Solid Waste & Recycling


Getting Waste Smart

When it comes to saving money on a company's bottom line, waste accounting, waste audit, waste evaluation, and waste assessment are not usually terms that first come to mind. However, customers who fi...

When it comes to saving money on a company’s bottom line, waste accounting, waste audit, waste evaluation, and waste assessment are not usually terms that first come to mind. However, customers who fit the description of multi-location operators may spend thousands of dollars per year on their front- and back-end waste management operations; yet few companies have the time or resources to focus on finding solutions to effectively manage these costs. In an era when most businesses are increasingly focused on cost reduction, it’s critical for waste management companies to assist their customers in finding ways to manage their waste in a more productive manner.

When a company first implements a waste management program, efficiencies can be instantly realized by simply addressing issues such as frequency and container size. But the development of customized, flexible and value-added solutions is where companies can achieve longer-term cost saving results.

Working with a waste management company like BFI Canada Inc. to internalize a waste strategy within a building design and tenant profile can help companies realize real long-term cost savings.

This is why BFI Canada introduced the Waste-Smart program for property managers. It’s an all-inclusive and customized full-service waste services package to manage every aspect of property managers’ waste management requirements. Waste-Smart allows our national account team to assist in planning our customers’ cost reduction strategies relative to their waste procurement needs.

There are several considerations required to provide a snapshot of a company’s full waste-management costs and assist them in developing a custom program. Some of the issues that can be addressed include:

* Building Design and Accessibility: Each property should have sufficient space to accommodate garbage and recycling containers, and provide the service trucks unobstructed access to service the waste containers.

* Productivity — Front-End Staff: Identify all janitorial and custodial cost-driver activities to identify opportunities to reduce (1) time; (2) waste at source; and (3) recycling. Once these initiatives are identified, employees must be trained so they are confident implementing the changes.

* Productivity — Back-End Staff: Identify all administrative functions related to waste management costs and assign a monetary value to each. Cost-drivers include tracking, monitoring, reconciling, billing and accounts payable.

* Multiple Waste Suppliers: Perform a brief review of each property in order to precisely determine the number of waste management providers currently contracted. The rule of thumb: the higher the number of waste companies, the lower the front- and back-end productivity, which equates to higher overall costs.

* Type of Tenant: Understanding the different waste streams produced by each tenant type provides additional insight into determining costs associated with the potential change in waste-mix. Using the following as an example, evaluate each building and record the percentage mix of tenant types: retail; food services; office; and other.

After making note of the above considerations, a more detailed approach can be taken in order to tailor specific programs for each customer’s waste management needs.

Let’s face it, waste is not a top-of-mind concern for most companies. But with effective strategies using the Waste-Smart program, waste management costs can be considerably reduced. Instead of just being a hassle to deal with, waste management can be a new entry in a company’s performance scorecard, and ultimately improve the bottom line.

Alan Ford is corporate director of marketing & sales, North America, for BFI Canada Inc. Contact Alan at

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