Looking Back to Look Ahead

by Katie Lee

— By Michael Hess —


Learning from 2022: How to optimize your retail and restaurant waste management programs in 2023.



As 2022 comes to a close, it’s always important to look back and reflect on the year. You might have run into disruptors or issues that you’ll likely want to get ahead of or leave behind. But more importantly, what did you learn? What can you take with you to grow any facet of your restaurant or retail location in 2023? Let’s look ahead at a few specific topics and trends in waste disposal and how they can help optimize your retail and restaurant waste management so you can make 2023 your best year yet.


Michael Hess, Waste Harmonics

A major headache for any retail or restaurant operation is managing the flow of waste out of their brick-and-mortar operations. The amount of waste generated can fluctuate due to factors out of the organization’s control. The result is an inefficient system, where there is either too much or too little waste whenever pickups occur.

Technology is on your side. A big mistake companies make is not investing in innovative practices that customize their waste management experience. Now that waste technology goes beyond simple fullness monitoring, taking advantage of technological opportunities will streamline your waste process and save you money overall through the customization of your operation’s experience.


Consolidation is the name of the game, especially when it comes to waste management. With so many day-to-day operational duties begging for your attention, managing a variety of waste management vendor services can make your head spin. If you own multiple retail or restaurant locations spanning across various states, you may have to coordinate with several haulers at the same time, leading to increased labor and paperwork.

Working with a managed waste service provider can consolidate your services into one single point of contact. Consolidating your services means one vendor, one monthly invoice and one point of contact. The provider manages all the key aspects of your waste program so you can spend more time focusing on your store or restaurant.

Finding a partner who aligns with your business and values will make you feel like you’re more than just a number. They’ll get to know you, your business and challenges, and work to ensure your waste and recycling programs are as optimized, personalized and cost-effective as they can be.


Moving toward a sustainability-focused solid waste program is something more companies now demand. Sustainability isn’t going away in 2023. It will continue to be a conversation and initiative that’s top of mind, especially in the retail and restaurant industry. Restaurants and retail have high potential for sustainability programs, but executives should determine what level of sustainability they want to achieve based on their budget and other restrictions.

Practices such as implementing a new recycling or organics program may seem daunting to achieve, but the opportunity is becoming available to more markets than ever before. Working with a managed waste provider will also ensure you are in compliance with all your local and state regulations as well as providing continuous improvement strategies to help you get the most out of your sustainability program and goals. Customers are demanding sustainable business practices because it’s critical to the environment we live in. From the companies they do business with to the things they purchase to the products they use in their homes, they want to support companies that not only vocalize their sustainable business practices, but act on them, too.





— Michael Hess is founder and CEO of Waste Harmonics, a Rochester, New York-based company that provides customized waste and recycling management solutions for businesses across North America. Hess leads Waste Harmonics’ team of waste/recycling, technology, logistics and customer service experts who manage waste and recycling services for single- and multi-location businesses. For more information, email [email protected] or visit www.wasteharmonics.com.


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