What is a Waste Audit? An inventory of solid waste practices 1. Generation 2. Collection 3. Composition 4. Reduction 5. Reuse 6. Recycling 7. Composting 8. Purchasing
Why Perform Waste Audits? Lower disposal costs Lower purchasing costs Revenue from recovered materials Improved public image Improved employee moral Less internal theft
When to Perform Waste Audits? A typical time period (week) that can be used to project monthly and yearly waste patterns. Avoid holidays, unusual work flows (either heavy or light) vacations, start- up or close downs.
Where to Perform Waste Audits? On-site –(Can’t be done from an office) Collection points before pick-up Dumpster and compactors before service Recycling areas Purchasing
Who Should Perform Waste Audits? Waste audits do not require advanced degrees Waste audits do not require certification Waste audits do not require specialized equipment Waste audits are not rocket science
Meet with the waste hauler Get a copy of the service contract if possible Get a copy of the rate schedule Get a copy of the pick-up schedule Arrange to meet the driver on the first pickup day Arrange for extra dumpster at the waste sort location
Meet with the Recycler Determine what materials are recycled and how they are prepared Get copies of any recycling education materials. Get a copy of the collection schedule Get a copy of the weight or volume of recyclables collected Get revenue figures (if possible) for recyclables sold.
Prepare for the waste sort Determine how many different waste streams are generated Determine what recycling markets are available Reserve an area to conduct the waste sort Determine the number of samples needed and the number of sort categories needed Assemble sort equipment (scale, table, tarps, containers, safety equipment)
Make travel arrangements Motel reservations Parking/entry permits
Document Preparation Create spreadsheet for waste generation Create spreadsheet for waste sort Create a spreadsheet for recycling Camera for photos
Record Waste Generation Dumpsters - Estimate the volume of each dumpster just before it is emptied (use percent full to make the estimate) and record volumes. Compactors - Record the time, get the percent of capacity (if available), and record the scale weight for each compactor emptied. Talk to the custodial staff and determine when waste is taken to each dumpster. Also determine if there are “peak trash” periods during the week, month, or year.
Dumpster Volume Estimating Yard Capacity = Height x Width x Depth 27 Estimate = Average Height of Trash Height of Dumpster
Determine Waste Composition Determine the types of waste streams based on visual inspection of dumpsters and the function of buildings contributing to the dumpster Collect and stage samples for sorting Schedule waste sort, set up equipment, and coordinate volunteers if available Conduct the waste sort and record the results
Applying Waste Percentages Based on 892 yards per week MaterialsPct.Yds/wkYds/year Paper17%152 7,582 Cardboard3%27 1,338 Alum. Cans2%18 892 Containers6%54 2,676 Non-Recyclable72%642 32,112 TOTAL100%892 44,600
Observe Reduction and Reuse Possibilities What items are being discarded that could be reused? What items are being discarded that could be eliminated through better purchasing? What Items are being discarded that could be eliminated through different behavior? Look over the source reduction checklist for possibilities.
Record Recycling Diversion Follow the recycler and estimate the volume of materials collected. Record the type and volume of each material collected. Look for possible efficiencies in collecting recyclables Ask questions along the recycling route to determine the attitude of workers about recycling. Establish a flow chart of how recyclables are moved from the work areas to the collection truck.
Introduction The scope of work proposed Time period of audit Why the audit was conducted Credit to any funding agency
Waste Generation Description of internal waste collection What level of service is currently contracted (# of dumpsters or compactors, pulls/wk, and fees). Actual waste generation during the auditing period
Current waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting activities List the efforts to reduce waste List reuse activities that affect waste generation List recycling activities and the amount of material currently recycled List composting activities
Purchasing policies that affect waste generation List purchasing policies that could affect the amount of waste generated List the steps being taken by purchasing to reduce waste generation.
Provide a financial audit of the cost to collect and dispose of waste List the total cost for disposal List the cost of reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting waste List any revenues received from recovered materials List any gains from waste to energy activities List any savings (probably estimated) gained from waste reduction and proactive purchasing activities. List net cost for disposal and recycling (if applicable)
Provide recommendations to reduce waste and/or reduce waste disposal costs Make recommendations that will be significant Make recommendations brief Make recommendations defensible
Presentation to Management Keep the presentation short (10-15 minutes) Include the use pictures if possible Use graphics to relate waste generation and waste composition numbers Spend most of the time discussing the recommendations