I NSI DE
How to Increase Profitability in 2021 Page 8
Portable Restroom Equipment Maintenance Tips Page 20
Charleneâ€™s Waste Services LLC, Wentzville MO - Small Start, Big Growth Page 26
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F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 A M E R I C A N LI QUI D WASTE 3
FEBRUARY 2021 | VOLUME 17 | ISSUE 2
F E AT U R E S 8 How to Increase Profitability in 2021, Per US Chamber of Commerce Panel 16 In The News 20 Portable Restroom Equipment Maintenance Tips 26 Charleneâ€™s Waste Services LLC, Wentzville MO Small Start, Big Growth 32 ALW Classifieds 34 Index of Advertisers CEO & PUBLISHER Gideon W. Smith
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Melissa Kennelly
SENIOR EDITOR Katherine Nolan
EDITORIAL MANAGER Heidi Karpinich
ADVERTISING Tracy Rodean
CIRCULATION Noah Aiden
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P R O D U C T W AT C H
A S S O C I AT I O N N E W S
HOW TO INCREASE
PROFITABILITY IN 2021 IN THE NEWS
Per US A S S OChamber C I AT I O N I N Sof IDER Commerce Panel
Heading toward the midpoint of Q1 (yes, we’re already almost there), it’s a good time toOsee of Commerce (USCC) in I NChamber DEX SP T Lwhat I G H Thelpful tips are provided by the US general and specifically applicable to 2021. A USCC article called “How Can I Increase My Business’s Profitability?” and others from various U.S. business management authorities agree on the basic and more advanced management advice offered below for small and medium-sized businesses in the first quarter of 2021. Expert recommendations include everything from
above mentioned USCC article and others (including
surveying your business’s internal profit-building
some listed in the Additional Resources, to help
environment to identifying when and where to pivot
portable restroom rental services businesses refine
your business model, as needed, to shift along with
2021 strategic plans, as needed, to move forward
changing times in the local, regional, or national
from the unusual conditions of 2020 toward realizing
broader profit margins in 2021.
WHAT KINDS OF ADJUSTMENTS ARE MOST RECOMMENDED TO BOOST PROFITABILITY?
BEST STRATEGIC ADJUSTMENTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES TO INCREASE PROFITS
The USCC article, along with others listed in the Additional
The USCC article is from a panel session that brought
Resources list following this article, provide a collective
together nationally recognized business management
wealth of excellent (including many not often discussed)
thought leaders and asked them to recommend
both highly-relevant classic wisdom as well as COVID-
solutions for some of the country’s biggest current
considered current ideas for refreshing components of
challenges for small and medium-sized businesses.
sales and marketing presentations, policies, and systems,
Rising to the top of the list of serious difficulties is
auditing client experience and CRM process, branding,
identifying and successfully implementing the best
waste cutting practices, and on and on.
methods for boosting profitability in small businesses
Below are the encompassing key ideas offered in the
8 A ME RIC AN L IQUID WA S T E F EBR UA RY 2021
looking to grow this year.
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First, congratulations to the many entrepreneurs in the portable restroom rental services industry who are
The most efficient approach is
currently working to position your business for growth
to zero in on your sales offerings
this year! That means you’re already driving toward greater
that are most popular with your
success. The USCC’s short answer on the way to long-term stable
prospects and current customers.
financial health for your business is to generate topquality sales. Fortunately, there are a few fundamental
Then, expand your thinking to
approaches you can take to accomplish this caliber of
consider what kinds of related
growth in your small business. Based on your particular business model and the point you’ve reached in your
services you may be able to develop...
organizational maturation, you are likely to do well by employing a combination of these three basic methods recommended by the USCC and others:
GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS MORE OF WHAT THEY WANT.
support for your business to their friends and business acquaintances, which draws new customers, builds a more robust network of support across your
Growth demonstrates that you are consistently
customer base, and yields higher numbers of repeat
succeeding in connecting with an increasing number of
sales, referral sales, and sales from word-of-mouth
members of your target market and that you are building
mutually rewarding business relationships with them. So,
4 It’s often possible to leverage your own or your
by all means, begin by focusing on growing your revenues
relevant vendors’ industry knowledge, or your team’s
in the most profitable way — through continued quality
on-the-job research, and your existing collateral and/
or business infrastructure in developing additional
The most efficient approach is to zero in on your sales
revenue channels. That can mean lower product
offerings that are most popular with your prospects and
development costs and faster roll-out of a new
current customers. Then, expand your thinking to consider
product or service line.
what kinds of related services you may be able to develop that complement those offerings that your customers like so well. Continuing to identify and implement new
GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS LESS OF WHAT THEY DON’T WANT.
