5 Ways Waste Haulers Are Getting Ripped Off And How Technology Can Stop It Today

Five ways waste haulers are getting ripped off and how to stop it today.

Learn how technology solutions from 3rd Eye can help improve profitability and customer relationships

Despite exponential increases in the sophistication and complexity of solid waste collection, the public, as a whole, continues to view trash pickup in a very simplistic way. You have items to get rid of, you place them at the curb or toss them into a dumpster (or someone else’s dumpster) and they magically disappear the next morning. Although most issues are simply the result of a lack of awareness, some waste-hauler customers and employees view trash haulers as big-profit businesses with deep pockets, who can easily afford to absorb a “tiny” expense caused by their non-compliant actions. In reality, the scale at which these issues are encountered can lead to massive headaches and significant profit loss for haulers.

For most waste companies, dealing with issues encountered on the route can be stressful and difficult to effectively address. In an extremely competitive field, phone calls from back-office staff have the potential to create confrontational “he-said-she-said” situations, with a high likelihood that the end-user may take their business elsewhere (and leave harsh online reviews, negatively impacting future business). In addition, staffing shortages, new or “green” operators, and intense pressure for drivers to complete routes on tight timeframes often cause drivers to overlook issues that should be documented and reported to management for follow-up. Even when drivers follow company policies regarding documentation of issues encountered on route, the time required for the operator to get out of the cab, take photos of the exception, and follow up with management is time-consuming and negatively impacts productivity.

Fortunately, major innovative technology advancements offer haulers the ability to address the most commonly encountered missed revenue or cost/time-saving opportunities, which require no manual actions from the driver and can recoup costs and improve customer and operator relationships.

The following are five ways that haulers are getting ripped off and how technology can stop it today.


For both residential and commercial waste collection, overages are extremely costly and are one of the largest areas of missed revenue opportunities. As most commercial or residential contracts allow for the regular collection of a set waste volume, overloaded containers significantly increase hauler landfill costs, and often require additional time at the service stop.

Most haulers require drivers to document suspected overages, but time and safety issues resulting from requiring drivers to exit the cab and obtain photo documentation of the event may negate potential revenue that could be recouped by add-on overage billing. In addition, with many routes being short-staffed with tight route schedules, new, untrained, or time-strained operators, often find it easier to simply ignore overages rather than taking the time to stop and exit the cab to take a photo of the event.

3rd Eye, a leader in waste-hauler technology has developed Positive Service Verification software technology, which provides instant solutions that detect, document, and invoice commercial or residential overages, without requiring manual action from operators. Video/photo documentation, complete with exact GPS coordinates provides irrefutable proof of overages and allows for the automated addition of overage charges to customer invoicing.

Discover how much potential revenue your business is leaving on the table by entering your own fleet information into our Commercial Overloads ROI Calculator.

Missed Pickup Claims

As any waste hauler receptionist would confirm, regular calls from irate customers complaining about missed residential or commercial pickups are a nightmare that is encountered on a near-daily basis. Without proper documentation, many haulers feel obligated to send out costly and inefficient “call-backs” to service the customer in an attempt to maintain customer satisfaction.

In reality, a majority of missed pickup claims are a direct result of improperly placed/missing containers, blocked waste carts/commercial dumpsters, or “not-out” containers. Although many waste companies require drivers to document service exceptions with a tablet or mobile phone camera, complying with this policy is difficult to enforce with operators on tight route deadlines, and can create safety hazards or time delays for drivers who do take the time to exit the cab and document the event.

3rd Eye, a leader in waste-hauler technology has developed Service Verification software technology, a brilliant solution that detects and documents service exceptions, allowing haulers to proactively inform customers of the reason why service was not able to be performed. With 3rd Eye Service Verification, haulers can provide time-stamped, geo-located data, along with photo/video documentation of service, or the service exception cause.

Understanding that each type of refuse truck has its own unique characteristics, 3rd Eye has designed Service Verification solutions with specialized options for different types of trucks. Each one is tailored to address the specific challenges that are common to that particular kind of vehicle.

Service Verification For Commercial & Residential Frontloaders

For commercial & residential frontload garbage trucks with Curotto-Can, Positive Service Verification offers a specialized module that is designed to document instances of blocked, improperly placed, or missing commercial or residential containers. This not only helps in reducing the number of missed pickup claims but also aids in educating customers about the proper placement of their waste containers.

Service Verification for Automated Sideloaders

When it comes to automated sideload garbage trucks, Service Verification for Sideloaders is particularly useful in identifying and documenting “not-out” or blocked containers. The evidence provided by 3rd Eye allows the haulers to proactively communicate with the customers, thus eliminating unnecessary go-backs.

Service Verification for Rear Loaders

For rear load garbage trucks, Service Verification for Rear Loaders helps in recording any instances of not-out, or blocked access to waste carts. This irrefutable evidence can be shared with customers, ensuring better compliance and reducing future missed pickup claims.

By integrating 3rd Eye solutions into their operations, waste haulers can not only improve their service efficiency but also enhance their customer relationships by promoting better waste disposal habits.

Take your customer service to the next level by providing factual, unambiguous, and real-time information to your customers. This not only helps in maintaining the customer’s trust but also significantly reduces the number of go-backs, saving both time and resources for the hauler.

