The waste generated by business should never be out of sight and out of mind. Not only does implementing a robust waste management practice benefit the environment it benefits your bottom line.

Every business generates waste and so has the opportunity to save money on waste. Many businesses choose to go about this through changing waste suppliers to get a better rate. It is critical to understand charges for fixed services as well as add-on charges. Furthermore, understanding how waste companies maximise profitability is key to a better outcome.

Every business should also look at business practices to reduce waste generation. Often reducing the amount of waste you generate has a significant impact on waste costs. Not only does it benefit the bottom line - it is likely to benefit the environment.


Roll over clauses
Roll over clauses exist in contracts in many industries. What you need to keep an eye on is the length of the rollover clause. The rollover could be for the same term as the initial contract or longer. We have seen examples where the roll over is automatic after a ‘grace period’ without express consent. Read the fine print before signing.

Set weight allowances
Most waste pricing is set on a contracted weight per cubic metre. The price depends on the type of waste your business generates and the size of the bin. Excess charges are sometimes exorbitant for weight over the allowance. This allows the waste manager to price the set weight low to win business and charge a much higher rate for excess weight. As it is difficult to weigh bins yourself, you are reliant on the honesty of the waste provider.

Futile charges
You may pay even if the driver is unable to access the bin when the truck arrives. These charges may be a set fee or even the whole cost of the pick up. You are paying for not having guaranteed access to your bin as described in your initial contract. Make sure the bin is located appropriately and accessible to avoid these costs.

Keep it covered
The environmental protection agency outlawed 'bungs' (water outlets) in bins some time ago. This allowed excess water from rainfall or other to drain out of a bin. As you pay by weight for waste - keep the bin undercover and keep the lid down. Water is heavy and you will pay for this excess water held in the bin.

Checking the frequency or size of bin
Keep an eye on what bin you are using and whether it is full when picked up. While you will pay for overweight bins, you will also pay the fixed rate even if bins are half full. Depending on the nature of the waste, you may want to consider less frequent pick-ups. Or consider a supplier who has the technology to only pickup bins when they are full

Reducing the volume of general waste
You can achieve much through your waste contract but reducing waste generated makes a big difference. Consider what you can do to recycle or reduce general waste. General waste that goes to landfill is subject to EPA levies. These levies have increased every year since the government launched them.


Choosing the right approach to managing waste will deliver cost savings for your business. The right approach combines both a well structured contract as well as good business practices.

We recommend consolidating to one supplier to manage all your waste needs. This enables:

  • Consolidated reporting of all waste requirements and expenses
  • Better management of costs across the business with reduced invoice handling
  • A better understanding of the environmental impacts of your waste
  • Only one contract to manage

It is also important to start thinking about your waste contract at least 3 months before the end of your current contract. If it is left too late you may run out of time to get the right outcome.


Supply Clusters work with a number of waste providers to facilitate savings on our members waste needs.

Supply Clusters members receive the following benefits from our managed approach:

  • No rollover clauses on all waste contracts
  • Pre-negotiated price increases


Waste management represents an opportunity for businesses to save.

  • Reducing the waste you generate will mean less to landfill
  • A well structured contract with the right waste supplier delivers predictability of your expenses

Choosing the right supplier for waste offers you:

  • Assurance that contracted terms are beneficial to the customer
  • One company to handle end to end waste management


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