Fall is officially in the air! As we turn over a new leaf and turn over our closets to swap summer clothing for sweaters, autumn also signals the beginning of the busy holiday season, with several notable celebrations falling between October and December.
In the retail and hospitality industries, this seasonal shift that leads to increased purchasing, gift giving and opportunities to gather tends to cause higher output within your waste and recycling streams. For example, as family members travel to join loved ones across the country, hotels may see spikes in lodging capacity and bookings, leading to more rubbish disposed of in rooms and general service areas, and retail and grocery stores may receive a higher volume of shipments to stock up on popular items for gifts and holiday meals, causing a pileup of recyclable materials in stockrooms. Shopping centers may also experience higher foot traffic as buyers venture out to find the perfect gift, and many may clamor to their favorite restaurants to share a meal with friends or family members, causing higher volumes of food scraps and organic waste.
While these scenarios may not be all encompassing of your business, regardless of your specialty, a busy holiday season generally means your business will generate more waste than average. If you don’t already have an understanding of how seasonality may impact your waste and recycling operations, data and technology can be leveraged to streamline your services as the seasons change.
Here are a few areas the changing seasons may impact the most:
You may be on a set schedule where your hauler comes once a week to empty your compactor or dumpster. While that schedule may suffice during the spring and summer months, if you find you generate more waste during fall and winter, it may be time to ramp up your hauler’s pickup schedule. Enabling tools like Waste Harmonics’ iWaste dumpster monitoring technology or the OnePlus fullness compactor monitor can track trends across your waste streams, monitoring fullness and overall volume. Rather than making an educated guess, a managed waste services partner can proactively leverage and track this data to pinpoint when you may need to increase your pickup schedule, saving higher ancillary or overage fees your hauler may charge for unplanned pickups.
Outside of tracking the total volume of waste your business may be generating during the holiday season, shipping volume is another indicator to help predict which waste and recycling service modifications you may want to make to your current program. If you’re projecting an overall spike in shipments, this influx will generate a higher quantity of materials that need to be recycled. Evaluate your current recycling program to ensure you have the proper setup, equipment and recycling schedule in place for optimum efficiency. If you don’t already have a recycling program in place or want to add on specific services, such as a mail-back or pallet program, keep in mind that those enhancements don’t necessarily need to stay intact season to season. Work with a trusted partner to use the services you need during that season and then re-evaluate or modify your program once your business reaches the offseason.
Equipment Quantity and Size
While the specific types of waste and recycling equipment you’re currently implementing may be trickier to change from season to season due to rental or financial agreements, changes to your equipment size can be considered as a cost-effective measure to right-size based on volume. By monitoring data in real time, those insights can be leveraged to make recommendations like swapping out a two-yard dumpster with a once-per-week pickup schedule for an eight-yard dumpster with a once- or twice-per-week pickup schedule to maximize your investment and keep operations running smoothly.
If you’re interested in better understanding how seasonality may impact your business’ unique waste and recycling needs, consider reaching out to our team today to proactively plan and ensure there’s no disruption to your services.