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WASTE WATCHERS BLOG

Helping businesses improve their waste diversion & recycling efforts, one post at a time!

Rising Gas and Landfill Prices Could Leave You Pinched for Not Going Green

It’s no secret that gas prices have risen seemingly overnight. With no sign of slowing down, nearly every industry has been affected. Garbage trucks are more expensive than ever to own and drive, guzzling gas at only 2-4 miles per gallon. These expenses are passed onto you, the customer, through APIs. Here are some tips to help you keep your costs down as everything else seems to be on the rise.

  It’s no secret that gas prices have risen seemingly overnight. With no sign of slowing down, nearly every industry has been affected. Garbage trucks are more expensive than ever to own and drive, guzzling gas at only 2-4 miles per gallon. Many solid waste vendors have projected jumps in landfill tipping and hauling fees, with some surcharges topping 3-6%. The operating expenses for waste vendors have been skyrocketing with little relief in sight. So where does that leave you? You still have waste to haul and rising costs to deal with everywhere else. Waste vendors pass these expenses down through their annual price increases (APIs), which you can read about here. These APIs, if not negotiated, can end up costing you nearly double your original contracted amount in just five years.   Lucky for you, going green and combating the traditional waste process can save you from some of these expenses. We’ve got a few tips to get you started.

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A Brief History of Garbage and the Future of Waste Generation

Since humans began gathering en masse, trash has been an issue. But we believe the lessons of the past should lead to the innovations of the future. In this history lesson, we talk about how ancient trash and modern trash aren’t all that different.

  This article was originally posted in March 2016 and has since been updated by Ryan Deer. For as long as humans have lived and gathered, their consumption has led to waste. It was only after these concentrations became larger that our ancestors realized an inconvenient truth: trash is going to be a problem. Today, as the world still attempts to find proper and responsible solutions for our rising garbage dilemmas, it’s important to look back at waste management’s origins while we plot the innovations of tomorrow.

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Ask Your Waste Hauler These Questions To Become A Better Recycler

In the waste industry, oftentimes the only time you realize you’re doing something wrong with trash or recycling is when it appears as a line item on your bill a month later. These questions for your hauler will help you set expectations and become a better recycler.

  In the waste industry, oftentimes the only time you realize you’re doing something wrong with trash or recycling is when it appears as a line item on your bill a month later. It’s not just carelessness; it’s ambiguity. The reality is that all the things you learned about recycling growing up in Chicago may have completely different rules of thumb in Atlanta. And no matter how many years you’ve been managing your company’s waste, if your service provider changes, all your “must-dos” turn into maybes. That’s because the waste industry doesn’t operate on the same playbook. Region to region, city to city, and hauler to hauler, policies differ based on market dynamics and infrastructure capabilities. For you, it’s a frustrating game to play when the stakes are high levels of contamination, low national recycling rates, and unchecked operational fees and penalties to your business. That’s why it’s helpful to set expectations from the onset by asking some key questions to your local waste and recycling hauler—the answers to which may never appear in your contract or handbook. To become a better recycler, these are the conversations you’ll need to have to get on the same page.

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Why Does Hot Weather Make Waste Management More Difficult?

From pests and smells to fires and service delays, the biggest problems for routine waste and recycling service pop up during periods of hot weather.

  Summer is the time to splurge on vacation days, long lunches, and company picnics for many businesses, but there’s no fun in the sun for commercial waste and recycling services. While the postal service might curse the falling of rain, snow, or sleet, the biggest problems for routine waste collection and disposal pop up during the heat. Now, with the historic heat waves of the US and Canada increasing and intensifying, the table is set for unprecedented challenges in waste management. While foul odors, pests, and overflowing trash plague the business side, hot weather wreaks even more havoc on the industry. Dealing with service delays, mechanical failure, and landfills primed like powder kegs, hot weather can turn the process into a real dumpster fire—for everyone involved. However, a little preparation and precaution can make all the difference during the sweltering season, and these are the things your business should know (and prepare for) to beat the heat.

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Landfills: We're Running Out of Space

All over the country, subterranean garbage heaps called landfills are rising, fueled by the 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) the US produces each year. For many Americans, “out of sight, out of mind” is good enough. But inevitably, major problems will surface. From hazardous waste to running out of space, we may be overwhelmed by the rising cost of landfills this century.

This post was originally posted March 2018 and has updated with recent data and analysis March 2021. What if we told you the biggest cover-up operation in America had to do with where we send trash? All over the country, subterranean garbage heaps called landfills are rising, fueled by the 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) the US produces each year.  According to the EPA, in 2018, almost half of that trash (49.997%) went to landfills around the country. Worse, yearly MSW production has been steadily climbing, year over year since recording first began in the 1960s—and the US has never had a national recycling rate (recovered material + composting) higher than 35%. For many Americans, “out of sight, out of mind” is good enough. But inevitably, major problems will surface. From hazardous waste to running out of space, we may be overwhelmed by the rising cost of landfills this century.

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Minimizing Waste at Stadiums & Arenas

The consistent output of waste makes recycling a great opportunity for stadiums and arenas! Read on to learn how stadiums and arenas can best recycle and minimize their waste.

  The start of the football season is officially here, so we are diving into the whole nine yards of stadium and arena recycling. Stadiums and arenas hold major events including sporting events (football, baseball, hockey, basketball), big-name concerts, and other large functions. It's shocking how much waste is generated in restaurants, bars, souvenir stands, stores, concession stands, and seating areas throughout the facilities. The consistent output of waste makes recycling a great opportunity for stadiums and arenas! Since the start of the football season was a couple of weeks ago, RoadRunner wanted to get involved the best way we know how, so we're going to cover how stadiums and arenas can best recycle and minimize their waste.

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Hospitals Are Going Green To Reduce Waste

American hospitals produce an average of 5.9 million tons of waste per year. Discover how they are reducing and recycling their solid waste to preserve the health of their patients, their communities, and the planet.

  Hospitals large and small output an incredible amount of waste and by-products everyday, equivalent to that of a small town. In fact, American hospitals generate nearly 6,600 tons of waste everyday. The wide range of services they provide means the materials they generate vary from cardboard and mixed paper, newspapers, magazines, glass, plastic bottles, and medical & hazardous waste. Many hospitals have found that reducing and recycling their solid waste has preserved the health of their patients, their communities, and the planet. Read on to learn how hospitals are reducing their environmental footprint by reducing waste.

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Here's What You Should Know About Single-Stream Recycling

Learn why the single-stream recycling method isn’t working, and how your business can make its collection method more efficient.

  What's the deal with single-stream recycling? Single-stream recycling refers to the process of collecting all materials (paper, plastic, metals, glass, cardboard) in the same bag or recycling bin. Many companies have adopted this process because of its simplicity. However, the convenience comes at a cost. Continue reading to learn why the single-stream process isn't working, and how your business can make its collection method more efficient.

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The Past 5 Decades of Recycling

Have you ever wondered how recycling got its start? We’ve put together an outline of recycling trends throughout the past 5 decades. Read on to learn more.

  1970

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