Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

Don’t pay the “Stupid Tax”

June 6, 2010

We all want to pay less in taxes.  But sometimes we pay a tax that no one in any state capital or in D.C. has ever signed into law.  It’s called the Stupid Tax, and sometimes this tax can be very costly, and sometimes, we don’t even know we’re paying it.  Sometimes, we’re just stupid.

The day before any business opens, the owner no doubt is thinking “I can’t wait to start selling (or manufacturing, or leasing) _______ (fill in the blank with whatever that person’s business is going to be marketing).”  Same thing goes for new hires at established companies.  Whatever widget or commodity their employer hawks, newbies can’t wait to start helping to do their part to get them sold or made.  The focus is obviously on the end product, the revenue, and the bottom line, as well it should be.

Of course, one of the last things that come to mind for many businesses, new or established, is disposal of the solid waste and recyclables that’s produced in the income-generating activities.  A simple phone call to a local waste and recycling hauler and you don’t need to think about it any more.  Or so it seems.

This is where the Stupid Tax comes into play. 

We’re all guilty of paying Stupid Tax.  You, me, everyone we know.  Remember that car you bought back when you were a lot younger and perhaps a little more naïve and equally less endowed in the wallet?  It was supposed to be something reliable enough to get you from point A to point B, but it turns out that the brakes needed to be replaced, it leaked oil, and it gulped gas making you wish that you had your own private refinery in the back yard.  It somehow sucked money directly out of your pocket all of the time.  Remember that car?  I sure do!  And that’s just an example of a low-cost Stupid Tax.  Ever buy a rental property that didn’t pan out?

So back to our business example.  It now has garbage and recyclable pickup service, and everything seems to be fine.  Revenues are expanding, as are profits.  There’s never an issue with the garbage.  They come and empty the Dumpsters/compactors/rolloffs and send an invoice, which is paid without question.

But here is where many businesses fail to see potential bottom-line leaks.  The waste hauler is doing a great job on the surface, but there are many areas that can be major sources of inefficiency, and thereby more cost.  One is by simply over-servicing the client.  Scheduling pickups of Dumpsters too frequently so that they’re not coming anywhere close to the full mark, particularly if a business is cyclical in its trash production.  Another is by giving unfavorable rates for their service regardless if the equipment used is Dumpsters, compactors, or rolloffs.  And something that businesses will do to themselves to sabotage their efforts to curb costs is to not fully realize the advantages of recycling.  Likewise, not understanding all the terms in the waste hauler’s service agreement can lead to artificially high rates over time (courtesy of a little something called an auto-renew clause which automatically resigns existing clients to new service agreements at higher rates, even if the hauler’s expenses have decreased).

Having a trusted source independent of the waste hauling company come in to audit the waste and recycling system can be very beneficial.  Our company prides itself on helping clients increase profits by reducing costs an average of 30 to 50 percent.  That’s a lot of Stupid Tax not going out the door.

Our services are risk-free.  There are never any up-front fees, and if we can’t find any cost reductions or credits, no money is due to us.  And when we do get paid, we simply share the savings that our work generates.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Small, local companies like Cedar Village retirement community and the Hyde Park Golf and Country Club, as well as large, multi-location corporations like American Airlines, Winn Dixie grocery stores, and the McDonald’s corporation have benefited from the types of services we offer.  When you’re ready to “pay less taxes”, we can help you, too!

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

What’s an easy way to increase your company’s bottom line? Reduce this cost!

May 10, 2010

And that is, the cost of removing the waste and recyclables your company generates.  And something we’ve been noticing lately is that we’ve been able to realize a large amount of savings by some of our clients who’s trash hauling service agreements have come up for renewal. 

As an example, we were hired by the Hyde Park Golf and Country Club here in Cincinnati in 2006.  Among other changes, we implemented a recycling program, and changed the trash pickup schedule to ensure the Dumpsters were closer to capacity before they’re emptied (they’re charged the same amount wether the containers are nearly full or nearly empty).  We also negotiated a new service agreement with more favorable terms and lower pricing.  In all, we saved the club 47 percent annually.

A couple of months ago, the service agreement came up for renewal.  When we got to pricing, we negotiated for lower rates, and the hauler agreed to lower prices even more…by more than 10 percent!

Needless to say, the club is very happy.  They’re confident in knowing that their waste and recycling hauling needs are being met, and with the same company they’ve used for years.  They also know that they’re paying the lowest rates possible.

Is your company in the same position?  If you’re unsure, don’t feel bad.  Most companies assume the waste haulers will take good care of them, and they usually do.  But it’s kind of like the fox guarding the henhouse – they deliver good service, but the pricing is way out of line compared to what it should be.  The invoice arrived every month, and as long as there aren’t any issues with overflowing Dumpsters or malfunctioning compactors, the hauler is paid.

