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InsightsWaste & Recycling ServicesWaste Disposal Industry Alert: New Language Threatens Fundamental Customer Rights

Waste Disposal Industry Alert: New Language Threatens Fundamental Customer Rights

Rich HamFebruary 24, 2020Read time: 3 min

National waste haulers have begun injecting some particularly onerous language in their standard agreements. Now, if you’ve actually taken the time to read a waste disposal contract before, your reaction here may be a sarcastic “STOP THE PRESS!”

But we felt this new language merited a special alert due to the potential ramifications on customers’ ability to enforce their agreements and, more broadly, to determine their own strategies for managing their waste disposal programs.

The clause

The new clause makes it extremely prohibitive for a customer to retain a consultant or agent for the purposes of assisting with auditing and/or managing the program.

Specifically, in the event the customer does retain such 3rd-party assistance, the language gives the hauler the right to terminate the customer’s agreement with a mere 15 days’ notice.

Imagine this scenario

Your expense management department—like so many others around the country—is stretched thin, and you simply don’t have the resources to effectively manage lower-flying expenses like waste disposal.

So, you bring in an expert consulting partner to assist with the category. The partner advises you that 20-30% savings could be driven through an open-market process, and with only six months remaining on your waste services agreement, you green-light an RFP.

Upon learning of the RFP, your incumbent waste hauler serves notice that they’ll be terminating the current agreement in 15 days.

You’re trapped.

There’s literally no way to run your process in two weeks.

Your incumbent is leveraging you into extending your unfavorable agreement or else face the prospect of leaving your locations without waste services while you get your ducks in a row.

Reject this language

Don’t let your waste suppliers dictate the strategies you can and cannot use to manage this burdensome category.

In the age of ultra-lean procurement, it is critically important to retain the right to use the expense management strategies of your choice.

What’s more—you’re the customer.

You’re the one spending the money.

Make sure you’re preserving the right to decide how you’ll manage the category.


Rich Ham

Rich Ham

In early 2002, Rich resigned a position with an industry leading uniform supplier and founded Fine Tune in a basement in Bloomington, IN. He oversees all areas of the business, dedicating the majority of his time to building and developing our team of “Tuners,” telling the Fine Tune story to current and future clients, and leading Fine Tune’s overall strategic direction.

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