How to do a Waste Audit?
Assemble a Team and Set a Date
When performing a waste audit for your company, putting together a team and deciding on a date are essential tasks. To guarantee that all divisions of the organization are involved in the audit process, it is crucial to have representatives from every department. When recruiting for this crucial work, try to get at least five volunteers who are prepared to commit their time and energy.
Exceeding expectations by establishing a permanent “Sustainability Committee.” Any adjustments that might need to be made in light of the waste audit’s conclusions can be managed by this committee. Ensuring that sustainable practices become an essential component of your business operations can be achieved by establishing a dedicated group.
Choose a week for the waste audit that doesn’t have any noteworthy occasions or holidays. This will give you a good idea of how much rubbish you typically produce. Furthermore, attempt to arrange it during a time when the majority of the workforce will be in the office. Make sure your outside custodial staff members are aware of the audit and don’t empty the garbage during that particular week if they are in charge of that.
Determine Your Waste Categories
Identifying the many waste categories your company generates is crucial before starting a trash audit. This will make it easier for you to understand the many kinds of garbage that are produced and enable more accurate analysis and suggestions.
Commence by listing the most prevalent sorts of rubbish while producing your list of waste categories. Glass, paper, cardboard, signs, food waste, plastic bottles, common plastic goods like cutlery or packaging materials, aluminum cans, marketing display materials, and any particular materials packaging particular to your company are some examples of these.
When you begin the audit, keeping these basic categories in mind can help you organize and evaluate your waste. Remember that this list is subject to change and expansion as needed throughout the process
Gather Your Tools
It’s essential to assemble the necessary equipment and materials for a successful waste audit so that your team can work effectively and safely.
The following are the necessities for a waste audit:
Ensure that you have a clear space set out for disposing of the rubbish. Enough room should be provided for all the waste materials that will be sorted in this area throughout the audit.
Next, think about giving each volunteer a pair of tongs. Although they are not required, these can be useful for managing specific waste materials or when taking safety measures.
Using clipboards to document your observations as you go through the audit process is crucial. These will assist in tracking vital information including weights and waste category classifications.
To weigh each type of waste precisely, you’ll need a bathroom scale. This gives important details about the amount of garbage being produced in various departments within your company.
Effective sorting of waste categories requires labeled boxes. It is simpler to distinguish recyclables from other particular categories or general rubbish when there are clearly marked boxes.
Make sure rubber gloves and face masks are available for every volunteer. By reducing exposure to potentially dangerous materials during the sorting process, these protective products enhance safety.
Remember to bring garbage bags! You’ll need these bags to properly rebag and dispose of all the sorted garbage once the audit is over.
Sort Your Trash
After putting together your waste auditing team and identifying the waste categories, it’s time to get your hands dirty and start sorting your trash. This is where the real work comes into play when figuring out how much garbage your company produces.
Gather all of the waste and recyclables from every area of your building first. Never leave a bin empty! After everything is gathered in one location, stop and consider how much stuff we actually accumulate every day.
First, mark every trash bag with the department from which it came in order to begin organizing this pile of debris. This will make it easier to spot any differences between departments when the results are later analyzed. Next is the weighing procedure; weigh each set of garbage bags and recyclables independently. These figures will function as standards for further analyses.
It’s time to really get your hands dirty now. Put on your gloves and start classifying all of the materials into the appropriate boxes according to the categories you have chosen. If you previously categorized your trash according to departments, make sure you have different boxes for each location.
Look for any recyclables that were inadvertently mixed up with regular trash as you sort through the discarded things. Make a note of these occurrences so that later on, proposals or educational initiatives can take them into consideration.
Weigh each category separately once everything has been arranged neatly into its designated category box (you deserve acclaim if there was little to no crossing!). This stage makes it possible to analyze waste kinds more thoroughly and determine which ones are more common in your company’s activities.
Keep in mind that the goal of this sorting process is not just to measure trash but also to pinpoint places where improvements may be made in terms of contamination from waste recycling or overuse in particular departments.
Analyze Your Results
After finishing your waste audit and gathering all the required information, it’s time to evaluate the findings. Understanding your waste stream and pinpointing areas for improvement need the completion of this stage.
First, divide the weight of your recyclables by the total weight of your waste (trash + recyclables) to find your waste diversion rate. To get the weekly waste diversion percentage, multiply this value by 100. This will let you gauge the success of your recycling initiatives.
Next, examine the weights noted for every waste category in more detail. Which categories are weighted the highest? Did these categories change depending on the department? Finding differences between departments might assist in identifying areas that could require more training or funding.
Did you find any recyclables mixed in with the garbage throughout the sorting process? This can suggest that recycling methods need to be properly explained or that greater signage is needed. Furthermore, during the audit, did any unexpected waste categories surface? These findings can direct upcoming environmental projects.
Examining these findings offers insightful information about your present waste management procedures and points up areas for development. Now that you have this knowledge, you can start creating plans and objectives to reduce waste and raise recycling rates in your company.