One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Cash: Getting into the Garbage Collection Industry

For the entrepreneur, the garbage industry can be a lucrative one to get into. It’s year-round and it’s always necessary, no matter what the economy is doing.

Every area of the country, whether it’s urban or rural, requires trash collection. In many societies, the elimination of disease is often credited with vaccinations and medical advancements, but the single largest contributing factor to reducing disease in industrialized societies has been the garbage collection and removal industry. By removing waste, you remove the source of most of the contributing factors to illness and disease.

Urban areas require trash collection to keep streets and alleys free from trash and garbage. Large metropolitan areas typically organize trash collection using a fleet of government-owned trash trucks to collect and recycle refuse, or they contract this service out to very large refuse companies on a multi-year contract basis. This arrangement allows few opportunities for a single-truck garbage operator.

This doesn’t mean one man can’t start their own garbage collection, you just go about it differently by focusing on commercial or business accounts instead of residential and then build your routes from there.

Rural areas tend to be a much easier market to enter, as the customers their service themselves and the industry as a whole is not particularly known for their stellar customer service. This provides an opportunity to the independent contractor that not only wants to enter the garbage business, but wants to provide actual customer service, which will provide a wedge in the market that he can capitalize on.

Many industries have upsells available and the garbage industry is no different. A smart refuse operator can quickly increase revenues with their existing customer base by simply offering specific dates to pick up the odd ball items most refuse companies refuse to handle, such as tires, batteries, appliances, used oil and paint. In fact, this is an excellent strategy to use to steal clients away from your competitor when first starting your fledgling empire.

Now that you have decided to start your garbage collection business, you need a truck. Don’t just go out and buy any garbage truck, for they are not all created equal. First, how will you handle pickup? This will help you narrow down the type of truck you will need. Will you pick up oversized items such as tires and appliances? If so, then a flatbed or stake truck with a lift gate would serve you better than a traditional dump truck.

Buying a new garbage truck for over $300,000 a truck is usually not an option for most small or even mid-sized operations. The good news is used garbage trucks are typically very affordable and because they often come from large fleets, they have been well maintained and serviced on a regular basis. eQuip Enterprises usually has a steady selection of used garbage trucks located throughout the U.S. that can accommodate different needs for the independent operator.

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