Garbage truck companies
Trash truck operations can earn sizable income for contractors.
Trash is big business, and there is money to be made operating a garbage truck. Trash disposal became a major industry after World War II with the growth of suburbs and the institution of federal antipollution laws in the 1960s. Trash required disposal services, and individual homes no longer had the option of burning trash in the back incinerator. Environmental laws also mandated safe disposal of industrial wastes. As current landfills overflow, garbage services offer trash recycling in addition to regular collection.
Public and Private Trash Collection
Urban areas require trash collection to keep streets and alleys free from trash and garbage. Large metropolitan centers organize trash collection using a fleet of city-owned trash trucks to collect and recycle refuse. This arrangement allows few opportunities for a single-truck garbage operator. Smaller villages and unincorporated areas, however, typically don’t have discretionary funds to purchase trash trucks and hire full-time staff to operate the vehicles. These geographic areas provide key markets for independent garbage truck operators.
Some large cities purchase refuse truck fleets to collect local trash, but most hire the trash services of large regional and national disposal services using contracts for a set period, typically more than one year. Independent garbage truck operators have little chance competing against large corporations. The larger firms have the ability to undercut prices and offer larger fleet service. However, smaller municipal groups, including school districts, have limited needs for trash service. These smaller venues provide companies, including independent trash operations, an open market for bidding.
Recycling services provide independent trash truck operators another opportunity to make money. While cities may own a fleet of garbage trucks, not all have the funds to purchase trucks or make trucks available for the separate collection of recyclable trash. Recycled metal prices provide independent trash operators with a chance to earn income from municipalities by collecting recycling. The sale of the recyclables collected from curbside bins can be significant. Details involved in this type of collection include determining the responsibility for customer billing and collecting fees for separate recycling bins.
Business Collection and Toxic Trash Disposal
Corporate trash collection services also provide a source of income for independent garbage truck operators, particularly in areas where metropolitan services aren’t available or the city services limit the amount of trash collected at the business location. Another area of commercial collection involves specialty garbage transfer. Trash classified as toxic, including waste oil products or garbage containing mercury, must be collected and disposed of at special processing centers. Metropolitan and city services failing to provide special collection garbage trucks to deliver these wastes to the centers offer another opening for an independent garbage truck service, provided the operator has training and state and national certifications for this type of trash collection.