When selecting a hazardous waste management company, your Georgia-based manufacturer needs to keep many things in mind. With such an important decision, though, it's no surprise that many factors must go in to the decision process. To make things a bit easier, here are eight waste management tips to guide your Georgia manufacturer in this crucial decision.

8 Things Every Georgia Manufacturer Should Check before Selecting a Hazardous Waste Management Company

  1. Check the waste management company has proper insurance.

As the generator, you are ultimately responsible for any accident involving your waste, and that includes during transport. Make sure the company you choose to work with has adequate insurance to cover any accident.

The type of waste being handled should dictate the type and amount of insurance. For example, hazardous materials are going to require a substantial amount of insurance, while non-hazardous waste is going to require less.

  1. Ensure the company is permitted for the type of waste you generate.

The necessary permits vary according to waste type. If you're exclusively generating nonhazardous waste, the company only needs to be permitted for that subset of waste. However, if you generate any hazardous material that the company will need to transport or treat, they need to be specifically permitted for that.

  1. Verify all drivers have the proper DOT training.

All drivers should be properly trained to handle every aspect of that job, and that includes proper DOT training. Because these drivers are also handling paperwork, they should be specifically trained and prepared to handle a shipping manifest and a bill of lading. Drivers should also be knowledgeable, professional, and adept and experienced at handling hazardous materials specifically.

  1. Check for any fines or past violations.

If a company has had any breach in local, state, or federal regulations, there should be a record of that violation. Before committing to any given company, check online for such violations. Take into account when the violation occurred, how many violations are found, and the severity of any given breach.

  1. Ask about the company's waste management price.

While price isn't everything, it is (of course) important. Make sure the price you're offered is competitive but not suspiciously low. As with any industry, a price that's too good to be true probably is. A very low quote might mean poor customer service, an increased chance of violations and fines, or many hidden surcharges.

Remember, much of the cost structure has to do with transportation fees. Therefore, if you choose a company that has its own trucks, you should get a better price than with a company that has to contract out this work.

As a rule of thumb, shop around, get multiple quotes, consult testimonials, and ask lots of questions!

  1. Put a premium on customer service.

One quality that many manufacturers overlook in their waste management companies is customer service. However, having knowledgeable drivers and employees who will answer your questions quickly and accurately can be the difference between being slapped with a fine and complying with all Georgia and federal laws.

  1. Ask to see the company's most recent audit.

A hazardous waste audit will give you important company-specific information (how long the company has been in business, the number of employees, their permits, their insurance, and so on), but it will also show all violations that came up during that audit. Especially with a full audit that takes several days, it's extremely rare to get zero violations. However, you can ascertain the severity of those violations and if they properly corrected every found error.

  1. Get a clear quote with cost analysis.

A quote is just a number if you don't know exactly what it means. A good quote will give you a cost analysis and break down, line item by line item, everything that goes into that number. This way, you aren't surprised by hidden fees or surcharges when it comes time to pay the invoice.

Note, certain charges are common within the industry, including a stop charge (typically around $50), a 15 percent fuel charge, and an energy surcharge. Nearly every company charges these, so if they don't show up on your quote, that's a red flag that you're not getting the full picture regarding what you'll be expected to pay.

For more information and tips about how your Georgia-based manufacturer should choose a waste management company, feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services, an Atlanta waste management company.