Veolia Nears 20 Year Relationship with Major Northeastern University

The challenge

For almost 20 years, Veolia North America has been serving the hazardous waste management needs for a major university in the northeastern United States. Veolia is particularly proud of its tenure of service with this particular customer, because according to a chemical safety specialist with the university, "We are required by university policy to rebid vendors every four years, even if we love them." 

The project challenges are:

  • Geographically complex setting

  • The university houses 350 laboratories throughout the institution's seven schools and colleges.

  • There are approximately 80 buildings that may generate hazardous waste through research and classroom activities, and require pick-ups on campus. 

Veolia’s solution

Consistent service, knowledgeable technicians:

"Each time we rebid, Veolia comes back and wins the contract, partly because of pricing, but mostly because of their service," said a university representative.  "We have partnered with Veolia for over sixteen years now, and recently renewed our contract for another four years." 
"The University is a large, busy place and as staff, we do not have time to tell service providers where to go each time they come out. Veolia has proven they are committed to knowing our business and understanding where we need support, and that is one of the main reasons they continue to win our business year after year," also stated the university representative.


The collection process:

According to the university representative, “Anyone in need of a pick-up submits an online request that tells me and Veolia what kind and what volume of waste they need collected. Every two weeks, Veolia goes around to all of the locations, classrooms, buildings and labs, and picks up the waste that has been certified for disposal. They put all of the waste into our central accumulation area, and then once a month, they go into the central accumulation area to separate the waste into categories for various types of disposal."

Field computer system:

Properly identifying the waste for treatment is crucial to keeping costs down and compliance up.  "It is very efficient that they can bring out a computer and printer, and in very short order, accurately identify our waste," said the university representative. "Their field system is probably one of the best I have seen. They are operating on 20 plus years of data, so their database is very impressive. I also know Veolia is working in our best interest, sending our wastes to the best treatment facility available, for the best process at the best rate."


“Veolia's online service system that we access to view reports, run reports and run queries is good, but what is really great is that I can call a service rep and have them run custom reports for our specific needs," said the customer.  “When I request a custom report, they get it back to me quickly. And they don’t just give me data back, they give me a report that I do not have to tweak and can give directly to my boss."

“What is also nice is that there is a standing order for a report every quarter. They send me the quarterly reports, then back them up with a meeting every six months. Their sales rep comes in and goes over the numbers—what we’re on budget for, plus anything that is going to be over budget and what we need to do to account for it. They don’t just have good field reps, they have great sales reps. The one I have had experience with is outstanding.”

Special Services:

“We were demolishing a building that was over 100 years old and discovered an underground storage tank that had been leaking, and we needed help with remediation services. Veolia was just extremely helpful not just with remediation, but also in helping us to control the cost of removing tons of contaminated soil. The whole $5 million project was on hold because we had discovered this underground storage tank. In very short order we were back on schedule, the soil was remediated and everything was treated properly according to regulatory requirements. That was huge! Because of Veolia’s size and resources, they were able to provide roll-offs for daily pickups to manage the couple of tons of soil we were removing each day. It is the best example I can think of to demonstrate their ability to develop creative solutions and offer excellent service at critical times."

According to the customer, “We also needed to upgrade a transformer, and they assisted us with the removal and disposal of the oil and the decontamination of the old storage area, so the new transformer can be placed in the same spot.”

“Every time I think we have handled the most unusual job, there is a new one. They just pop up, and when they are hazardous materials related, we always call Veolia. If my sales rep or my field support doesn’t have the answer, then their corporate office does, and that is why we like them.”