Submitted by: Thomas Goss, ACV Onsite Team

Over the past decade there’s been a shift in EHS professional relationships with their waste-management service providers. Many customers who once preferred transactional waste collection service from their vendors have come to expect a more collaborative vendor relationship. This trend has given rise to customer demand for onsite waste management solutions. Now, many EHS departments are heavily reliant on integrated contract labor to perform a variety of tasks including routine waste collection, compliance inspections, staff training, and stock chemical management. If you are an EHS manager who relies on an outside company to provide this kind of support, then I’ll offer you a word of caution:

If a collaborative relationship with your waste vendor goes unchecked, it can lead to an unhealthy level of codependency and could eventually result in vendor entrenchment to the detriment of your EHS department’s mission.

Is it time to reevaluate your current waste vendor’s performance? Here are three strategies for assessing the efficacy of your current environmental service provider:

  1. Challenge your onsite waste vendor to present multiple solutions to your problems

I was recently speaking with a new customer who had selected ACV Enviro to replace his previous onsite waste vendor. The previous vendor had been onsite for more than 10 years. When asked why he had decided to switch, the customer explained that the other company had “run out of solutions to address reoccurring problems”. The old vendor’s stand-by response to many issues was to throw more man-power at whatever new challenge arose. After 15 years in this industry, I can confidently say that throwing manpower at problems can be effective; however, it is one of the more expensive strategies, often intrusive to your staff, and frequently only provides short-term relief.

You deserve a waste vendor who takes a more methodical approach to problem-solving and seeks out self-sustaining solutions.

  1. Challenge your onsite waste vendor to present the data that you need (not just the data that they are able to provide)

If you’re an EHS Manager, you should expect your waste vendor to provide reliable data in a format that will aid informed management decisions. Oftentimes third party providers will struggle to provide basic, usable data because they have set up a data-tracking template for a similar client that may not be applicable to your site. If your current waste vendor cannot present you with quantified waste management trends, site compliance summary reports, or onsite labor metrics, it’s probably time to move them out.

  1. Look for signs of complacency

When periodically assessing your waste vendor, look for the following signs of complacency:

  • untidy storage areas,
  • paperwork errors,
  • overlooked safety violations,
  • clear regulatory vulnerabilities,
  • general acceptance of the status quo

To prevent the above, your waste vendor should be sending senior employees out to assess the quality of their on-site support work. Do you know when was the last time your waste vendor audited it’s own performance?

In conclusion , I encourage you to ask yourself, how long have you worked with the same waste company? If you’re apprehensive about replacing your current vendor, contact Thomas Goss at tgoss@acvenviro.com or 508-872-5000. ACV can provide trained staff who a perform wide range of EHS-related tasks including waste-pickups, laboratory compliance inspections, and stock chemical waste management services. Please consider choosing an amazing waste management company who wants to support your staff in a dynamic and engaging way.