we can make much more granular recommendations based on the findings. It’s also a key way to identify diversion opportunities to improve sustainability efforts. 

Comprehensive Waste Audit 

How often do you dive deep into your waste charges and expenses? A comprehensive waste audit goes beyond the physical trash and digs into your service cost history and all the associated waste fees and expenses being charged to your company. As an independent waste service provider, we can examine your expenses and typically identify several areas where we can streamline your costs. We also have relationships with many nationwide haulers, and in many cases we can renegotiate service levels and fees on your behalf to get you more cost-effective services … even if you’re in a contract. 

For example, we’ve been able to use the latest camera and fullness measuring technologies to fine-tune our customers’ service levels and help them save up to 30% on their commercial waste bill. Once we’ve conducted a waste audit, we are able to put together a custom package for each facility.  

If you’re about to embark on a commercial waste audit, start by determining which type of waste audit is right for you. Depending on the size of your facility and the amount of garbage produced, your staff may or may not be equipped to manage an effective waste audit. We’ve helped hundreds of commercial facilities right-size their service after conducting a waste analysis. And we do this with no binding contracts or hidden fees. 

Give us a call and we can determine the right type of waste audit for your facility. We’ll find the right solutions to save you time and money on commercial trash service

3 Ways to Destroy a Dumpster

Your crew might think that roll-off on your worksite is indestructible, but it’s easier than you think to destroy a dumpster. And if your crew damages a roll-off rental, you could see thousands of dollars in damage and replacement fees. Before you get dinged with unexpected damage fees, here are the three most common ways people destroy dumpsters on a jobsite. They may be made of steel and capable of hauling tons of weight (literally), but it’s actually pretty easy to do permanent damage to a roll-off. Here’s what to watch out for.

#1: Add too much weight.

Let’s say you rent a dumpster that can hold 10 cubic yards of waste. But you didn’t mention to the hauler that you’re throwing out concrete and brick, so they didn’t factor in the extra weight of the materials. Heavy materials like concrete and brick require special consideration due to the load’s added weight. If you don’t factor in the weight, it can’t be loaded on the truck it because it’s too heavy. Worse yet, it’s possible the dumpster’s sides and door will warp from the weight. This can cause the latch to break, so it can’t be latched onto the truck.

The best-case scenario here is you can manually empty the dumpster to create smaller batches. Worst-case scenario, the dumpster will bend, deform, and potentially be irreparably damaged if you attempt to move it. Any time you have heavy materials like concrete, bricks or dirt, make sure you tell your hauler and choose the right size.    

#2: Use a forklift.

So many people think this moving a dumpster with a forklift is a good idea, and it never is. Make sure everyone in the crew hears this message: Do not move a dumpster with a forklift. It doesn’t matter how small the dumpster is. It doesn’t matter how skilled the forklift driver is. It doesn’t matter how many people swear they’ve successfully moved a dumpster with a forklift, and it worked out fine. Do yourself a favor and don’t risk the damage.

More often than not, when people try to move dumpsters with forklifts, they end up poking holes into the side of the dumpster. It’s easier to do than you think. And once the dumpster has holes, it has to be welded or replaced. Welding can cost up to a thousand dollars, and replacement will usually be triple that (or more). If you need your roll-off moved after it’s been delivered, just give your hauler a call. They can safely move it with the right equipment, and a relocation fee is a lot less expensive than replacing the whole dumpster.

#3: Don’t prepare.

This one might seem obvious, but if it was, people wouldn’t have dumpsters stuck in the mud for six weeks during rainy season. Before your dumpster arrives, properly prepare the installation space. Ideally, the dumpster should sit on a level paved or hard surface that will be easy for the roll-off delivery truck to access. Don’t put it in a field on the bare ground. No matter how dry or level it seems, all it takes is one moderate rainstorm and the dumpster will sink into mud. A truck won’t be able to pull it out until everything is fully dry, which could take days or weeks. You’ll get stuck paying for the extra rental time, and the dumpster could be damaged if you try to move it too soon.

