It is now apparent to large corporations, small corporations, and even individuals that we have to rethink the way we handle our waste for the sake of our environment. One of the ways to ensure that waste is handled properly is by conducting a waste audit. But many organizations are not aware what this process entails. So, here are some answers.
What is a Waste Audit?
A waste audit is the process of collecting, sorting, and weighing samples of trash in an organization. The goal of this process is to identify and quantify what the waste in that organization consists of to determine what can be recycled, composted, and so forth. The information that this process gathers can also help determine what kinds of waste materials need to be avoided if that is a possibility.
What a Waste Audit Entails
1. Understanding Basic Terminologies
Waste audits require the classification of various aspects of the waste management process. For this reason, being conversant with some basic terminologies is important. For instance, waste composition refers to the kinds of items that are found in the waste.
On the other hand, generator type refers to the source of the waste such as an office, hotel and so forth. Also, a term like waste generation is used to explain the rate at which the waste is being produced. When armed with these terminologies, it is easier to conduct the audit.
2. Have a Waste Audit Worksheet
This document should list the kinds of waste that come from your organization. Examples include glass, paper, food, and other kinds of waste. The worksheet should be suited to your organization since each generates its special kinds of waste. A good way to ensure that none of these waste items are left out in the worksheet is to do a physical survey of the premises to take note of the various kinds of waste being generated.
3. Estimate the Waste Proportions
Once you have included all types of waste in the institution on your worksheet, you should proceed to make waste estimates with regard to quantities. For large organizations, you can do this based on departments before finding general estimates as per the central waste disposal areas.
4. Confirm the Accuracy of Your Estimates
A waste audit is pretty much a rough estimation process. Therefore, you should find other ways to confirm if your figures make sense. One way of doing this is to have a look at the purchase records of the company. For instance, in the case of a busy office, the amount of paper bought and consumed since the last waste collection was done can help determine if your estimates on paper waste generation are justifiable.
5. Think of Other Factors affecting Waste Disposal
Waste composition may change based on season. For instance, in the case of an office organization, more waste paper may be generated during marketing campaigns. Additionally, with trees that shed leaves during certain times of the year, plant based waste is likely to increase at these times.
6. Consider the Current Waste Collection Process
As you conclude the audit, have a look at the way the waste is managed. For instance, those who come to collect it, how they go about it, and what it costs to have the waste taken away. At this point, you might need to do some analysis such as calculating the diversion rate and making recommendations for improving the efficiency of the waste management process.
When to Get a Waste Audit
Waste audits can get a little overwhelming for some organizations, especially those unfamiliar with the process. So, getting professional help is also a good idea. Some forms of waste can be a little dangerous to handle, or even classify and identify. Understanding what the results mean, and how to improve the efficiency of your waste management process can also be enhanced with the guidance of an experience waste management outfit.