The USCC advisory panel emphasizes the importance
ways to help your best customers helps you increase your
of understanding your business’s key performance
business’s long-term profitability in several key ways:
indicators (KPIs) in the areas relevant to sales growth
4 Your current customers are more likely to continue to
and profitability. The experts recommend routinely
use your business, which means less pressure on your
reviewing and assessing the financial performance of
schedule, your team, and your budget, to attract new
each of your product and service revenue lines and what
those numbers represent, in terms of impact on your
4 Your customers are more likely to express their
organization’s established KPIs. continued on page 10
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F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 A M E R I C A N LI QUI D WASTE 9
Continuous reviews of those channel performance metrics
funding to grow another product or service line.
products and services that are yielding profits easier to do
P R OSuch D Uassessments C T W AT Chelp H open your awareness correctly. also
3. A S S O C I AT I O N N E W S
of alternative revenue channel
While cutting spending is not as exhilarating for most
make identifying and prioritizing funding the offerings of
possibilities. The USCC advisors advise being very strict in your evaluations of underperforming products and services. Ask:
N Twould H E be Nnecessary EWS 4 IWhat in terms of money and time investment to bring the asset
MAKE YOUR DOLLARS WORK AS WELL AS POSSIBLE FOR YOU — THAT MEANS MINIMIZING EXPENSES. business operators as generating
While cutting spending
growth, it is critical to financial
is not as exhilarating
leak out in various areas of your
operations. for most business A ... S S O C I AT I O N IMonitor N S I Dexpenditures ER
it is critical to financial
to a level of profitability that
continue offering it?
4 S Could beTbetter spent on growing other P Othe T Lfunds IGH product or service channels?
4 How much time does it make sense to give the revenue channel to become profitable before redirecting its
closely, and routinely examine ways that each is impacting your business’s profit margins. Insist on a reasonable ROI from every
would mean it makes sense to
1 0 A MERIC AN L IQUID WA S T E F EBR UA RY 2021
success to prevent letting profits
investment you make in your business. Ask:
4 How I Ndoes D Eyour X business’s financial performance compare to the industry average?
4 What do you think accounts for that contrast, whether bad or good?
continued on page 12
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F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 A M E R I C A N LI QUI D WASTE 11
P R O D U C T W AT C H
Additionally, as C part of your management, ASSO I AT I Ocost N N EWS
...many portable restroom rental
continuously evaluate prices and value of the goods and
services throughout the country have
services you purchase. Depending on your current service
been much less negatively impacted by the pandemic. In fact, in 2020,
IN THE NEWS
many that have been deemed essential businesses dramatically increased their inventories of handwashing and hand sanitizing stations...
4 What measurable results are you realizing for the funds
agreements and the degree of financial maturity your business has reached, you may find significantly increased value in changing suppliers and renegotiating current contracts. areI at a growth you are A SIfSyou OC AT I O Nstage I N SatIwhich DER now realizing economies of scale, you are likely to qualify for major discounts from new suppliers and significant price reductions from existing vendors. THE SMALL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT DURING COVID-19 USCC research findings released December 15, 2020,
indicated that, due to the surging number of cases, a majority of small businesses (nearly 62%) are expecting
you have invested in each product, service line, and
that the worst of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis
other operating system and process?
is yet to happen.
Focus on reducing waste of all types throughout all
A USCC survey completed November 10, 2020, found
operations of your business. Invest in a needs analysis of
that as many as 50% of US small-business owners expect
your operational systems and processes, to gain a deeper
to be able to continue operating for only another year or
understanding of which areas are generating the greatest
less and then be forced to close permanently if the current
amounts of value and which are causing the greatest
economic conditions for businesses persist.
amounts of waste. Then, follow through with waste cutting measures that
According to the USCC, a staggering 74% of US smallbusiness owners report that they will need additional
will cut the most unnecessary spending of materials,
government assistance to make it through the pandemic
supplies, money, time, or precious energies from each area
without shutting down permanently. Among the segment
of your business operations. Find waste in:
of minority-owned businesses, the ratio is 81%.
