NOVEMBER 2008

Waste consultant cuts costs for customers
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Economic hard times are forcing companies to look for ways to save money, providing more business for companies like St. Louis-based Waste Remedies LLC.

The waste management consultancy, with revenue of nearly $9 million last year, helps customers reduce the costs for their trash service, delivering savings anywhere from 30 to 50 percent for thousands of clients, ranging from large corporate companies to individual stores.

“Prices for waste disposal have been going up so much that I think that it encourages people to look for companies like Waste Remedies to find ways to slow down the cost increases,” said Tim Gray, chief executive officer of the nine person firm.

“If you are a company with double-digit growth and everything is fantastic then saving a little bit of money in trash is probably not the top priority, whereas if your company needs to find cost savings, we’re good people to talk to,” he said. “I think customers are looking harder at ways to save money than a couple of years ago.”

Waste Remedies works on a contingency basis, therefore customers do not pay anything upfront. Instead the firm is paid a percentage of savings it achieves over a three to five year term. “From that perspective, it is a no risk proposition,” Gray said.

Waste Remedies goes and gathers data and looks and things like pricing information, recycling options and ratios of trash volumes. It then returns to the customer with a menu of recommendations to reduce the cost of a customer’s waste stream.

“We do a lot of number crunching,” Gray said “We look at a lot of different ratios, from compaction ratios to volumes per person for an apartment building.”

The core of Waste Remedies’ customer base is multi-family or apartment building owners and operators. This includes real-estate investment trusts, large property management companies and regional companies that own or manage property.

Waste Remedies has clients in 46 states, but most properties are concentrated in big metropolitan areas scattered along the East Coast, in Texas, and in Chicago.

To get a better picture of the waste arrangements at a particular location, Waste Remedies often uses satellite imagery. “It is a convenient way to talk about where dumpsters are and where access to properties is and things like that,” Gray said.

Waste Remedies installs compactors with monitors inside to keep track of compression ratios and the pressure inside the compactor. A web application will send an e-mail to a waste hauler when the compactor is full. It will also send an e-mail to Waste Remedies. “We keep an eye on it to make sure it is working properly,” Gray said.

Waste Remedies programs a computer application that comes with the monitor to make sure that the compactor is only being picked up by a hauler when it is full.

“The challenge is always finding savings on a property by property basis,” Gray said. “We are always adding resources and trying to find new ways to find savings.”