One sure-fire way to decrease your monthly overhead is to streamline your waste and recycle stream. This is an often-overlooked avenue to increased profitability in many companies for one of a variety of reasons, usually because:
- you have a program in place and don't think there's a need for change
- it's hard to focus on this when there are other things going on
- you don't know there's a problem (say, your dumpsters aren't completely full at pick-up so you're paying to haul air)
Make the time to revisit your program and you'll certainly be surprised with your cost savings. For example, we have partners that have realized increased revenues of $25K to $250K per year through increased waste diversion and service right-sizing. Here's an outline of how to calculate the value of your recyclable commodies and potential cost savings:
- Figure out what you have going in the trash that can be recycled. Then calculate the monthly weight of recyclable commodities you are currently diverting to your waste stream. Here's a blog post explaining how to do that.
- Now estimate the amount of money you can save by diverting waste to your recycling stream: simply multiply the weight of the material you can divert by the tipping fee your hauler pays at the landfill and passes on to you. The nationwide average is $45/ton; even if you divert just one ton per month from waste to single-stream, you're decreasing your overhead and increasing your profitablity.
- That increased single-stream means smaller dumpsters and/or less frequent trash pick-ups, so you will save even more money by right-sizing your service. There's a potential to save hundreds more dollars each month; here's one of our clients that was able to cut their monthly waste bill in half through increased diversion and right-sizing, saving almost $25K per year.
- You can save even more by regotiating your current waste contract and auditing your monthly bills. You may find it helpful to partner with a waste broker that will do this work at no cost to your company. Waste brokers are only paid if you save money.
You may discover you have enough of any given recyclable commodity to earn a rebate from your hauler. Take a look at your process as well; you may also find you're able to increase recycling efficiency and decrease labor costs with new recycling equipment.
- If you generate over 5,000 pounds per month of OCC, it's cost-effective to bale.
- If $500 of your bill goes to throwing out EPS, it's cost-effective to densify.
- If you generate at lease 2,000 pounds LDPE per month (equivalent to 20 gaylords), it's cost-effective to either compact or bale.