4 Field services, maintenance, repairs, and cleaning
THE PATHS TO GREATER PROFITABILITY
4 Subcontractors’ processes, and vendors’ offerings. 4 Marketing and sales operations. 4 Management and administrative practices. Consider ways to replace or eliminate some costly
Fortunately, many portable restroom rental services throughout the country have been much less negatively impacted by the pandemic. In fact, in 2020, many that have been deemed essential businesses dramatically increased their inventories of handwashing and hand sanitizing
processes in each of the above areas of expense, if they
stations and portable restroom rentals to industrial
cannot be justified by a sufficient direct or indirect effect
facilities and other organizations that they say normally
on generating a reasonable ROI or by their truly necessary
would not have utilized their services.
back-end administrative support for the business’s profit-
So, for many entrepreneurs in the portable restroom continued on page 14
1 2 A MERIC AN L IQUID WA S T E F EBR UA RY 2021
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P R O D U C T W AT C H
IN THE NEWS
...the general advice for business leaders in the industry is to prioritize A S S O C I AT I O N N E W S the tasks of identifying and taking timely action to pursue opportunities to increase profitability... S S Oindustry, C I AT IQ1O2021 N IisNa S I DforEexamining R rentalAservices time approaches to securing short- and long-term profitability, to ensure the financial health and growth of businesses whose rental products and services have become increasingly integral to so many public and private sector organizations.Â In summary, the general advice for business leaders in
I N D Eis X the industry to prioritize the tasks of identifying and taking timely action to pursue opportunities to increase profitability through 1) helping customers in as many ways as possible, 2) eliminating non-performing revenue channels, and 3) diligently controlling spending. Focusing on your KPIs and taking timely actions to increase the financial performance of products and services and reduce waste is the simple, strong structure within which a business can be expected to grow profitably over many years. FINAL NOTE OF ADVICE FROM THE USCC The United States Chamber of Commerce reminds business leaders that while the organization strives to inspire decision-makers with wisdom from respected business advisors, you should consult with knowledgeable professionals in your market (such as your local SBA representative, for free guidance) about your specific needs and goals for your business.Â Additional Resources, https://www.uschamber.com/co/goodcompany/ask-the-board/how-to-increase-profitability https://www.uschamber.com/press-release/small-business-ownersstill-feel-pain-of-pandemic-and-fear-more-come-0 https://hbr.org/2020/04/a-way-forward-for-small-businesses https://www.inc.com/david-finkel/30-simple-ways-to-increaseyour-profits.html https://www.inc.com/david-finkel/15-simple-easy-ways-to-makeyour-company-more-profitable-in-2018.html https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/71318
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F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 A M E R I C A N LI QUI D WASTE 15
IN THE NEWS
THOMPSON PUMP HONORED S P O T L I GWITH H T PRESTIGIOUS CIGNA WELL-BEING AWARD
A S S O C I AT I O N I N S I D E R
Port Orange, FL – One of the nation’s leading
for ways to engage the employees during the pandemic.
manufacturers of heavy-duty portable bypass and
This included hosting activities and challenges that could
dewatering pumps is honored for its outstanding culture
be done from home, such as a having everyone watch
of well-being. Thompson Pump and Manufacturing
a video series with topics about physical and mental
Company is named a 2020 Cigna Well-Being Award
health, and healthy cooking; having people participate in
recipient for its efforts in creating a healthy place to work
walking challenges; holding virtual activities such as yoga,
and do business.
stretching and mindfulness classes; and sharing monthly
Cigna announced the recognition for organizations that stood out for their exceptional efforts in the nationwide
newsletters from Cigna to help inform employees of ways to practice self-care. The team also had all employees submit their favorite healthy recipes. Those recipes were compiled into a cookbook, which was given to everyone as part of the company’s 50th anniversary celebration. “The health and wellbeing of everyone who works here is of the utmost importance,” said Chris Thompson, President of Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Company. “We couldn’t do what we do without our team and we want each and every person to be and feel the best they can.” “This wellness program is extremely important to me and I’m so proud of the work
comparison, and Thompson Pump was honored with
our team has done to champion it,” said Victor Nadeau,
top tier award level “Outstanding Culture of Well-Being”
Human Resource Director at Thompson Pump and
in North Florida. Cigna Well-Being Award applicants are
Manufacturing Company. “We will continue to innovate
evaluated based on the core components of their wellness
and provide ways to keep a healthy working environment
program, including leadership engagement, company
for everyone at Thompson Pump.”
culture, strategy and goals, implementation, and employee engagement. All applications are scored and reviewed by a
Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Company, a
panel of Cigna Health promotion experts.
