Good relationships with waste and recycling hauling companies are important parts of public place recycling. Make plans to choose these vendors carefully, enter contracts that fit your circumstances, communicate and evaluate.

Research and Select Haulers

  • Talk with other public venue coordinators about haulers.
    • Coordinators of venues similar to yours in your area may have recommendations or advice about specific haulers.
    • Ask neighboring events, businesses or venues about possibilities for sharing recycling or waste hauling services. This can reduce costs and ease space limitations if fewer sites for roll-off boxes or dumpsters are needed.
  • Call several haulers to obtain price quotes.
    • The difference in cost and level of service between waste haulers can vary significantly.
    • If the hauler knows you are comparing quotes, they may offer a competitive rate up-front.
    • Different companies have different ways of structuring their fees, which can make comparisons difficult. Do not assume anything. Carefully review what each hauler�s service includes.
    • Ask firms that offer both recycling and waste hauling to provide quotes for either service and for both combined.
    • Haulers usually provide large behind-the-scenes containers for the material (dumpsters or roll-off bins), pick-up services and delivery to a landfill (for garbage) or recycling processing facility, with landfill costs and money from the sale of recyclables included in the fee structure. A small number of recycling haulers provide recycling bins for use by the public or grounds crew services; in most cases, these are the responsibility of the site manager.
  • Ask questions to each hauler that provides a bid.
    • Will they consider (and/or help you arrange) cooperative pick-ups with other venues near your location or other events at the site?
    • How do they handle problems such as illegal dumping, overflowing containers, etc.?
    • Will pick-up be affected by bad weather or holidays?
    • Will they provide informational presentations to your staff, crews, and vendors?
    • Can they give a reduced rate if they pick up both your trash and recyclables?
    • How will your cost be reduced if you have less trash?
    • Will you receive a rebate or reduced cost in exchange for the value of your recyclables, particularly for quantities of corrugated cardboard, office paper, or shrink wrap?
    • How much trash contamination is acceptable for recycling loads? Many haulers will charge extra if the recycling container has too many of the wrong items inside; if the recycling facility won�t accept it, it is likely to be sent to a landfill at extra cost.
    • How much space is needed for roll-off boxes or dumpsters, and for the truck to access them? Is a paved surface required?
    • Are pick-ups at certain times and days subject to extra overtime charges? This is of particular concern for weekend festivals. Sometimes added capacity (an extra roll-off box) can prevent the need for a weekend pick-up � compare the costs.
    • Are fuel surcharges ever added to bills? Are there any other charges or fees other than those quoted?
    • If you are unfamiliar with the hauler, ask for references.

Create a contract

  • Determine the basic format of the contract.
    • Determine if the contract will be written or verbal.
    • Do not be intimidated by form contracts. Cross out any provisions you do not like. If the hauler will not agree to reasonable requests, contact other haulers.
    • Establish the duration of the contract.
  • Make sure the following topics are addressed in your contract:
    • Specify that the recycling service must accept all materials that your facility is required to recycle under the state recycling law (unless such a material is never part of the waste at your site) � including cardboard, paper, metal cans, glass bottles and jars and plastic bottles.
    • Contract renewal date. (NOTE: Many contracts renew automatically unless notice is given by the customer to cancel)
      • Pay close attention to the duration of the contract and �automatic renewal� provisions. Resist signing a contract that lasts more than one year or that automatically renews.
    • Cancellation terms.
      • Consider how the contract can be terminated. Is there a liquidated damages clause? Inquire if you can you assign the contract to the buyer of your operation or to a sub lessee of your venue.
      • Determine what your rights are if the hauler does not perform satisfactorily.
    • The basic cost of service and means of computing it (is there a cost per ton, a pick-up charge or a flat rate?).
    • The types of price increases that are allowed during the contract period.
      • Avoid clauses that permit the hauler to unilaterally raise its rates during the life of the contract.
    • Which type of equipment the hauler will provide.
    • Are collection containers included in the quoted cost?
    • Are revenues received from the sale of recyclables shared with customers?
      • If your waste is comprised of a significant amount of recyclables, ask a prospective hauler if the service fee has been adjusted downward to reflect any money the hauler will receive from selling your recyclables.
    • Request that reports be provided on amounts collected and recycled.
      • Provide the hauler with a post-event worksheet ahead of time, so they can keep track of the information you request.
      • Ask for the number of pounds of each of the recyclables as well as the amount of garbage generated.
    • Minimum amount of recyclables required.
      • If you generate very small amounts, inquire if you can deliver to a drop-off site to receive a discount.

Prepare for the services

  • Ask your hauler how to prepare your recyclables.
    • Will they provide informational presentations to your staff, crews, and vendors?
    • How many containers will be provided? Consider the needs of your crew - note that larger roll-off boxes require higher lifting.
    • Find out how the behind-the-scenes containers will be marked. Decide if preparing additional signs to mark them will be needed to ensure that crew members, vendors and others use them correctly. Note that signs attached to the containers will likely be lost when the containers are picked up.
    • Ask for instructions to use in signs and materials for the public and other users of the program.
    • Should cans and bottles be kept separate from cardboard and paper?
    • Are liner bags acceptable in the recycling roll-off box?
    • What level of contamination (unwanted trash in the recycling bins) is acceptable?
  • Plan the pick up schedule.
    • Where will the dumpsters or roll-off boxes be located?
      • Make plans with cleaning crews to ensure that the arrangements for moving trash and recyclables from the public areas to the behind-the-scenes containers are in place.
    • Will recyclables and trash be picked up at the same time and day?
    • Will there be a fixed pick-up schedule or if service can be on an on-call basis as containers are filled.
      • Investigate if your bins are full on pick-up day. If not, reduce the number of pick-ups.
      • If it is a fixed pick-up schedule, discuss times with the hauler before the event to prevent disruptions of a performance, meal or other event. Consider crowds and traffic.

Communicate

  • Check in with the hauling companies once operations have begun.
    • Check with drivers to verify that any special arrangements you made with the hauling company were communicated to them.
    • Ask to be notified early of problems with trash contamination in the recyclables.
    • Let the hauler know if a change in the pick-up schedule may be needed.
  • Share the haulers� instructions with cleaning crew members, vendors and site users.

Evaluate

  • Request that haulers provide information on amounts collected and recycled.
    • Numbers to back up your recycling success will help convince coworkers of the merits, provide information for media releases, and help in drafting future service contracts.
      • Provide the hauler with a worksheet for keeping track of the information you request.
      • Ask for the weights of each recyclable and of garbage generated.
      • Note that if a container that is lifted and emptied into a truck is used (like a dumpster), the truck may contain material from a larger route when it crosses the scale and exact weights of material from your site may not be available.
  • Create a Report.
    • Use our Public Place Recycling Report Making Tool - enter the recycling and garbage weights from your hauler and information about your venue and let the tool write your report.

Logo of How-to Resources