Out of the hundreds of companies in the market, one can make a difference. How? By implementing one action in your marketing strategy.
By Samuele Barrili

Mandatory is weird, I know. Hazardous waste is full of regulations and obligations and it is hard to think that it is mandatory to use a marketing strategy to bring home waste. Yet it is. If you do not deal with hazardous waste, you should know that it is any substance or material that can harm people’s and the environment’s health.

Although this definition may seem generic, especially at this time in history where almost every waste’s environmental impact is measured in terms of GHG, the classification well supports what EPA has made.

The EPA has qualified hazardous waste into four macro-categories (F-list, K-list, P-list, U-list) to which Universal Waste and Mixed Waste are then added to help the operators in the field to deal with it, then the producers of the material, and finally, the people who produce the waste.

I am not referring to household hazardous waste, which is differently regulated. I am talking about disassembling operations that produce hazardous waste, such as oil drilling, and truck maintenance, to the hospitals that produce hazardous waste. The amount of materials that can potentially give rise to hazardous waste is growing daily—from car batteries to the can of paint you bought for the fence. The collection amount of this type of waste is, unfortunately, always low.

This is because there is always a problem: classifying waste as a hazard is difficult and expensive. It is difficult because you need specific knowledge, and expensive because you have to rely on a third-party. As is often the case, a quicker solution is sought.

This is exactly where your marketing strategy should come in. Out of the hundreds of companies in the market, one can make a difference. How? By implementing one action in your marketing strategy.

Identify Your Hazardous Waste
The EPA has regulated this sector of the waste world very well, and that is why you cannot avoid incorporating training events into your marketing strategy. These training events should be on the
characteristics of that specific waste, how it should be treated, and how it should be delivered to your facility.

For example, first, identify which hazardous waste enters your waste treatment facility the least. Once you have done that, identify which and how many producers of the material give rise to that
product. This action is very important because it allows you to understand how large the market is and where the major producers are positioned. Now that you have a clear picture, it is time to define the topic. In doing this, you have to consider that if you get support from the producers of that material, you become their ally (which they are looking for today because of EPR).

So, contact them and offer them the opportunity to organize a meeting on the ground to present how the material they produce should be handled and disposed of while safeguarding the environment and what risks they face if they do not do it properly.

This will be the topic for any hazardous waste you choose to handle. Remember to talk about only one waste per event. Otherwise, it will create confusion, and your audience will not follow. Now, plan the event.

Planning the Event
If the producers are in different states, organize a tour where you will always cover the same topic with different audiences. Emphasize extended social responsibility when you talk to the producers of the material. This is important because they are looking for an ally, and you might fit the bill, which is why they might extend the invitation to their customer base.

If not, the quickest course of action you can compare is to contact the local newspaper and spread the word that in 60 days, you will be holding an information day on how to handle XYZ hazardous waste. That day will be for those in the industry who use it, but it will also be open to local authorities.

On the same day you publish the news, post an advertising page that links to a registration form that is equipped with a QR code (you can also do this on Google Docs) in order to collect the names of participants.

One week after publishing the news, make another advertising page that uses the QR code that always links back to the registration form. At the same time, send the invitation for participation to some of the companies in the area that, by type of business, you think produce that hazardous waste.

Do another publication of the advertising page one month after the first publication and then a fortnight after the event. You should have already gathered a good number of participants. Now invite your
customers, especially those who already give you that type of waste.

For the event, prepare a presentation that first emphasizes the problem of the low volume of hazardous waste collected and what harms and penalties you face. Tell your audience what is important and what makes the topic worthy of attention.

Once you have captured your audience’s attention, introduce them to who you are and why you are doing this, and what the purpose is. Now that you have their full attention, it is time to present them with an offer that they will have to sign up for on that day to benefit. It is an offer you must build first, and it has to be focused on growing your business volume by giving a vital service to them and their business.

Believe me, you will be surprised at how many people will sign up for the offer. Adopt this system as an integral part of your marketing system; it will be able to generate leads and results with minimal investment while allowing you to talking with the right audience. Be the change. | WA

Samuele Barrili is a Waste Management Expert and Business Strategist. Born in Cagliari, Italy, Samuele began his career as a salesman in 2010. After earning a degree in Toxicological Chemistry at the University of Cagliari (Sardinia) and many masters in Waste Treatment, he combined his knowledge to define his mission: save the planet helping 6,000 waste management companies to continue to thrive. After nine years in the field, working as a sales and marketing manager for international firms in waste management, Samuele created M4W Marketing For Waste, the first growth agency focused on helping waste management companies. Marketing4Waste is the first service dedicated to waste management companies. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit www.marketing4waste.com.