We can audit your company’s waste and recycling system and find inefficiencies that drain money directly off of your bottom line.  We work with your staff to help streamline the disposal of your trash and recyclables, and to manage the cost of this necessary service.  Our clients see cost reductions of between 30 and 50 percent on average, risk-free.  There’s no up-front fees.  The way we get compensated is by simply sharing the savings our work produces.  If we can’t find any cost savings or credits, you don’t owe us anything. 

Want to see if we can produce the same, or better results with your operation?  Contact us today to set up a risk-free audit for your company!

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

An easy way to add instant value to apartment properties? You may be surprised!

March 15, 2010

The recession has had a devastating effect on property prices – both residential and commercial. Estimates of price declines in some coastal markets are as much as 50% or more. And considering that many individual apartment investors are counting on selling these properties to fund retirement accounts some day, suddenly the erosion of the value of these buildings has many investors more than just a little worried. Corporate owners and managers are just as beat up. Rent reductions to attract (and even retain!) tenants have resulted in lower gross rental income, which means smaller or no raises for the staff, and possibly layoffs. Capital improvements are at a virtual standstill.

While the worst seems to be behind us, it’s still going to be an uphill battle to prop up prices to where they were in the mid-2000s. Operating expenses have already been cut to the bone. Or have they?? One expense that every apartment incurs, but that always seems to be overlooked, is trash and recyclable removal. Paring this expense while maintaining, if not improving, the efficiency of the current waste and recyclable hauler can instantly add value to an apartment portfolio while improving net operating income.

As an example, let’s say a 58-unit aprtment building is valued at $1.7 million, has a cap rate of 10%, and net operating income of $170,000. Assuming the building is 66% occupied (it’s been a rough economy!), the 38 units will each produce about 1.5 cubic yards of trash and recyclables per month. Let’s say that those 57 cubic yards are being collected by a reputable hauler in two 8-cubic-yard Dumpsters once a week at a rate of $550 per month, which is not an outlandish price, but certainly not where it should be!

Let’s assume that a reputable solid waste management consulting company (such as Waste Auduting Consultants!) is hired to help increase efficiencies, thereby lowering costs. And let’s assume that the costs can be lowered by 40% to $330 for the exact same service (WAC usually reduces costs to clients by about 30 to 50% without having to change waste haulers). What is the net effect? NOI has been increased by $220 per month ($2640 annually). The value of the property has gone up a little more than 1.55%, or $26,400, instantly (the price of an apartment equals the NOI divided by the cap rate).

What does this cost the owner? We simply share the savings generated by our work. So really, the value of the property went up about 0.775%, or $13,200. Still not bad for not having to lay out any cash at all, and for not having to make any capital improvements. And if this is just one building in a portfolio, the same results can be accomplished simultaneously at all locations – both here in the Greater Cincinnati area, and throughout North America!

If you’d like to see if we can accomplish the same, or even better results, with your properties, feel free to contact Waste Auditing Consultants. We would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have about how our services can help you reach your goals.

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

So just how can a solid waste management consultant help my company?

March 8, 2010

In my previous blog I wrote about what exactly a solid waste management consultant is, and what we do. In this blog, I want to explore exactly how we’re able to help our clients reduce costs.

First, a couple of things we don’t do. We aren’t waste haulers. And we aren’t recyclers. We work with our clients’ existing hauling providers to streamline and maximize efficiency for this necessary expense.

The first thing we do when meeting with a client is listen. Listen to what the client hopes to acheive with his or her company’s waste and recycling system. Listen to what hurdles the client is currently experiencing in this area. Even listen to why he or she doesn’t think that my company can help reduce costs (yes, that’s happened! And yes, we succeeded in reducing costs anyway!).

The next step is to collect information. Specifically, we look at previous invoices from the current waste and recyclables hauler, as well as the existing service contract, and make sure the client is being serviced with the exact equipment and pickup schedule that the contract calls for. The waste hauling business is a very reputable industry. But mistakes can happen. We look for any past billing errors and correct them.

We also examine the waste stream to check for items that can be resold to other companies, or recycled, thereby reducing the volume of trash. We also check the volume of the waste and recycling containers just prior to pickup. If a client is being charged by the pickup instead of by the weight of the pickup, we want to ensure that the containers are around 95% full before they’re emptied, or else we feel that our client is paying for a lot of air to be hauled to the dumpsite.

We then take the collected information and formulate recommendations to improve waste-hauling efficiency, and submit those to the client for approval. When the client gives the OK we implement the approved ideas and follow up to make sure the recommendations have the desired results.

