Finding a reputable, experienced hazardous waste management company is of the utmost importance for any Florida-based business that generates this waste type. It's not always easy or intuitive, however, to know how to go about finding that company. With that in mind, all companies within Florida that generate hazardous materials can follow these five steps to help minimize the confusion.
How to Find Reputable Hazardous Waste Management Companies in 5 Steps
Step 1: Check their insurance and permits.
When vetting waste management companies, one of the most important steps you should take early in this process is confirming the company's insurance and permits.
In terms of insurance, they should carry enough coverage to adequately clean up any potential accident or spill involving the generated waste. While $1 million is the required minimum, give preference to companies that offer even more coverage. This will help ensure your company isn't financially liable to cover the difference if the insurance coverage isn't extensive enough.
When it comes to permits, the company needs to be specifically permitted for every waste type they are going to be handling. For example, if your Florida-based company produces both hazardous medical waste as well as nonhazardous waste, any company you choose must be permitted to handle each of these specific types of waste.
Remember, just because you're in Florida, doesn't mean Florida permits are the only ones required. Any company you choose needs to be permitted for each and every state the waste will be transported through. Therefore, if the company plans to cross state lines with your waste, they must be permitted and compliant with the regulations of all those states.
Step 2: Verify the employees' proper training.
The employees of hazardous waste management companies should always be adequately trained for the jobs they must complete. This means all drivers have undergone proper DOT training, and anyone who is going to be handling the paperwork of your shipment (including the hazardous waste manifest) has all the training necessary to accurately and legally complete these documents.
Improper training can lead to accidents or noncompliance, and because you, as the generator of the waste, assume cradle to grave liability, this can all come back to you—in terms of fines or financial or legal responsibility. This is a huge reason why choosing the right company is so important!
Step 3: Put a premium on customer service.
When dealing with hazardous material, it's crucial you can get your questions answered in a timely and accurate manner. In many cases, this is actually a matter of health and safety.
Say, for example, you have questions about how to properly store your hazardous waste and what materials need to be segregated. If your waste management company doesn't get back to you—or gives you the wrong information—this could directly lead to an accident at your facility.
A good company will be knowledgeable enough about the waste management industry to know the regulations and rules (in Florida and all other states the waste will travel through), and they will put an emphasis on getting back to you in a timely way.
Again, this reduces your chances of being hit with fines for noncompliance or dealing with the safety-related and legal fallout of an accident at your facility.
Step 4: Seek out reviews, testimonials, and violations.
Once you have a company you're interested in, a quick online search can reveal a lot of critical information. Any firsthand reviews or testimonials will let you know how their customers feel about them and the level of service they provide, and you can also find a record of their recent violations (if any). All this information can help you decide whether the company is right for you.
Step 5: Get quotes from multiple hazardous waste management companies.
Once you've narrowed down your list, get quotes from three companies. This will help you throw out any price outliers (either too high or suspiciously low). Remember, you want the best value, which does not automatically mean the lowest price.
Waste Management Tips: Go Full Service
If your Florida business is really looking to maximize what you get out of your company, consider choosing a full-service operation. This allows you to work with one company that you know and trust who can handle all your waste-related needs, from non-hazardous waste disposal to lab packs to whatever else your Florida-based business needs.
By working with one company, you often save money upfront, but it also saves you the time and hassle of having to find, vet, coordinate, and schedule with multiple companies.
For more information about how to pick the right waste management company that services the Florida area, please feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services today!