family-owned company currently celebrating its 50th year
Over the past seven years Thompson Pump has been
in business, is a full-service manufacturer and provider of
finding ways to focus on the health and wellbeing of its
high-quality pumps, pumping equipment and engineering
employees, and it improves and adds activities each year.
expertise for bypass pumping, dewatering, mining and flood
In 2020, Thompson Pump’s wellness committee – a team
of cross-functional members who rotate annually – looked
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PORTABLE RESTROOM EQUIPMENT
Diligently maintaining portable toilets with thorough cleaning processes along with using today’s industrial-grade odor neutralizing agents can help keep portable restrooms clean and smelling fresh. But, keeping a portable restroom clean can be particularly challenging in the case of long-term rentals and multi-day events where usage is very frequent. Below are some helpful tips and general industry information that ALW has received from successful toilet rental services business operators on maintaining portable restrooms under even the most difficult circumstances. FACTORS AFFECTING PORTABLE TOILET MAINTENANCE QUALITY
maintained facilities have attracted flies and other disease-
It’s not a secret that populations of germs and pathogens
pathogens are on walls, in sinks, on countertops, on toilet
flourish on interior walls of portable restrooms and any
surfaces, in drains, on floors, on paper towel dispensers,
surfaces on the inside and outside of the unit that is touched
and on door handles in public restrooms, and cleaning and
by numerous people. The entire interior of the unit and the
maintenance practices were inadequate.
exterior door and handle must be frequently and thoroughly washed and scrubbed, to keep contaminants that present
SOLUTIONS IN TODAY’S PORTABLE TOILET DESIGNS AND CLEANING PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES
health risks under control.
Over the past decade and a half since that Cornell study,
A Cornell University study of portable toilets (2006) found
transmitting insects and vermin, and where germs and
portable toilet rental business owners have become much
that even public facilities that appear to be a clean present
more informed about the importance of improving on
very high potential for transmission of pathogens. This is
the methods of the past. Today’s environmentally-friendly
primarily because of the ways the facilities are typically
liquid toilet cleaning solutions are highly effective in killing
used, of course, with large numbers of people using the
pathogens. The former standard cleaning agents for portable
same facilities for eliminating bodily fluids and handling the
toilet maintenance involved formaldehyde, which has
same fixtures and supplies, and other surfaces. The risk of
since become well recognized as a carcinogenic, and an
contamination and potential ill health effects is especially
environmentally unsustainable material for the purpose.
high in such environments. The research study further indicated that the risk is
Modern “greener” alternatives in portable toilet cleaning chemicals no longer obliterate all microbial life forms in the
significantly increased in facilities with poor ventilation and
toilet units. Instead, the environmentally sound approach
insufficient cleaning and maintenance. The hazards were
now introduces enzymes and certain microbes that consume
found to be naturally even more extreme where poorly
the bacteria that generate bad odors.
2 0 A MERIC AN L IQUID WA S T E F EBR UA RY 2021
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Today’s portable toilet units are also incomparably
4 The portable toilet will be completely cleaned both inside
upgraded from the models of the past. Modern toilet units
and outside, disinfected, and deodorized with eco-
feature ventilation systems that help redirect bad odors
friendly deodorizing products.
out of the unit’s holding tank. And, even toilet units with
4 The toilet’s holding tank is flushed using freshwater,
simple designs often feature dispensers for anti-bacterial
bacterial disinfectants, and an eco-friendly deodorizing
gel. Luxury portable toilet trailers go much farther, often
featuring flushable toilets, sinks with running water for handwashing, hand sanitizer, hand towels, and multiple forms of deodorizers and air fresheners working in combination.
4 Anti-bacterial hand washing and hand sanitizers are fully restocked.
4 Dispensers are stocked with two rolls of high-quality toilet tissue.
THE BIG TIP: HAVE A PORTABLE TOILET UNIT CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE AND RESPONSE PLAN
Some portable toilet rental companies see their preparatory unit cleaning and
Keeping your company’s portable toilet units clean and smelling fresh while they’re on customers’ sites requires a diligent maintenance routine as well as highly responsive additional on-call care, as-needed. This is especially the case in long-term rentals to commercial, construction, and industrial job sites,
maintenance work as a 4-step
“To me, cleanliness
process, others describe theirs
is the top priority.
into some other number of steps.