We then continue to monitor our client’s invoices for billing errors, and negotiate future contracts with the waste haulers. In fact, we’ve negotiated new contracts for clients when the existing contract still had months to go before renewal. We know how much waste haulers should be charging for certain services. And we work very hard to ensure all of our clients are paying no more than these amounts.

Notice how nowhere in this description has the word “money” come up. So how are we paid? There are no up-front fees. We simply share the savings that our work generates. If we can’t find any savings? No money is due to us. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Waste and recycling removal isn’t a core competency for most companies outside of the waste hauling industry. Waste Auditing Consultants is the expert companies call when they want to increase revenues by reducing the costs associated with waste and reyclable hauling. We’re ready to answer any questions you may have and show you how your company can join the always-growing list of satisfied customers. Contact us any time!

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at (513) 398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

So what exactly does a solid waste management consultant do?

March 1, 2010

When I first introduce myself to someone in a business setting and am asked what I do, the answer doesn’t necessarily paint a clear picture of my job. Not that I haven’t spent many nights laying in bed, many mornings in the wet think tank (otherwise known as the shower), and many Tristate Business Network meetings trying to come up with a clearer, more concise explanation. So until the big anvil in the sky lands on my head with that answer, I will respond that I’m a solid waste management consultant. And then when I’m met with the expected quizzical look, I’ll elaborate.

My company looks at our clients’ solid waste and recycling systems and finds ways to dispose of this material in a more cost-efficient manner. Anything that goes in a Dumpster, compactor, or a recycling container is costing bottom-line dollars to be removed. Sometimes companies are very good at having this stuff picked up for a low cost. But most of the time, they aren’t.

Many years ago – or if the company is brand new, a few weeks or months ago – someone at the company called one of the local waste hauling companies, told them that they needed trash service, and presto! Equipment was put into place, and a monthly invoice started arriving in the mail. A check has been getting cut every 30 days since then, and as long as there isn’t trash overflowing from the recepticals, everyone’s happy. Especially the trash hauler.

Trash haulers are terrific companies that provide jobs to the community and essential services to their clients.  I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not have an agenda to insult or belittle anyone associated with these companies or what they do. My company couldn’t exist without them. But the reason my company is in business is because an estimated 90 percent of companies overpay by an average of 30 to 50 percent what they really need to be paying to have trash and recyclables removed from their facilities. A lot of companies tolerate this (why, I don’t know). But most really don’t know this profit-leaking is taking place.

Why is this? It’s simple. Trash removal is never a core competency for any company outside of the trash hauling industry. It’s the guy on a unicycle at the circus that features a high-wire act and a trapeeze. You see him do his thing, but bring on the Wallendas!

The monthly invoice arrives, it gets paid. As long as there’s no trash on the ground by the Dumpsters and there’s money in the bank account, no questions are asked. And that’s how waste hauling has become a multi-billion dollar business. Waste Management, the largest player in the solid waste services industry, had well over 13 billion dollars of revenue alone last year. Granted, a large portion of that is residential service. But assuming that even just a quarter of that revenue is business generated (and that’s being VERY conservative), and taking the mininum overpayment average of 30 percent, businesses are overpaying for this service by about a billion dollars every year.

Waste removal is one of those things that’s kind of like breathing: everyone knows it takes place, but no one really thinks too much about it. Which is why a consultant specifically trained to help contain these costs has a very positive effect on the bottom line. And when you consider that our company only gets paid if we are able to provide cost reductions, and that we just simply share the savings that’s generated, we are a risk-free bargain!

So in what ways can my company save a client money? I will blog about that sometime next week!

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at (513) 398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

Is reducing costs on your company’s “wish list”?

January 30, 2010

In the October 19th edition of Newsweek magazine, Newsweek Chairman Richard M. Smith interviewed Richard Baird, co-leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ People and Change Advisory Service, about managing talent during this epic downturn.  When asked why companies need outside consultants, Baird replied:

“Consultants are good at helping surface factual information that the company either can’t or doesn’t know how to find on its own.  We help them understand the context of experience across multiple companies in their industry and what constitutes best in class.  And we help provide the courage to get them to understand and execute.  Because the execution is the most important part – otherwise the strategy is just a wish list.”

Is your company’s strategy in 2010 to reduce costs?  Get it off the “wish list” and let it start having an impact on your bottom line.  Waste Auditing Consultants can help you meet your goals and objectives.  We can help reduce the cost of disposing of your company’s waste and recyclables by an average of 30 to 50 percent.  Risk-free.  There are NEVER any up-front fees, you don’t need to change waste haulers, and there’s no budget needed for our services because we simply share in the savings that’s generated by our work.  We work locally and throughout North America.

Call or email today.  And get the cash out of your trash.

Trip Topken, 513-398-2117, trip@wasteac.com, www.wasteac.com