Organizations that wish to conduct effective waste audits can benefit from these tips:
- Build your team – It’s important to build a team comprised of staff from key areas of your organization – management, procurement, facilities, building management, and waste management.
- Don’t announce the audit date – It’s important to keep the date a secret. If known your employees may restrain themselves from throwing away items they may feel they may get in trouble for. You want a clean audit of a regular operational week. Plan ahead and make sure the date isn’t released to your employees or outside members of the committee.
- Prepare equipment – Prepare these before the waste audit: Eye protection, labels, permanent markers, weighing scale, clear garbage bags, containers, tongs, first-aid kit, and your auditing tools to document findings.
- Prepare to sort waste – Make sure that there’s a proper venue where sorting of waste can be done. The team will be physically sorting through waste so they all should be wearing the right protective equipment from sharp objects and possible exposure to harmful substances.
- Review audits – Review the collected audit reports to help determine the organization’s waste stream, find recycling opportunities, and address issues that can help improve waste management.