Waste Audit Methodology & Approach
Waste Audit Intent
The purpose of a waste audit is to establish a building’s current waste disposal baseline that identifies the types and amounts of waste making up the waste stream. The waste stream audit will allow you to determine areas where more recycling can be can be done, and you can then develop a plan to help capture this additional recycling.
Waste Audit Process Overview
The waste audit collects the waste and recycling from a selected time frame. The process consists of collecting the waste from tenant desk and break areas, bringing it to the loading dock where the waste and recycling are picked up, sorting the waste and recycling, recording the weight of each material, and finally analyzing the results. Documentation and photos of the entire process and procedure are taken and provided to you.
- The waste audit is scheduled in advance with the cleaning crew and waste hauler.
- American Disposal Services and the American Recycling Center utilize the weight method for auditing waste collection. The weight method requires the input of the gross weight and the tare weight (which is the weight of the empty container used for auditing). We utilize separate containers that can be weighed empty and then used to sort the waste and recycling items into.
- To begin the waste audit, the janitorial team will:
a. Collect the waste and recycling from the building and;
b. Bring the entire waste stream collected to one location. This is typically the loading dock/area where the waste and recycling are collected.
- First the waste (non-recycled items) is sorted into categories. The amount of waste for each category that was collected is recorded. If something that can be recycled is soiled, it is to be considered garbage (i.e. if there is newspaper that is covered in coffee grounds, consider it garbage).
- Then the recycling is sorted into the categories. The amount of recycling for each category that was collected is recorded. If materials are found within the recycling are considered contaminants, those are listed in the contaminants section of the recycling sort.
- Data and reports provided to you will indicate which materials are being appropriately recycled, and how much recyclable content is going into the garbage. By comparing the data, you will be able to see areas where improvements can be made to recycle more waste.
- From the results, the building should determine the category with the highest percentage of potential recyclable material found in the waste. The building should work to develop a plan to capture this category in order to increase the amount of recycling collected.
- When completing the audit, American Disposal Services and the American Recycling Center are sure to clearly state the weight of each waste type for the total recycling and trash. The percentage of waste type currently diverted from waste stream should be the total weight of waste type recycled correctly divided by the total weight in the waste stream (recycling + waste) for the waste type.