The Smart Service Dispatch

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March 5, 2021


6 Tips for Growing a Waste Management Business

Get some solid advice for your cooking oil recycling or medical waste disposal business.

Every year, the waste management industry grows. From medical waste to cooking oil waste, there’s a ton of money to be made in the things we throw away. Knowing this industry well gives you an edge and sets you up for success. Here’s how to make the most of the waste and recycling boom.

Waste is good business.

Waste management was a $50 billion industry in 2010 and a $100 billion dollar industry by 2015, so this is clearly a growing field. Waste management promises loads of potential for enterprising garbage haulers, recyclers, and waste oil disposal businesses. Just think of how many different types of waste need disposal: 

  • Residential waste: With each American creating an average of 4.4 pounds of garbage every day, it makes sense that an enormous market for hauling away household waste exists. 
  • Industrial waste: It often requires special handling, but industrial waste creates a profitable opportunity for the right disposal business. 
  • Medical and bio-hazard waste: Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities rely on medical waste collection every day. 
  • Cooking oil: Restaurants use large quantities of cooking oil and must dispose of it fairly regularly. 
  • Recycling: Of course, generic recycling businesses that handle basic household and business recycled goods can also thrive. 

To help your business reach success, take these tips to heart. 

1. Build partnerships with potential customers.

Grow your business by getting the word out about what your waste management company can do. Lucrative deals with local businesses and ongoing service to repeat customers can help sustain your business with consistent revenue. When you can find consistent customers, that goes a long way towards helping you grow and achieve more sustainable business. 

2. Create a marketing plan to reach garbage customers.

Doing targeted marketing and outreach is essential to continued success in the waste disposal industry. First, you need a marketing plan. Here’s how to create one: 

  1. Identify your ideal customers. Know what your services are and who needs your help. Then, outline an offer and think about where to find the people who will buy. 
  2. Reach out with the right offer at the right time. 
  3. Evaluate your progress and adjust your plan if necessary. 

If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to scrap it and move on. 

3. Talk to pros in the secondhand retail industry.

You know who ends up disposing of miscellaneous garbage frequently? Thrift stores. A lot of them accept donations and some of the items they get are simply waste that they can’t use. People also show up at these stores with items the retailers can’t accept, and sometimes abandon their items somewhere nearby. 

This behavior creates an opportunity. Even if the thrift store doesn’t have the budget to hire you, they’d probably appreciate a few business cards to hand out to would-be donors who want to bring something unsellable to the shop. If they get a lot of unwanted calls and merchandise, your outreach efforts could quickly turn into new customers for your business. 

4. Become friends with other waste management business owners. 

Even if you specialize in a different type of trash, think about companies in a parallel space that could double as referral sources for your business.  You can agree to send referral customers to each other when you get a call you can’t accept yourselves. 

If you can manage it, it may even be helpful to connect with direct competitors. As long as you can keep it friendly and professional, cooperating with the competition may have advantages. If you ever have to turn away business (or if they have to), then you know who to recommend. Additionally, a really big job you can’t take on could make a great project to split with another business. 

5. Educate, educate, educate.

Chances are, most Americans don’t know as much as they should about recycling and waste management. Finding opportunities to educate the community can help you grow your business and increase your revenue. Reach out to the local press about doing a story featuring some Spring cleaning tips. Or, provide information about how to manage used motor oil. 

Capitalize on any chance you have to talk with the public about your business. You could hold a recycling workshop for the public or hold a discounted disposal day where you accept certain items and publicize your services. 

6. Manage your online and offline presence.

To some extent, the truths about growing and marketing businesses are the same as they’ve always been. Maintain a visible presence in your community and remain visible online⁠—these two things will help prospective customers find your business. 

Manage your growth.

As you grow your business, take care to manage your business operations carefully so you can continually expand. The right mindset and tools can help you grow your business.