How a trash audit can find cash in your trash bills. First I must explain there are two types of trash audits.
Trash Recycling Audit – Is a trash audit designed to break down your outgoing trash based on the percentage of recyclables. The Trash Recycling Audit includes dumpster diving and getting your hands, feet, and arms dirty. It will define what percentage of your refuse should be diverted to recycling centers instead of municipal or privately owned landfills. Recycling disposal costs are always much less expensive than standard municipal waste disposal fees, per yard or by the ton. As much as 75% less! See Example Recycling audit – Container Usage Survey Form or DIY Simple Workplace Waste Audit
Trash Expense Audit- Just like a tax accountant can audit your taxes for a refund, so can a Solid Waste Consultant review your trash and recycling invoices for billing errors and overcharges. The consultants will audit every line item, invoice or SKU for hauler compliance. The Trash Audit includes verification of rate increases; surcharges; CPI adherence; DOE monthly regional fuel indexes; recycling indexes; state/local taxes, environmental fees; admin charges; recovery fees; excess disposal; container use fees and others.
The focus of this article is to find “cash in your trash” with the Trash Expense Audit. Billing errors are very common in the trash hauling industry and most business owners and managers are just to busy performing day to day operations to research every fluctuating monthly fee or price increase that happens on a monthly invoice. Garbage Hauling companies have made invoicing fees and surcharges as confusing as calculus and they have well worded service contracts loaded with fine print that heavily favors the hauler. Terms like “by the action and practices of the parties” often mean if you pay your bill you have accepted a price increase.
Business Owners, CFO’s and Managers have two options for hiring professional consultants to review trash and recycling invoices and service agreements. You can hire a standard Industry Consultant at a rate of $100 to $300 per hour to audit your expenses or you can hire a Cost Contingent Industry Consultant that will be paid a portion of the refund or monthly savings they procure. Most people prefer the Cost Contingent Consultant, the consultant is paid out of the actual refunds and savings procured, so there is no new out-of-pocket expense for the company. An additional benefit to the Cost Contingent Consultant is many (not all) will continue to review your monthly waste disposal invoices during their service terms, generally 24 to 60 months. Its very common to find billing errors, 6-10 months after an initial audit has been completed.
Current pricing trends in the waste disposal industry. In 2016 and 2017 we have watched the explosion of the Environmental Fee. The Environmental fee used to be nonexistent, but since fuel has been down for so long (www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel ) we have seen the rise of the Environmental Fee to upwards of 20% for some haulers. The rise of the environmental fee is really going to hurt the fixed monthly expenses, when diesel rises back up over $3.50 a gallon. The newest fee launched by some haulers in past 12-18 months has been the “Container Use Fee” (annual container swap out fee), its a monthly fee around $10 per container. A good consultant will know how to address these rising and new fees and will help protect you from changing fee structures in the future.
SAV-ON Waste Solutions helps its clients complete both the Trash Recycling Audit and the Trash Expense Audit as a cost contingent Industry Professional Consultant, call today for more information on how we can find “cash in your trash”, 800-203-7283.