Choosing an Environmental Services Company – How to Avoid “Wasting” Your Time

Throughout an Environmental Health and Safety career you’ll have spent countless hours working to find solutions for environmental concerns.

When you choose to work with an environmental services company the two most important attributes to understand are the firm's response and experience.

“When you interview an environmental services company the two most important attributes to understand are the firm’s response and experience,” shares Mark Lob, Iowa Advanced Waste Services Operations Manager.

Most organizations I help have a bidding process which includes extensive guidelines and procedures to handle their environmental needs. Most include TSDF lists to ensure that all wastes are shipped, treated and disposed of properly per “RCRA/DOT” guidelines. Set pricing was also included on most of these negotiated contracts. The majority of the list’s I have been privy to include “asset” based companies. Sounds logical enough, or is it?

Some companies preach “indemnification” and while this word may sound like a “safe” bet, we all know that cradle to grave liability is in the hands of the generator. Adding layers is not adding security, it is adding cost.

Since the responsibility of your waste is cradle to grave, it's important you look for risk elimination measures beyond the environmental indemnification agreement.

“Since the responsibility of your waste is cradle to grave, it’s important you look for risk elimination measures beyond the environmental indemnification agreement.”

As I became more acclimated to the industry I began working with TSDF’s all over the country and even into Canada, this was an enlightening and educational experience. I found that every “fixed asset” TSDF partnered with other Industry Experts because no one has the same permit or treatment capabilities. Therefore everyone in the Industry is acting as a “Brokr” in one way or another…

In my opinion this was a huge revelation, this opened my eyes to a whole new truth. I could approach my career from a different perspective, not to feed the companies assets but to provide the best solutions for my clients through utilizing the expertise of the many partnerships I had established. “Brokr” was no longer a word with a negative connotation, after all in the Environmental Industry everyone is utilizing someone else’s assets and expertise. I also gained valuable knowledge about asking the TSDF about the “end facility”. It is important to understand that when a facility accepts waste and kills the manifest, that it doesn’t imply your waste is being treated in house.

So what is really important in determining what Environmental company you should use?
1. “Response” and Experience (The person or persons representing your vendor is the most important piece of the puzzle. They are the one’s looking out for the best interest of your organization, “or not.”
2. Integrity, Philosophy and Driving Force (best for the company or client) feeding assets are not in a client’s best interest.
3. Environmental and Sustainability Goals; Reduce and Reuse (What solutions are they looking at for you and other clients).
4. Listening and Understanding Your Organizational Goals, “Out of the Box” Thinking (Bringing the best solutions).
5. Compliance History (Shippers and Receiving Facilities).
6. Partners and Resources (Ask for a list) and auditing procedures.
7. Customer Service (Is it a call center? Or do you have an assigned person?)
8. Geography (Service and Treatment Locations).
9. Industry Specific Experts (Oil and Gas, Steel, Chemical, Agricultural).
10. CEO/Owner accessibility (This is extremely important when delivering desired results).

For More Information explore our website at www.advancedwasteservices.com

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