That’s the mark
involving substantially the same
I want to leave.”
maintaining portable toilet units in
and for large events over extended
Will Niccolls, Owner, Green Latrine, Seattle, WA, designed
Most appear equally thorough, general processes for cleaning and clean, well-functioning, and wellstocked condition.
periods of days, where the toilet units are receiving very frequent use.
as a 7-step process, or divide it
Here we’ve consolidated their multiple processes, to build this list of tips from methods applied by top professionals across the U.S. portable toilet
his company’s “10-Point Clean Guarantee,” and devotes a full
page of its website to a presentation of the policy. “To me,
4 Air out portable toilet units. — Keeping doors on the
cleanliness is the top priority. That’s the mark I want to leave.”
units closed while toilets are not in use is not the best
Many of the top-quality operators ALW has featured in our
approach to controlling odors. The stench becomes most
Spotlight over the years all have their well-itemized cleaning
extreme inside when there is no outlet for it. Leaving the
and maintenance policy. Collectively, their portable toilet
door open even briefly can help reduce the odor inside.
cleaning and maintenance systems serve very well to create
4 Focus on all touchpoints. — Some spots in portable toilet
a checklist of tips for cleaning and maintaining quality
units are typically dirtier than other areas. Give extra
portable restroom rental operations.
attention to those parts that are touched most often by
Green Latrine emphasizes in its cleanliness guarantee that the cleaning regimen “is performed every time we service a toilet.” (See GL’s extensive 10-step on-site process at
people, including door handles, toilet paper holders, hand sanitizer dispensers, door handles, etc.
4 Scrub toilet unit walls. — Give abundant attention to
greenlatrine.com.) The procedures include these cleaning
walls and high-contact areas inside toilet units, to kill all
and disinfecting tasks to be performed at customers’
germs and bacteria possible. Wash and scrub walls, toilet
locations during the rental period:
seats, urinals, floors, and door handles.
4 The toilet unit will be serviced every week, or according to the requested interval for servicing.
4 Prepare the tank for use. — Refill the toilet tank with an industrial-grade additive for the most potent biocide
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F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 A M E R I C A N LI QUI D WASTE 21
designed to break down and disinfect waste.
toilet units should be cleaned and receive other routine
4 Fog the toilet unit. — Cover the entire interior of the restroom unit with a wide-spectrum antimicrobial fog.
4 Evacuate the waste from the tank. — Use a proper hose, pump, and procedures for removing waste from the holding tank. After pumping the tank dry, use proper
maintenance a minimum of once per week, including cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces, pumping waste from the tank, replacing the toilet paper and other supplies, and refilling deodorizer.
4 Use quality products. — Use only the highest quality of
procedures for transporting the waste collected to the
deep blue liquid and the highest quality of odor control
nearest wastewater treatment facility.
products available. Ultimately, those offer the best value,
4 Charge the portable toilet unit. — After cleaning the waste tank, charge the unit by adding five gallons of
because they promote greater customer satisfaction leading to repeat and referral business.
fresh blue additive, to disinfect
THE EIGHT-FOLD CLEANING METHOD
and help control odor in the unit.
The terms sanitizing
(If the additive has begun to have a green tint, it needs replacement, regardless of the service schedule.)
4 Add extra odor controls. — Use
and disinfecting are not
To help prevent crosscontamination between cleaned and uncleaned surfaces during
cleaning processes, apply the
they are sometimes
known in the industry as the
the most effective blue liquid chemicals available, plus spray deodorizers, and additional highly fragrant air fresheners.
approach to using cleaning cloths eight-fold method. This involves folding a clean rag over two times, then using one side for
4 Use graffiti remover, as needed.
wiping. Then the cloth is turned
— Keep portable restroom unit interiors and exteriors looking cleaner and more generally presentable with
over to clean the next spot. This may sound tedious, but it’s
ink and pencil mark remover, a Magic Eraser sponge
easier to keep track of clean and unclean sides of the cloth
designed for scrubbing, and a power washer.
if you use microfiber towels that are marked to identify
4 Keep restroom supplies fully stocked. — Check all
portable toilet units routinely, regardless of how
SANITIZING VS. DISINFECTING
frequently they’re being used. Promptly replace empty
Cleaning portable restrooms effectively require the correct
toilet paper rolls, and hand soap, paper towels, hand
products. The terms sanitizing and disinfecting are not
sanitizer, air freshener, and cleaning tablets, as applicable
interchangeable, although they are sometimes erroneously
and as needed.
used as if they mean the same thing. Here’s the important
4 Add cleaning tablets. — Though controversial, because tablets don’t do the job of deep blue liquid, they can
distinction between these two terms:
4 Sanitize — To reduce the number of pathogens on a given
help control odor and stop some germs from flourishing.
surface by 99.9%. Sanitizing products are often used to
Placing a fresh cleaning tablet in portable toilets at least
clean in public buildings.
monthly in units under long-term rental may add value.
