According to the urban dictionary bin watching is spying on someone on social media who you have a liking towards. While this sort of bin watch is probably unfamiliar to many of us there is another type of bin watching that is all to common in our industry. If you're not one for tracking the location and expected pickup date of your skip bins then it is likely you've driven past your bins and seen they are full.
Expecting customers to call us when they are finished with their bins is expecting too much. Many people are busy these days and forget to call to get you to pickup the skip until they really are sick of having a skip bin in their front yard. You will be well aware that it only really takes a few hours to load a skip so why leave it there for two weeks if the customer only needs it for a few days.
The earlier that a skip is on the pickup list the more likely it will be that you can optimise the pickup when you have a delivery close to that location.
I have worked with companies in the past who left bins onsite for extended periods of time because they got their records mixed up or made other clerical errors.
Working a bin watch into your runs so that when you're in the area you can check to see if a skip is full is worthwhile once the bin has been onsite for a number of weeks. While this may seem like a waste of time and fuel a quick drive by may be more palatable than calling the customer.
Bin Watching While Delivering Flyers
When I was marketing skip hire services I used to bin watch by counting all of the skip bins for the competitors to workout who was the biggest players in the local market.
This type of bin watching helped me to establish what rates of people used skip bins in general and who the dominant market players were as well as deliver a lot of flyers about my skip hire company.
While many would be keen to tell you that letterbox dropping does not work, I have found it to be more effective than other forms of advertising. It is particularly cost effective if you are low on work and can therefore spend the time delivering them yourself.
Once you are a larger company this can be done using a local contractor to deliver the flyers and bin watch for you.