Industry sector: Business services

Waste collection: Pricing policy

How will you decide on your prices?

Getting the price right is very important. You must make sure that the price you charge is enough to cover all of your operating costs, including your own drawings. But you'll also need to price in line with your immediate competitors unless you are providing a type of waste collection service that your competitors do not offer. This might be the case if you are collecting waste chemicals, clinical waste, asbestos or other hazardous substances.

In most cases you will have to pay to dispose of any waste collected and this will affect the amount that you need to charge your customers. However, if you are collecting waste that will be recycled, then depending on the type of material you may be able to sell it to a recycling facility. The amount of money you receive will depend on the amount and type of material that you deliver. If it is worth a lot of money, it is usual to pass some of the benefit back to the waste producer - they are likely to be aware that the material has some value. Bear in mind that the price of some materials - like scrap metal - tends to go up and down quite significantly.

Domestic customers will appreciate a tidy and efficient waste collection service and many trade customers will be prepared to pay a reasonable price if you are able to offer a convenient, reliable and flexible service. But remember that waste collection services are usually offered by several firms in any given area, so it's likely that potential customers will shop around to compare prices.

Have a look at the websites of waste collection businesses in your area - they may well include details of their prices which will help you to set yours.