4 Sign and date the toilet unit service sticker. — Maintain
4 Disinfect — To eliminate 100% of pathogens on a given surface, per the kinds of microorganisms the agent is
easy service interval tracking, to help ensure prompt
formulated to kill. A disinfectant should be used for
routine attention to every portable toilet unit, and to
cleaning portable restrooms.
provide rental customers and restroom users at their sites
DISINFECTING PORTABLE TOILET UNITS
with helpful information about the timeliness of cleaning.
Disinfecting agents sold in the U.S. are certified by the
4 Perform cleaning weekly. — Generally speaking, portable
2 2 A MERIC AN L IQUID WA S T E F EBR UA RY 2021
EPA, assessed for their effectiveness and their impact on
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4 All dirt must be removed (cleaned) from the surfaces,
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4 Following instructions on the product label for allowing disinfectant enough time to be effective in killing pathogens (usually 5 to 10 minutes).
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too much water weakens disinfectant, which makes it ineffective. Alternatively, using too much disinfectant in the mix may leave residual chemicals, which can attract
Using extra odor control and upgraded supplies is a key tip from Charlene Endsley, Owner of Charlene’s Waste Services, Inc., Wentzville, MO, which serves the greater St. Louis metro
area. “We prefer a liquid cleaner, instead of tablets. The tablets, we find, don’t break down the toilet paper as well as the liquid cleaner. So, we use liquid blue. We also spray down the interior
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maintenance of portable toilet units is offered by Shannon Lock of American Waste Systems Inc., Kansas City MO. Shannon emphasizes the superior utility value and
• 2000-Gallon Aluminum Portable Restroom convenience of having a power washerTruck on the(1500x500) company’s • Fruitland 344 Vacuum Pump portable toilet trucks. This is an immeasurably valuable tool • DC10 Washdown Pump with Hannay Hose Reel for field services wide variety of truck• Dual Serviceoperators. with LeftShop Side the Work Station
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air freshening disks that you put on the toilet paper holders. Another great value-added concept for cleaning and
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provided in the instructions. Keep in mind that adding
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‘20 PETERBILT 337 TOILET UNITS$121,500 MAINTAINING PORTABLE IN ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS The effectiveness of your portable toilet unit maintenance can be seriously impacted by weather conditions. Here are some seasonal maintenance tips to help you keep your portable toilet units safe and secure, and help ensure the safety of your employees, customers, and their onsite users of your rental
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This System Eliminates the
F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 A M E R I C A N LI QUI D WASTE 23
condition for bacteria to reproduce, which leads to bad odors in poorly maintained toilet units. People need fresh air, so toilet unit designs should permit breeze to enter the interior.
4 To minimize odors and to preserve the life of the toilet units, position them out of direct sunlight. Use a tent or tree-shaded area for the toilet units.
4 Significantly increase your ratio of water per the number of chemicals you use during hot weather months. Use ventilation, especially when frequent use of the unit is expected.
4 Wind Protection — Bring portable toilet units inside a stable structure, if possible, when expecting windy conditions. Or, if necessary:
4 Move the toilet unit to position it near a wall that is located
4 Add a salt brine solution, to reduce the freezing point inside the tank.
4 Adding a rock salt cake to the urinal, to control proportions as the urinal is used, which causes the cake to release additional salt into the tank.
4 Ice Protection — Winterize your portable toilet units, to maintain them in sanitary condition, to help users avoid slipping and falling, and to preserve the life of the units.
4 Use salt to de-ice the toilet. 4 Use antifreeze to prevent the toilet unit’s system from freezing. Using antifreeze or some other effective solution prevents the toilet liquid from freezing so that you can treat the toilet with disinfecting chemicals. PARTNERING WITH CUSTOMERS TO ENSURE IDEAL MAINTENANCE AT THEIR SITES
where it can provide some shelter from the wind. Or, create
Getting the customers involved in the maintenance process is
a wind barrier by placing a large piece of heavy equipment
sometimes necessary. It can be especially important for some
or another object besides the unit. Use ropes or chains, if
smaller toilet rental companies with solo or couple operators
needed, to secure the unit in wind, and use spikes made for
with customers in very remote locations, in severe weather
keeping portable toilets anchored to the ground.
conditions, for long-term customers with many toilet units
4 Purchase impact-resistant toilet units. Regardless of how well you secure your toilets against the wind, objects can be blown into them in high winds and cause damage that results in extra work for your team and unit rental downtime.
