Just wanted to put out in the 'blog-o-sphere' that if your business, or someone you know's business is considering commercial trash pickup - and is considering Waste Management - before you decide, be sure to read the fine print!
We have a 2 yard (6'x3'x3') dumpster that is picked up every two weeks. Having noticed the rate steadily climbing, I checked our bookkeeping and the monthly rates were as follows at the beginning of each year - 2005 through 2014 ... $73.95, $82.24, $90.26, $95.09, $97.17, $105.11, $114.20, $120.37, $128.84, $146.06 and then $160.73 in June 2014 (the time of this writing).
I emailed Waste Management through their web contact form my intention to stop service and received their email confirmation, but no other contact for a week - so I called the local number that I found on our bill. Mike answered and said that per our agreement we signed, we have a five year agreement that auto renews - up November of next year. If we wanted to cancel we can either wait until next year and submit a request to cancel service between 180 and 90 days prior to the end of the agreement ... or we can pay 3 times the current cost of pickup ($160.73 x 3 = $482.19) + a $50 container removal fee. This fine print is in the 'Liquidated Damages' section of their service agreement.
I shopped around. Atlas quoted me $48 a month for the same trash service with just a 30 day notice to cancel. We paid the $532.19 to cancel service immediately, and we will be happily money ahead in 6 months and no longer supporting Waste Management!
It is amazing to me that a company would put themselves in - what is at least to me - pretty shaky ground for fair business practices. The loss of business from those who figure this out must be worth it to them for the extra revenue they get (just do a web search and look at customer posts on their Facebook page) ... but they won't get any more of our business in the future and as you can tell from reading this, we won't be shy about sharing! ;)
Just a fair warning to everyone, when it comes to dealing with Waste Management, read the fine print! ;)