Conduct a Waste Audit
A waste audit involves finding out the type and quantity of waste generated, and how the waste are generated and disposed. This audit would help you to identify the problems and opportunities for waste reduction.
How to Conduct a Waste Audit
You can conduct a simple waste audit by:
- Sorting the waste in the waste bins to find out the waste type and quantity
- Checking the material purchasing records and waste disposal records to learn where the waste comes from and where it ends up
- Walking around the site and checking with the staff to identify where and how the waste are generated
With the data collected from the waste audit, you can identify the major waste types and find ways to reduce them at the source of generation or divert them from disposal through reuse and recycling.
Check with your suppliers and see whether there are opportunities to reduce their packaging or take back the packaging for reuse. You can also find out whether some of the waste can be given to someone who wants it or whether it can be sent for recycling. What is considered as waste to your company might become a resource for another company.
To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.
If You Need Help
Green Future Solutions provides consultancy services to help companies and organisations introduce an effective and sustainable recycling programme in the office. The scope of the recycling programme includes:
- Conduct a waste audit to establish baseline
- Source for recycling collectors and bins
- Educate staff on waste minimisation and recycling programme
- Monitor and review the programme
Guidebook on Waste Minimisation for Industries
The National Environment Agency (NEA) has published a Guidebook on Waste Minimisation for Industries to help companies reduce their waste and practise recycling. The guidebook contains information on how to conduct a waste audit, and also how to introduce a waste minimisation programme through tips and case studies. Visit the NEA website to download the guidebook.
Conduct a Waste Audit for Your Home
You can also follow the same steps above to conduct a simple waste audit for your home. Find out the waste types from your dustbin and try to find ways to minimise them. Can you reduce the waste by not buying them in the first place? Can you reuse the waste for another purpose? Can you recycle the waste?