Solid Waste or “trash” is perhaps the most neglected of the service industries. The costs keep going up and up even though you have contract. I have found in my 15 years of bidding, awarding, monitoring and revoking waste contracts that waste companies can overcharge unless you know precisely what is happening.
One recent audit we performed yielded a finding that the waste company was hauling and emptying a container 3 times a week that was less than 1/4 full each time! The costs added up to thousands of wasted dollars a year. We make it a priority to evaluate the trash service whenever we perform an audit, whether or not the client requests it in the beginning.
Auditing trash is not glamorous or easy. The costs are confusing on the monthly invoice for a reason - the harder they are to understand the less likely someone is to question them. It often requires very early work hours as most trash is picked up in densely populated commercial areas early in the morning before a lot of traffic and pedestrians are on the road. It is smelly and often the last monitored service at a property. That is why we usually always find a savings opportunity in trash.
While working for a community association in South Dade several years ago, we audited the trash service to approximately 440 residences. we calculated the usage and costs using industry standard formulas. We quickly realized the association was overpaying for the service by about $28,000 per year. We convinced the association to let us rebid their current contract and was successful in obtaining a new contract that was $35,000 less per year than the prior contract.