To learn more about 3rd Eye Service Verification, visit www.3rdeyecam.com

Recycling Contamination

In the solid waste management industry, one of the most significant challenges faced is recycling contamination. Contamination occurs when non-recyclable materials are mixed in with recyclable materials, or when recyclable materials are soiled or improperly prepared for recycling. This not only hampers the efficiency of waste sorting and recycling processes but can also lead to loads being rejected at Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). The financial implications of recycling contamination are substantial, with haulers often bearing the brunt of the costs associated with rejected loads and the fines they incur. Fortunately, groundbreaking advancements in technology offer a promising solution to tackle this pervasive problem. This is where 3rd Eye’s innovative Garbage Truck Route Contamination Detection and MRF, transfer station, and recycling Facility Contamination detection software technology comes into play.

Recycling Contamination software technology from 3rd Eye collects images of commercial container content and processes those images to identify potential contamination in recycling streams. From a hauler’s perspective, the entire process is hands-free, with 3rd Eye providing timely alerts for contamination found on the route. With the images captured from 3rd Eye smart cameras, fleet owners can go back to customers and educate them on monitoring waste streams to reduce future recycling contamination. Contamination Detection was specifically designed to solve the common occurrence of recycling loads being rejected at MRF facilities, potentially jeopardizing the repurposing of valuable recyclables and the resulting fines levied on haulers. Many haulers that already monitor for contamination do so at the expense of route productivity, often requiring the driver to exit the cab, open the container lid, and manually capture images for documentation.

On average, about 15% of all commercial recycling picks are contaminated, based on data provided by several national and regional fleets. Given the hefty fines that come with loads with excess contamination—often a $50 to $100 per ton fee charged on the entire truck’s load—fleet owners have historically been on the losing end when their trucks pull up to offload at the MRF. Further, for those vertically integrated haulers with captive MRF and landfill operations, contamination drives higher operating costs, reduced processing capacity, and additional handling costs in transferring residues to landfills.

Morgan Holl, VP of Digital Products & Business Development said, “Collecting non-contaminated feedstock like cardboard, plastics, and newspaper is both beneficial for the environment and helps haulers drive profitability.” Holl continued, “At 3rd Eye, we’ve been working on technology that helps commercial haulers identify contaminated recycling, allowing them to recoup the costs associated with disposal – while also providing a forum to educate their customers.”

Holl said that fleets vary on the fees they charge their end users – but based on the data collected, 3rd Eye Contamination Detection equipped fleets can recognize almost $6,500 of additional revenue per month for each commercial front loader assigned to recycling collection.

For more information on 3rd Eye Contamination Detection, reach out to your nearest sales representative or visit the Contamination Solutions page on our website.

Fraudulent Insurance Claims

Fraudulent insurance claims are another avenue where waste haulers face significant financial losses. These claims can range from staged accidents to exaggerated damage or injury claims. In some instances, drivers who are at fault in an accident attempt to shift the blame onto refuse collection drivers. They may make unfounded allegations of reckless driving, lack of signal usage, or other supposed infractions, hoping to exploit the common perception of large trucks as dangerous or difficult to maneuver. With such fraudulent activities on the rise, haulers are often left to foot the bill, which can run into thousands or even millions of dollars, depending on the nature of the claim. These deceptive practices not only place an undue financial burden on waste haulers but can also tarnish their reputation and negatively impact their insurance premiums.

Implementing comprehensive surveillance systems like those offered by 3rd Eye can help in curbing such fraudulent practices. Their Connected Collections technology provides real-time video footage and GPS data that can corroborate the incident’s actual events. This data serves as indisputable evidence in the event of a dispute, helping waste haulers defend against fraudulent claims effectively.

Moreover, the presence of a comprehensive surveillance system can also deter potential fraudsters, reducing the overall instances of fraudulent insurance claims. By harnessing the power of 3rd Eye’s Connected Collections, waste haulers can protect their businesses from undue losses and ensure their operations continue smoothly.

Driver Productivity

Waste hauling is an intensive job that requires high levels of efficiency and productivity. Unfortunately, various factors such as route complexities, equipment issues, and manual documentation can hamper driver productivity, leading to delayed pickups, longer working hours, and increased operating costs.

3rd Eye’s Connected Collections technology offers a solution to this problem by automating many of these processes and enabling drivers to focus on their primary task – waste collection. The technology provides real-time routing guidance and sends alerts about potential issues such as overages or missed pickups, reducing the need for drivers to manually document and report these issues.

Connected Collections technology offers insightful data on driver behavior and performance, helping fleet managers identify areas of improvement and provide necessary training or support. This leads to enhanced driver productivity, improved service delivery, and significant cost savings for waste haulers.

The Opportunities

As we move towards a more data-driven world, the opportunities for waste haulers to optimize their operations and increase their profitability are endless. By harnessing the power of 3rd Eye’s Connected Collections technology, waste haulers can transform raw data into actionable insights that drive decision-making.

Connected Collections technology not only helps in identifying and mitigating common issues such as overages, missed pickups, and fraudulent insurance claims, but it also provides a wealth of data on route optimization, driver performance, vehicle health, and much more. This data can be used to fine-tune operations, enhance service delivery, and significantly increase profitability.

This technology also offers environmental benefits by helping in identifying recycling contamination, enabling haulers to contribute towards a more sustainable future. Encouragingly, there is rapidly expanding legislation regarding the tracking and identification of waste contamination at the source.

In conclusion, 3rd Eye’s Connected Collections technology offers a comprehensive solution for waste haulers to overcome their challenges and seize the opportunities that the digital age presents, truly embodying their tagline of “helping fleets make better decisions, faster.”

To learn more about Connected Collections or 3rd Eye, or to request a free, no-obligation demo, visit www.3rdeyecam.com