What Is a Waste Broker? (And How They Save You Money)

Scott Swearingen / Waste Management / September 23, 2021

All businesses have unique waste management needs, yet a vast majority of businesses don’t consider how to optimize spending in this cost category. Between the complex nature of billing in the waste management industry and aggressive pricing tactics by vendors, many companies pay way more for these services than they need to.

Even if a business does compare rates between vendors in their area, they likely don’t have the expertise needed to negotiate the best possible pricing or to avoid unnecessary fees that vendors often include in their contracts.

Luckily, waste management brokers exist to help businesses streamline their waste management processes, procure the best deals, monitor invoices to make sure they aren’t being taken advantage of by their waste management vendor, and more.

Let’s take a closer look at what a waste broker is, why businesses should consider working with a waste broker, and how waste brokers find savings for their clients.

What Is a Waste Broker?

As an intermediary between businesses and waste management companies, waste brokers help businesses reduce waste management costs by negotiating fair pricing with vendors, avoiding extra fees or fines, streamlining waste disposal and storage processes, and consolidating vendor contracts. They act as a single point of contact for all waste management needs which saves customers the time, money, and energy required to manage these services themselves.

Waste brokers can work independently or as part of a wider business consulting organization. Many brokers work for cost reduction agencies and typically make money by securing savings for their clients and then keeping a portion of those savings.

Why Businesses Should Work With a Waste Broker

The waste management industry is complex and vendors often don’t have set pricing for their services. Like other industries, sales reps earn more when they sell services at higher prices, so there’s much variance in how much customers pay for waste management depending on the sales rep they communicate with.

It’s not uncommon for customers to pay widely different rates for similar services depending on their ability to negotiate and trust in what the sales reps are saying. Additionally, many customers don’t know that they can negotiate pricing, leading them to take the vendor’s word for how much their services will cost. Without the help of a waste broker, proper negotiations likely won’t take place.

Furthermore, with limited regulation around waste management vendors, they are able to write their contracts to be self-serving and use language that allows them to implement additional fees without warning the customer. Without the trained eye of a waste broker, these fees will go unnoticed or even seem mandatory.

Many customers just assume these fees are fixed costs like any other business expense, but in reality, they’re being taken advantage of by their waste management vendor.

How Waste Brokers Find Savings for Clients

1. Negotiate Best in Class Pricing

Since waste brokers are industry experts, they know what the vendors in your area typically charge for waste management services for businesses with similar needs to yours. They take this knowledge and compare it to fair pricing data (which the average customer does not have access to) in order to secure the best packages and contractual terms for their clients. Furthermore, with their expertise, they know who to contact and how to negotiate deals in this industry.

Depending on your unique situation, a broker may decide to exclusively work with one vendor for all your needs, or work with a combination to reach the best deal for your waste and recycling requirements.

2. Consolidate Contracts

For businesses that operate across multiple locations, it’s important to consolidate their contracts as much as possible. When different locations are using the same vendor(s) for waste management, but are functioning under different contracts, they’re likely leaving money on the table.

A waste broker will help you negotiate new contracts that bundle services together across locations and secure uniform pricing. Consolidating contracts also eases the burden on your billing department and helps keep invoicing more organized.

3. Optimize Waste Disposal Practices

There are many costs associated with the handling, storing, and processing of waste, which if not handled properly, can unnecessarily drain a budget more than they need to.

A waste broker knows best practices around managing waste and can help you implement strategies or even different equipment to reduce your spending and improve sustainability. They can find hidden opportunities to save money while helping you understand material inefficiencies.

4. Monitor Invoices for Fee Increases and Overcharges

It’s common for businesses to see fee increases and some of these are valid. However, even valid fee increases can be misapplied and the overall cost burden is placed on the customer.

Though valid fee increases are expected, there are many invalid reasons waste management companies increase fees or overcharge. Unfortunately, due to the way vendors write their contracts, they can raise prices for any reason they want. Many of the fees and overcharges are intentional and put in place for pure profit.

Luckily, waste brokers know how to analyze invoices to look for both valid and invalid fees or overcharges. They know which fees or overcharges can be disputed and also know who to talk to in order to handle these disputes.

5. Ensure Consistent Service

Just as important as cost savings, a broker will ensure that the level of waste management service you receive stays consistent and in line with the contractual agreements. If any service issues do arise, your broker will handle all the communication and problem solving, leaving you to be able to focus on the more important details of your business.

6. Communicate Details of Contracts

Since contractual language can be quite complex in the waste management industry, a broker can help you understand what your contract actually entails and what your obligations are as a customer. Without this guidance, many customers unintentionally breach their contracts or get hit with fees that could have been avoided.

Reduce Costs by Working With a Waste Broker

A waste broker can play a key role in helping you optimize your waste removal processes while also reducing your waste management costs. By having a single point of contact for all of your waste management needs, you eliminate the hassle of managing these services yourself and can feel confident that you have an expert on your side.

If you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of working with a waste broker, it’s worth reaching out to our team of waste management industry experts at P3 Cost Analysts. We have experience working with all the major waste management vendors and are able to leverage our in-depth knowledge to save you time and money.

Using data points from over 30,000 client locations and 50 years of combined waste and recycling industry expertise, you can be confident that we will secure you the best possible service. In fact, our customers save an average of 30%-40% on waste and recycling overcharges.

To learn more about our offerings, schedule a free waste audit today!

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