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Guide To Conducting A Waste Audit

Learn about the benefits of conducting your own waste audit and get a copy of our step-by-step guide to conducting a waste audit.

Shelby Bell | July 30, 2019


Did you know that talking trash has never made more sense for your business? All kidding aside, we're talking about waste audits! Conducting your own waste audit on a semi-annual or annual basis will give your business important insights into the overall effectiveness of your current waste management operations. Too often, we find that businesses are overpaying for their waste services and missing out on other opportunities. By conducting a waste audit, your business can assess the current state of your waste operations and identify opportunities to recycle more and reduce landfill waste and operational costs. Continue reading to learn more about waste audits and their benefits, and check out our step-by-step guide to conducting a waste audit at the end of the post!


What Is A Waste Audit?

A waste audit is an analysis of your business’ waste stream. The purpose is to determine the types of waste (paper, plastic, food, tin, etc.) and associated volumes your business generates. Typically completed over a week, your Waste Audit Team will collect and store all waste and recycling materials your business generates. Data from the audit will identify the biggest sources of waste and enable your business to reduce it.


The Benefits of A Waste Audit

It enhances the effectiveness of your program

Once the audit is complete, you can see what parts of your program works well and what needs improved. In most cases, audits expose if materials are being placed in the wrong containers, if there are opportunities to develop new recycling streams, or if materials can be removed from the waste stream completely. Based on your findings, your Waste Audit Team can develop a plan to capture more recyclables and reduce any excess waste. For example, if the audit reveals large amounts of disposable coffee cups are being thrown away, you may want to provide reusable coffee mugs to employees to eliminate that source of waste all together.


Waste audits unlock missing revenue

Are you tired of paying too much for trash removal? Your audit will save you money by uncovering missed recycling and revealing opportunities to modify your existing services. Once you compare the audit results to your current service levels, you may be able to adjust existing services and save costs by removing or reducing the size of containers and/or decreasing service frequency.


Encourages employees to update recycling goals & identify improvements

Once the audit is complete, you can take action! Communicate the results of the audit to your organization and identify what aspects of your waste operations can be improved. Are there any items from the audit that are reusable or donatable? What steps can you take to reduce the volume of waste from the largest categories? These are all questions you can discuss with your team to help your business recycle more, reduce landfill waste, and save money!


Ready To Complete A Waste Audit?

Our step-by-step guide makes conducting a waste audit easy. In the guide, you will find everything you need to know for:

✔ Assembling a waste audit team

✔ Defining a project plan

✔ Scheduling an audit

✔ Identifying tools, equipment, and safety measures

✔ Auditing your waste week by week

✔ Analyzing the audit




Let us know what you think about the guide and share your results in the comments below! 



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