What if your jobsite is in a rural area where there are no roads or paved surfaces? Create a dumpster “place mat” with plywood or gravel (grate), or both, to give the dumpster some elevation from potential mud. This will also help with traction when delivering and servicing the dumpster.

Damaging or destroying a dumpster can cost you several thousand dollars in repair or replacement fees. Play it safe and avoid these common pitfalls with your next rental. If you have questions about renting and placing dumpsters on your jobsite, give us a call. We’re here to help you get the most out of your dumpster rentals.

Which industrial compactor is right for you?

There are different compactors for different types of waste and businesses, so which industrial compactor is right for your facility? Whether you’re a new facility manager evaluating your waste stream for the first time, or you’re looking at compactors for a new location or different kinds of waste, here’s what you need to know to choose the right industrial compactor.

Self-Contained Compactors

Self-contained compactors are designed to hold wet waste, which makes them useful for locations disposing of food. Managing a restaurant or a university or office building that provides food service? A self-contained compactor is a good option. These compactors are used by grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, stadiums, universities and other businesses that produce wet waste.  

How Does a Self-Contained Compactor Work?

A self-contained compactor may be attached to a building with an opening that allows wet waste to be loaded from the inside. These compactors may also be placed fully inside, or they can be left outside the building, depending on the needs of the business. Wet waste is loaded into the compactor, then a ram compacts the waste until it is pushed inside the container and crushed to a size that’s about 75% smaller than before.

The compactor is fused to the container that holds the waste to prevent leakage. When the container fills up, the container (with compactor attached) is loaded onto a truck. The truck takes the compactor to a landfill where the waste is dumped. Then the entire unit is returned to the business where it begins the process over again. 

What Are the Advantages of a Self-Contained Compactor? 

Self-contained commercial compactors are designed to be liquid-tight to prevent leaks that could compromise the health and safety of your employees. Additionally, there are fewer odors with self-contained compactors, which is especially important if it’s located indoors. Rodents and insects can’t access your trash while it sits in its container, and many self-contained compactors also come with a self-cleaning flushing feature for convenience. 

Vertical Compactors

A vertical compactor, also known as a front-loaded compactor, can be easily emptied using a front-loading truck. They’re perfect for small spaces and buildings that have limited space for a compactor. Vertical compactors hold materials like plastic, cardboard, paper and even some wet materials. Their tall size makes them a good option for apartment buildings and facilities with a narrow trash enclosure.

How Does a Vertical Compactor Work?

To load a vertical compactor, place appropriate waste into the compactor through the front doors. When the container appears full, use the compactor to press down the garbage to reduce its volume. 

What Are the Advantages of a Vertical Compactor?

Vertical compactors are relatively small. This makes them ideal for retail locations and businesses with limited space. Their small footprint combines the usefulness of decreased garbage volume with the functionality of a larger stationary compactor. 

Stationary Compactors

A stationary compactor is a large trash compactor that compresses dry materials like plastic and cardboard. These compactors are typically used in high-volume waste settings like hospitals, department stores, restaurants and warehouses – however, these compactors are only used to compact the dry materials produced by these businesses. Wet materials should be crushed in self-contained compactors. 

How Does a Stationary Compactor Work?

Stationary compactors are bolted to the ground, making them a permanent addition to a facility. The compactor crushes waste into a receiver box, then the container or trailer is hauled to a landfill to be emptied. 

What Are the Advantages of Stationary Compactors?

A stationary compactor is larger than a vertical compactor, so it can hold more waste. This type of compactor is the best choice for businesses that produce large quantities of waste every day such as warehouses and large retail locations. We’ve installed stationary compactors at many warehouse locations to help them cut down on their waste volume and right-size the number of weekly pickups they require. Stationary compactors can cut down on the cost of managing large waste volumes.

Not sure if you need a standard stationary compactor or a vertical compactor? We can help you evaluate your waste flow to find the right solution.   If you’re still not sure which compactor, or combination of compactors, is best for your business, give us a call to schedule a waste evaluation. We’ll find the right industrial compactor solution, whether you manage one location or one hundred.