Reducing Your Spend for Solid Waste Management

Landfill compactor for industrial waste recycling

This month we’re going to take a brief side visit to the solid waste part of your facility’s expenses and how you can reduce your spend for solid waste management. There’s no denying that landfilling or incinerating waste is not the highest and best use of it. It is also very expensive and prices are continuing to increase. So, let’s discuss some basic steps to take that reduce your plant’s costs for those wastes that you cannot recycle. A reduction in expense of 20% to 30% is not unusual when following the steps laid out here.

There are three basic components to industrial/manufacturing waste services: transportation, disposal, and equipment. For purposes of this discussion, we will assume that you are using a common roll-off compactor. With transportation and fuel costs continuing to rise, hauling costs are the leading expense for most company’s waste budgets.

What Is the First Step to Reducing Your Spend for Solid Waste Management?

The first step to reducing your spend for solid waste management is to create an expense baseline. We recommend using a three-month snapshot of your operation’s expenses. Your vendor invoice details the total waste disposal cost and tonnage, transportation rate, frequency, and compactor rental costs. Once you’ve established the average service frequency and tonnage, you can focus on reducing the service or hauling frequency. 

With a typical capacity of between 8 and 12 tons per load, compactors should be emptied only when full. Fixed schedules are good for the vendor and not necessarily for the customer. On-call service helps to ensure full loads. Otherwise, with a fixed schedule, you will find that often your loads are lower and you’re paying to haul air. Arranging an “on-call” service frequency with your vendor has many benefits in addition to reduced costs. These include increased compactor availability and reduced truck traffic among others. A simple pressure gauge or electronic sensor can provide the information necessary for you to decide when to call for service. Some of these sensors will notify your vendor for you making them virtually foolproof. 

How Much Can I Reduce My Spending on Solid Waste Management?

Recently one of our Cumberland Recycling customers reduced their costs by nearly $20,000 annually moving their hauling frequency from a fixed, 4-times per week schedule to an on-call service that averaged 2.5-times per week. The result was a reduction from 208 hauls a year to 130. At $245 per haul, the savings added up quickly. This is just one of the many examples of how solid waste management, when done correctly, can benefit your business. 

For more ideas and support in reducing your operations waste and recycling costs or to share your experiences improving your spend, give Cumberland Recycling a call at 615-239-5611 or send an email to We are here to help you create a strategic plan to make your recycling goals successful!


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