Why Trash the Trashman?

Any successful General knows that the key to developing a winning army is to give all the credit to the foot soldiers…and then the accolades will follow.  Victory depends on “the boots on the ground” and the job of the officers is to make sure the non-comms have everything they need to get the job done.  This is also true in business as the most successful CEOs are those who do everything in their power to lighten the load for those who are pulling it.  However, in the recycling battle, that is not the case.
Who ever gives the appropriate credit to those who are driving the trucks and hauling the recyclables?  Nobody ever goes out of their way to point this out, so those on the front lines truly have a thankless job.  Not only do the haulers not receive any credit but they are the first ones to blame when anything goes wrong.  For example, a hauler pulls up to a restaurant loading dock only to find a car blocking his way.  This is a lose-lose scenario for the driver.  He can’t get out of the truck and hunt down a driver, he has too many stops he is obligated to make.  The hauler has no choice but to move on to the next location, but as soon as he leaves, the fact that it was a missed pick-up, immediately becomes his fault.
Speaking of obligated stops….the hauler is doomed by his schedule.  If he bends over backwards to help the end user he very well be lambasted the rest of the day for being later than usual.  If he starts the day earlier than normal to accommodate customers he is liable to get an earful at his first stop as the noise of falling glass might wake up a complaining neighbor.  Coupons and weekend specials are even worse.  A restaurant will get swamped with customers and fill their recycling bins, yet despite the fact they failed to notify the hauler…it is still his fault that the dumpsters are overflowing with bottles.  The driver cannot win.
It is our experience that the drivers, being on the front lines of recyling, can be a great resource for cluing us into what is going on with the client.  On a regular basis, drivers will tell us that a client needs to be right-sized as their recycling needs are starting to overextend their capacity.  The danger here is that the end-user will simply throw the recycling in with the solid waste thus defeating the purpose of reclamation.  If we can get an eight-yard recycling container on-site immediately to replace the four-yarder, then we can begin to double our reclamation efforts.
To that end, because the drivers are such a great resource for maximizing what does NOT go to a landfill, one would think they would be treated as executive partners rather than as just the “hauler.”  That point is even further evinced by the fact that the hauler is just about the last person to be paid.  The stories are legion in the recycling business about how haulers are never paid on time and then they are made to be the scapegoats in every client-recycler confrontation.  The easy out for the vendor has always been, “That damn hauler, missing another pick-up,” when the real answer should be, “I should have paid the hauler…I guess he really meant it when he said, No payment-no pick up.”
So lets hear it for the haulers…those soldiers on the front lines who get the entire process started.  The grunts who get the glass and the metal and the cardboard, without complaint, and feed the recycling machine.

The Subtle Rip-Off

Every day we have sales people in the field and they ask the same question of our prospects again and again and again, “Why do you pay so much more than you thought you would even after you have already negotiated a long-term contract?’  It makes no sense…but the preponderance of our prospects pay more and more time and again.  Think about it.  If you hired a company to mow your lawn and 3 months into the agreement they started billing you $50.00/week for gas, would you question it?  Of course you would.  You would tell them that is why you negotiated a contract and fuel is part of their end of the contract.

Waste optimization is supposed to be a system where your waste broker or waste management firm does everything in their power to make sure you are maximizing the savings that are available in the marketplace.  The way that the majority of our competitors get around this is; yes, they get you a low price for the haul…but then they begin to “uncover” billable services and then add them to your bill.  They never do run this by you.  They know you will not say “ouch” because waste management is not your world and after all, the trash is getting taken out.
If you don’t believe me…ask your accounting department for the 5 latest invoices having to deal with your trash management services, and then look at exactly the same invoices form one year ago.  Where are the savings?   Now, take the next step and send me those invoices, and for no charge, I will tell you exactly what the marketplace is paying to take care of your business.  It is not a question of, “You may be surprised,” but the reality of, “You are going to be shocked.”