By CCR Sponsor Mark Lestina, President - Wastemaster Corp.

A property management professional once told me “Our clients rarely review their waste removal contracts and since they can run 3 years, they often miss the deadline for making any changes. They can almost always find a way to save if they can cancel an existing contract.” 

We hear this almost every day.  Most often, when condo boards finally decide to take action to shop around, the existing contract has already renewed for multiple years and cannot be cancelled without paying liquated damages.

Why is it so hard to cancel a waste and recycling contract on its expiration date? The answer can be complicated.

First, let’s look at what the “expiration date” really is.  A waste hauler contract might state that the expiration date is considered to “start on the date on which service under this agreement commences…”   So if the signature date reads 01/01/17 but the start date is listed as 04/01/17, the contract will expire (usually 36 months) on 03/31/20 and not 12/31/19.  When you have a small window of time in which to send a cancellation letter to the waste hauler, this 90 day period could impact the validity of your letter.

Second, the timeframe for cancelling is extremely limited.  Most trash haulers will have language in their service agreements that allow for a cancellation “window” of time extending 60 or 90 days and usually it’s between 60 to 120 or 90 to 180 days prior to the end of the current term.  In the example above, the contract that expires on 03/31/20 will need to be cancelled during a specific window of time that is clearly spelled out in the agreement.  If the terms are 60 to 120 days, then the waste hauler must receive notice between 11/30/19 and 01/31/20.  What happens if the cancellation letter is received a day earlier or a day later than the cancellation window?  Your hauler might just throw it in the trash because technically, the contract language hasn’t been followed. 

Finally, if you can figure out your window if time to send cancellation, where will you set up your reminder?  Outlook?  Google calendar?  A Post-it note on your desk?  Your waste hauler is NOT going to call you with a reminder so the board will be responsible for tracking the cancellation date and taking action at the right time. If the board has changed, how will this be handled? 

Rather than worrying about renewal dates, why do individuals continue to sign service agreements with an “auto renew” clause in the first place?  Most are unaware that they can simply strike that auto-renew clause from the start!

My research shows that condo associations overpay for waste and recycling removal service because they do not understand how contracts work.

We have a solution to this problem and have saved our average customer 26%.

Send us a recent invoice and we will compare your rate to others and give you the details on potential savings. There is no cost or obligation for Wastemaster to perform the analysis. Contact us today!

Mark Lestina
President – Wastemaster Corp.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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