Learn more about explanation of charges for Waste Management services.
At Waste Management, we are on a quest for Environmental Performance, a mission to maximize resource value, while minimizing – and even eliminating – environmental impact so that both our economy and our environment can thrive. Each Waste Management hauling and operating subsidiary (“WM operating company”) provides waste services in a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible way and bills customers for such services. All WM operating companies assess standard or common charges that cover certain Waste Management enterprise-wide costs, such as a Fuel Surcharge to cover costs related to diesel, natural gas and other hydrocarbon-based fuels or products; an Environmental Charge to cover costs related to environmental compliance; and a Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge to cover municipal and regulatory taxes or fees, such as host community fees and disposal taxes. These standard or common charges are not tied to each WM operating company’s applicable costs to service its customers in a specific city, municipality, county, province, state or other geography, but are based on Waste Management’s overall enterprise-wide costs (i.e., the combined costs of Waste Management and all its WM operating companies) to service all WM operating company customers. These charges also include an amount for operating or profit margin. These charges are our WM operating companies’ charges; they are not fees, taxes or charges that we or our WM operating companies are required to collect and remit to any governmental agency. These standard or common charges may be adjusted or modified in the future.
Common charges that may appear on your invoice:
The Administrative Charge is applicable to collection customers. The Administrative Charge covers the cost of generating paper invoices and processing paper invoice payments. By eliminating paper invoices with return envelopes, we reduce waste and drive down costs associated with preparing and mailing paper invoices. Customers can avoid this charge by signing up for automatic, pre-authorized payment and paperless billing through “My Account” on wm.com. Customers benefit from automated, pre-authorized payment and paperless billing by saving the time and money required for postage to mail the payment. In addition, customers can rely on the on-time, hassle-free processing of their payment.
The Fuel/Environmental Charge applies to customers in all of our lines of business. The Fuel/Environmental Charge is typically one line item containing two components: (1) Fuel Surcharge and (2) Environmental Charge. The Fuel Surcharge is a recurring charge and is typically a fluctuating percentage of all invoice charges, excluding the Environmental Charge, Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge and taxes, based on the U.S. Department of Energy weekly diesel price index, or for Canadian customers, the Canadian national diesel price index as published by Bloomberg. Fuel charges are common in the waste and transportation industries, such as airlines, trucking and delivery service companies, and utilities. This charge fluctuates with the nationally published price of diesel and is intended to measure the changes in the cost of diesel, natural gas, and other hydrocarbon-based fuels and products that our WM operating companies use in our overall enterprise. The Environmental Charge is a recurring charge and is typically a fixed percentage (currently, 16%) of all invoice charges, including the Fuel Surcharge, but excluding the Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge and taxes. The Environmental Charge is intended to cover Waste Management’s enterprise-wide environmentally-related costs for its WM operating companies to operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, plus an acceptable operating margin. Such enterprise-wide environmental costs include, without limitation, landfill cover material, engineering, testing and maintenance of landfills or other disposal facilities, the disposal of tires, batteries, oils and fluids and the monitoring and management of vehicle emissions. Learn more about the Fuel/Environmental Charge.
Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge
The Regulatory Cost Recovery (RCR) Charge applies to customers in all our lines of business. The RCR Charge is a fixed percentage (currently, 3.6%) of all invoice charges, including the Fuel/Environmental Charge, but excluding taxes. This charge is intended to cover a portion of Waste Management’s enterprise-wide costs associated with host community fees, waste disposal taxes and similar charges that our WM operating companies pay to municipal or other governmental authorities or agencies to engage in the waste collection, transfer, processing, disposal, treatment, and/or recycling business, plus an acceptable operating margin. Learn more about the Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge.
Recyclable Materials Offset
The Recyclable Material Offset (RMO) is a price adjustment that applies to recycling collection customers, that allows our WM operating companies to achieve an acceptable operating margin despite increased recycling costs and/or declines in the value of processed recyclables in the global commodities market. The RMO is usually a charge and is calculated based on the amount that (a) our applicable WM operating company’sprocessing cost per ton, including costs of disposal for contamination and profit margin, exceeds (b) an amount equal to the blended value per ton of processed recyclables, minus an amount for profit margin. The RMO, including profit margin, processing and disposal costs and recyclables blended value shall be determined by the company from time-to-time, in its sole discretion, based on applicable operating data and market information. If recyclables blended value exceeds processing costs, plus profit margin, an RMO credit may apply, at the company’s sole discretion. We will monitor changes in the recycling commodities market and recycling costs and may adjust this charge, in our discretion, as appropriate in the future. The RMO is subject to a customer’s applicable service terms.
Prorated Services Charges
Prorated services can occur for commercial, roll-off or residential collection customers. Typically, service start dates fall outside standard invoicing or billing periods. When this occurs, customers receive service charges adjusted (or prorated) for the month or billing period when services start. Generally, most customers are billed in advance for service. Therefore, the customer’s first invoice will contain prorated service charges and advanced billing. For example, if a customer requests services to start on the 20th of June, the customer’s first invoice will show 10 days of prorated services for June as well as the full monthly charges for July. Some residential customers are invoiced on a quarterly or other longer billing cycles. These customers would receive a prorated charge for the current billing period, as well as advance charges for the subsequent quarterly or other billing period.
Taxes may apply to charges for products and services included in your invoice. Specific taxes vary by state and locality.
Waste Water Management Charge
The Waste Water Management (WWM) charge applies to disposal customers only. The WWM charge is a fixed percentage (currently 6.5%) of disposal charges, excluding fuel, environmental and regulatory cost recovery charges and before taxes. This charge allows us to cover Waste Management’s enterprise-wide costs associated with collecting, treating, disposing and managing the wastewater generated by our landfills and other post-collection operations in accordance with applicable law and a safe and environmentally responsible manner, and for us to achieve an acceptable operating margin. Wastewater is generated when any form of liquid, including water, passes through waste materials. As such, wastewater generation is a concern for most landfills and disposal facilities and requires specific collection, treatment, and disposal.
Additional Services and Other Invoice Charges
For roll-off service, there are monthly minimum haul or inactivity charges and minimum tonnage charges that apply. Other additional charges also may be incurred for additional services and other reasons including but not limited to the following: container overages or overfilling; contamination or non-conforming waste; demurrage; dig out service; late payment; a returned check for non-sufficient funds; delivery, moving or removing a container; resumed/restart services for previously suspended/terminated for non-payment; and extra trips. The amount of these charges vary by service area and may change from time to time, as set by a WM operating company for its customers. Customers are advised to request the current charge amount for any additional service at the time of ordering or customer initiation. For more information on these charges, call the number listed on your invoice to speak with a local service representative.
Cameras To Help With Operational Efficiency
As part of our operational efficiency and providing you better service and safety, cameras and other devices may be enabled on trucks and dumpsters to capture images (still and/or video) of dumpsters, waste and recycling materials and events related to your service. This also helps ensure compliance with contract terms including, but not limited to, charges related to overloaded and damaged containers and contamination based on information from such images.