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A Better Way to Manage Waste: Total Waste Management

How a large global company can consolidate vendors, create efficiencies and save money.

Waste management is an area in which many large industrial companies could stand to focus more attention, as it is seldom optimized for maximum efficiency and cost savings. While some companies work with numerous vendors to handle waste management by waste type or facility, others have found great value in centralizing the function with one provider via a Total Waste Management (TWM) program.

TWM programs offer large industrial companies, with multiple, often expansive manufacturing facilities, a turnkey waste management solution that reduces cost and waste while making progress toward specific environmental goals. TWM programs provide a standardized process across the entire enterprise, yielding greater efficiencies, consolidation of resources, and greater visibility into a program’s waste volumes and cost.

TWM programs have become well ingrained in some industries, such as automotive manufacturing, where, in addition to greater efficiencies, they play a key role in achieving “zero landfill” initiatives. However, in other industries, there remains an untapped opportunity for improvement in the areas mentioned above.

When Would a Company Adopt a TWM Program?

TWM programs are generally embraced out of a desire for operational cost savings, waste reduction to support sustainability goals and/or improved visibility into the waste management process to better understand the company’s situation. These programs are typically built from the provider’s knowledge of other successful TWM programs, but each plan is customized to meet the needs of each individual company.

US Ecology has a proven track record of successfully serving the waste needs of the largest global companies operating multiple facilities with complex waste streams, as well as smaller Fortune 500 companies that may not require the same scale and frequency of service. Both customer segments benefit from TWM programs; they simply have different service agreements to provide the standardization and optimization they require.

At US Ecology, delivering unequaled service excellence is the number one priority, and this has proved to be an essential component in the ability to facilitate individual customer success. Not all companies that come to US Ecology are new to TWM programs. In fact, some of the company’s largest customers chose US Ecology because they were unhappy with the level of service provided by existing suppliers.

US Ecology has industry-leading experts and facilities, and the network necessary to deliver bottom-line value through our engagements, as well as the flexibility to adjust to changing customer requirements. It prides itself on being customer-focused while anticipating needs and working collaboratively to achieve goals.

Case Study: TWM Saves Millions for Global Manufacturer

The Challenge

Consider a large industrial Multi-Business-Segmented company that operates hundreds of facilities across a wide geographic area, using multiple providers to handle its complex waste output. The company is seeking to drive efficiencies and potentially significant cost savings with its waste management program to improve overall competitiveness and financial performance. The company is making the same requests over and over of its existing providers, and they are regularly unable to receive flexible service—such as roll-off container delivery within a few days—in times of emergency or unanticipated need. Frustration begins to mount as executives push for more standardization and visibility into waste streams. Valuable time and money are being wasted chasing vendors. Something needs to change.

The Solution

Hearing about US Ecology’s reputation as the leader in Total Waste Management solutions, the company approaches the US Ecology team about the possibility of a centralized and standardized waste program across all its facilities via a TWM arrangement. This begins a collaborative process of designing a customized solution that will generate efficiencies, savings and improved sustainability, and meaningfully raise the bar on service quality. During this process, US Ecology is found to excel above the rest in terms of escalating issues, creating a strong program structure, allocating resources effectively and delivering actionable insights.

The Process

Once awarded the business, the US Ecology team moves quickly to take baseline measurements of various aspects of the company’s waste management functions, then establishes KPIs, site-specific scopes of operation and overall organizational goals. An operations manager is responsible for the overall account performance and ensures that agreed-upon program objectives are met.

US Ecology project and program managers are assigned to act as the customer’s single point of contact, ensuring there will always be someone available who is knowledgeable about the company’s program. This team is also tasked with maintaining effective service over specific geographic regions, overseeing day-to-day activities and working with additional US Ecology support teams, including data analysts and accounting professionals.

With its best-in-class online data platform, US Ecology also helps the company implement an enhanced IT system to allow easy collection, analysis and data monitoring, reaching out proactively to see if the company needs service.

Throughout the process, US Ecology’s superior waste assets, expertise and service capabilities deliver unmatched value for the customer, enabling it to achieve all its goals.

The Result

Working collaboratively with this large global company throughout the process, US Ecology successfully implements a best-in-class TWM program designed specifically for the needs and complex waste streams of the customer.

The result is centralized waste data visibility, tracking across various divisions, substantial cost synergies with a partner willing to provide value at every turn and millions of dollars in savings per year. With savings sometimes exceeding 10 percent, the company has also achieved a stronger competitive position and realization of its sustainability goals.

With facilities throughout the U.S., Canada and operations in Mexico, US Ecology has well-defined processes and consistent service across a broad geographical area at competitive, verified market rates—making it the ideal choice for companies of all sizes to implement a time- and cost-saving TWM program.

Start Benefiting from TWM

Consolidation of waste management through a US Ecology TWM program can have vast benefits, including:

  • Peace of mind from working with an experienced provider that services some of the world’s largest industrial companies with some of the most complex waste streams
  • Cost reductions that can reach millions of dollars per year
  • Better service with flexibility, responsiveness and proven reliability

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