The cost of waste management can be a confusing prospect because what you pay depends on so many factors: what kind of waste you're disposing of, how much of that waste you produce, where your medical facility is located, and on and on. This confusion leads a lot of people in the medical field to sign up for a waste management contract just to avoid having to sift through all that information. However, if you're thinking about signing up for one of these contracts from a medical waste management company, it's imperative you know exactly what that contract entails—and just how much it might cost you.
Waste Management Pricing and Contracts: Read This before Deciding!
Choosing a Waste Management Contract Is a Big Decision
This might seem obvious, but a waste management contract is a contract. It's legally binding, and you're required to follow the exact terms of that contract. It's not a decision to take lightly because it can have huge ramifications for your medical waste disposal cost.
Getting Out of a Waste Management Contract
If you're already in a contract, getting out isn't always easy, straightforward, or cheap. You almost always have a limited window of time to cancel (not too early and not too late)—and if you miss that window, you could be automatically renewed and locked into your contract for multiple years. This window typically falls somewhere between two and eight months out from your automatic renewal date.
The specifics of when you can cancel depend entirely on the contract and the waste management company you're dealing with. Make sure to read your specific cancellation clause for the numbers that apply to you.
Is a Termination Fee Worth It?
Don't forget, you can always try to break your contract, but that often entails a termination fee. This fee can be upwards of 50 percent of the remaining balance you owe on that contract. If you're early on in your contract, this can be a huge financial hit and not fiscally worth it.
However, if you're nearing the end of your contract, it might make sense to look into your buy-out clause. You'll have to do the math to see if switching to any number of different waste management companies could actually save you money—even given the fee.
Paying for Medical Waste Services You Don't Need
Waste management contracts often charge medical facilities one lump monthly sum. Included in that fee is a variety of services—everything from OSHA compliance training to pharmaceutical waste disposal. That sounds great, but it can easily lead to a higher waste management price than necessary.
After all, you're not paying for just the services you use. You're paying one (often substantial) fee for everything—whether you use all those services or not. If all you need is red bag waste disposal, why would you pay for everything else month after month?
It depends on your medical facility and what services you require, but many people find their cost of waste disposal becomes unnecessarily inflated under a contract.
Under Contract? You Could Still End Up Paying Even More
If you think your waste management costs are fixed just because you're in a contract, think again. Written into the wording of many contracts is the ability of the company to raise rates at their discretion. And because you're under contract, you are required to pay this new fee going forward.
There also tends to be a cap on how many boxes of medical waste are included in your contract fee. Therefore, if you go over in any given month, you can pay extra—on top of that set monthly rate.
Waste Management Service Agreement: An Alternative to the Contract
In a service agreement, your waste disposal costs are determined only by the services you need. That is, you only pay for what you used that month. Over any given year, having a service agreement can lead to a substantial difference in the final waste disposal cost your facility is subject to pay.
For example, say your contract fee assumes you're shipping ten boxes of medical waste every month, but you're actually only shipping two. That means, month in and month out, you're paying for eight extra boxes of medical waste. That quickly adds up.
There's also the level of customer service to consider. You should be able to get a hold of your waste management company quickly and easily. If you have a question, you should get a response within hours. When you call the 800 number on your contract, whether you'll hear back or not is a big question mark.
For more information about waste management cost and how a contract will affect that for your medical facility, please feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services, a waste management Atlanta company.