By Robert M. Nordlund, PE, RS
Association Reserves, Inc.
I expected that waste collection at a community association was a fixed expense. That impression changed after I recently met Steven Reyes, VP of Strategic Sanitation Services (www.S3inc.ws). Thanks to the service of this novel new Southern California company, waste collection doesn’t have to be the cost quoted by your waste collection hauler. Strategic has started to appear among more and more of our community association clients, reducing their waste removal and waste control costs, and we are taking notice.
Since waste collection is not our area of expertise, we looked into this subject and found that waste collection is typically billed based on the number of bins and the frequency of bin pickups. Strategic’s role is to evaluate the waste produced, and manage the waste collection area (distributing or compressing trash, keeping the area clean, removing bulky items, and managing recycling programs). Because they manage the association’s waste and recycling more efficiently, the typical result is a reduction in number of bins, pickups, or both, and cleaner waste collection areas.
The bottom line is that Strategic does not replace an association’s trash-hauling company. Instead, it manages all aspects of waste disposal or recycle diversion for the association. Strategic, or a company like it in your metropolitan area, cuts your waste removal costs, improves your property’s appearance, and gives you environmentally conscious options. In interviews with our clients who enjoy Strategic’s services, they report lower waste expenses, cleaner communities, and reduced calls to management on waste-collection issues.
So if your budget is tight (and whose isn’t!), and your association is in the size range of 100 units or more, you may want to contact a company like Strategic. According to the Strategic website, their clients average a savings of $32 per unit per year. This might be just the break your Association needs to increase Reserve contributions up to the level where they need to be (which is our area of expertise), without raising assessments!