The critical business of waste management.

Choosing the right waste management services provider isn’t just a matter of good corporate citizenship; it’s also critical to your business. As a company that generates industrial or hazardous waste, or that owns property containing hazardous material, you are legally responsible for the proper handling and disposal of this waste.

Entrusting your waste to the wrong provider puts you at risk of legal action and penalties, and can seriously disrupt your business operations. Here are a few pointers to consider before making your decision:

  • Know what you need. Finding the right waste management provider starts with understanding the requirements for the type of waste you need to dispose of. If you’re unsure about the rules that apply to your business, contact the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. If you’re disposing of waste that was the result of an accident, your insurer will likely make the arrangements on your behalf. Nevertheless, it’s good practice to confirm with the ministry that these arrangements are compliant with environmental regulations.
  • Get proof of licensing. In recent years, a number of Ontario companies have been convicted and fined thousands of dollars for hauling and disposing of waste material without the proper licenses. While the convicted parties were primarily waste haulers, a few were actually the property owners who had hired the waste disposal companies – proof that the courts take a serious view of companies’ responsibility for their waste. Before you hire a waste management firm, ask to see their MOE-issued licenses for every stage of the disposal process – from hauling to processing at a waste facility – and take the time to double check the validity of these documents.
  • Understand the process. A good waste management services provider will act as your company’s environmental department, working with you to resolve challenges and improve results. When making your choice, ask to have the company’s process for collecting and handling waste explained to you in detail. Find out what type of security and quality controls are in place, and how documentation requirements are handled.
  • Do a background check. Be sure to ask for at least three references, and don’t just file the names away when you get them – pick up the phone and conduct comprehensive reference interviews. It’s also a good idea to Google the waste management company to see if they’ve had compliance issues in the past. While you’re checking, do Web searches on the company’s owners and managers, in case the business has changed its name.

By taking the time to do your due diligence, you can ensure you choose the waste management partner – one that will help improve your company’s environmental performance and regulatory compliance. It’s more than good corporate citizenship; it’s good business.