4 Rain Protection — Protecting a portable toilet unit in a
at certain exceptionally busy and/or distant locations, or at industrial or construction sites where units undergo extreme rates of daily use in comparatively dirty environments. SETTING THE INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR PORTABLE TOILET CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE Properly maintaining portable toilet units requires diligent monitoring and treatment with high-quality cleaning
tent can help preserve the condition of the equipment
processes and supplies. To make your efforts more effective,
and shelter the people who use the facility during rainy
encourage customers to ask questions, provide feedback, and
notify you when there is a problem of any kind, with cleaning
4 Putting the toilet unit in a tent is the preferred solution for full protection from the rain.
or maintenance or anything affecting their satisfaction with the use of your rental restroom product or service.
4 Some portable toilet units are designed with their rain gutters, to direct rainwater flowing from the roof of the unit away from the entry door.
4 Cold Weather Protection — Managing frozen waste
Additional Information Resources http://ergo. human.cornell.edu/ErgoPROJECTS/2007projects/ RedesigningThePortaToilet-JennaHolloway.pdf
matter and a toilet tank that becomes a solid mass of ice consisting of feces and urine is a tough task. Experienced northern operators take measures to mitigate this problem:
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F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 A M E R I C A N LI QUI D WASTE 25
Charlene’s Waste Services LLC, Wentzville MO
SMALL START, BIG GROWTH Charlene’s Waste Services (CWS) is a waste management company founded in 2016 in Wentzville, MO, located near O’Fallon in the outer western area of St. Louis metro. The company provides services in the collection of liquid waste and disposal. CWS serves St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jackson County, and the greater St. Louis metro region within a 100-mile radius of St. Louis. From a humble startup launched by Tommy and Charlene Endsley, the story of the couple’s success over the past half-decade in business has unfolded into a spectacular one, by any industry standards. The company has grown to more than 15 times its original size in portable toilet rental units, and its service vehicles have multiplied from one old gigantic truck to a substantial fleet of immaculately maintained toilet trucks and other field service vehicles. But, how does a new entrepreneur parlay his industry knowledge gained through previous
SMALL MIDWEST STARTUP - HUGE POTENTIAL In 1998, I went to work for an outfit in St. Louis, a sanitation company (a porta potty rental business). I worked for them for about 15 years. I had about 7 to 10 employees reporting to me. After I quit, I went to work for a trash company, because I had a non-compete agreement with the porta-potty company. I drove for the trash company for a couple of years.
job experience into such rapid growth over
After the non-compete term was over, we started
just a few years? To track the progression
up Charlene’s Waste Services, with a little money we
of this amazing suburban family business,
had saved in the bank. We bought a used porta-potty
Tommy takes us back to the beginning:
truck out of Pumper magazine, from a little company
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in Michigan, and bought around 200 porta-potties, to get
CHARLENE’S WASTE SERVICES BUSINESS MODEL
Tommy explains the breakdown of locations utilizing his
I was working nights, picking up commercial routes, and
company’s portable toilet units: Our equipment is on large
Charlene was working for a title company, on home titles.
construction sites, at power plants, remodels, residential
I would go in at midnight. I would get off work at 10:00 or
building sites, and on industrial sites. We have several units
11:00 in the morning, then make deliveries for my other job.
permanently located throughout the year in public parks
For a year, we did both at the same time, until we grew our
and in quarries. In addition to portable toilet units. We also
customer base enough that we could sustain the business
rent hand washing and hand sanitizing stations, and we
with both of us working for it full time and quit our regular
do water hauling for job site trailers for bridge-building
companies. We’ve put out about 200-250 units per year for special
ENDSLEY LEVERAGES NEW EQUIPMENT TO GENERATE GROWTH
events over the 5 years since we’ve
We made a deal with the guy we
been in business. But, we’re not
bought the toilet units from, which
Today, Charlene’s Waste
allowed us to keep them on his lot
Services has grown to
services. That’s not an area that is
an inventory of about
Currently, we’ve got 5 service trucks.
and get them when we need them. He had enough land in central
time, as needed.
doing well, due to COVID.
1,000 portable toilet
We put those together with every
rental units, more than
driver tries to service 200 units per
Missouri to store them, so we were able to pick up a couple of loads at a
doing too much business in events
At that time, we were just renting a small space. We didn’t have a yard for the equipment yet. So, we ended
five times its original size five years ago.
200 or so units we have out. Each week or so. CWS EQUIPMENT We currently have about 1,000
up renting a couple of spots from a
portable toilet units. We use Samson
storage dealership, and that was our
Industries, Satellite, and Armals
first location where we stored our truck and equipment. As
toilet units. We have around 55 to 60 handicap units. We
we grew, we ended up renting a spot to store everything.
also have about 2 dozen trailer units that can be towed for
Tommy’s and Charlene’s business quickly grew to nearly
use on highway jobs. Those are single toilet units on trailers
300 porta-potty units. Two new trucks for hauling portable
for use in a quarry or on highways, for example.
toilets were added to the original old truck, to form a fleet
We probably have about 200 handwashing stations and
of three portable toilet trucks, enabling the couple to take
about 250 hand sanitizer stands. Those are a commodity
on larger routes, a new market, and more challenging work.
nowadays with COVID. When customers started dealing
So far, so good, so the entrepreneurial team then planned
with it (the pandemic), they wanted hand washing stations,
to buy an additional 100 toilet rental units.
and then they found they wanted both washing and
The company has continued on a steady and rapid growth
trajectory. Today, Charlene’s Waste Services has grown to an
MARKETING AND SALES AT CWS
inventory of about 1,000 portable toilet rental units, more
Our new business mostly comes from customers I have
than five times its original size five years ago.
known for a long time. We have grown that way. Our continued on page 28
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F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 A M E R I C A N LI QUI D WASTE 27
marketing is word of mouth and repeat business. We’re not in the phone book, not on Google, and we don’t advertise. Other than a few things on LinkedIn that I post on job sites, we don’t do any kind of marketing. We succeed because our customers choose to stay with us and are loyal to us. They use us constantly because they like our service better. New customers tell their friends about us, and we keep growing that way. As Tommy said in a previously published interview, “We do whatever it takes to make our customers happy. We go above and beyond.” TOMMY ENDSLEY’S STRATEGIC GROWTH PLAN Our volume has continued increasing, so our plan is just to keep going and growing as we have been. We want to focus on continuing to get more construction jobs, to compete with bigger companies in the St. Louis area. Eventually, we would like to get to 3,800 to 4,000 porta potty units, and when we get to 3,800, we will have 15 to 18 trucks. That’s what we’re shooting for. We want to continue to grow and evolve the business, and see where the road eventually takes us. I was thinking about possibly getting into temporary fencing in the future and roll-off containers. Our main philosophy of growth, mine and Charlene’s, is that we want the business to prosper and have the market share, and then we can venture off into the rolloffs, or residential, or commercial trash pick up.
continued on page 30 2 8 A MERIC AN L IQUID WA S T E F EBR UA RY 2021
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Stay dedicated, and keep on track toward your goals. Don’t let up on them. Even on days when what you’re doing doesn’t seem like it’s working, keep your goals in sight, and keep going.
another published interview, Tommy credits the success of his business much to the growth opportunities made possible by his primary equipment lender. ADVICE FOR INDUSTRY NEWCOMERS FROM TOMMY ENDSLEY, CHARLENE’S WASTE SERVICES, CHARLENE’S WASTE SERVICES
Stay dedicated, and keep on track toward your goals.
Our staff includes me and Charlene and 3 other drivers.
Don’t let up on them. Even on days when what you’re
We’re in the process of hiring a fourth person, for a total
doing doesn’t seem like it’s working, keep your goals
of 6 people. A lot of people think working with porta-
in sight, and keep going. Set your quota for the year,
potties is a nasty job, but it’s not like that, of course.
and try to pass your annual goals. Especially, treat every
Employees discover that after they’re on board.
customer like it’s your first one, no matter how big you
We try to treat employees like family. We treat them like we want to be treated. Not every day is going to be
grow or how long you’ve been in business. As Tommy Endsley advised readers in the previous
peachy. Some days are going to test your ability.
interview, “If you go above and beyond for your
KEY CHALLENGES FOR CHARLENE’S WASTE
customer, then they will keep coming back.”
SERVICES Embarking on their new business venture, finding financing for equipment and other business needs was challenging for the Endsleys. Typically, banks are hesitant
For more information about Charlene’s Waste Services in Wentzville MO, call (636) 887-0312.
to take risks on new small businesses. Tommy overcame through persistence, ultimately finding a lender who understands the needs and importance of startups and is motivated to help new entrepreneurs succeed. In
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