What It Is
A solid waste audit helps an organization understand its waste production and disposal. During a solid waste audit, an employee or auditor will examine the sources, composition, weight, volume, and end location of an organization’s waste.The organization can then use the audit’s results to reduce its waste creation.
Why It Matters
A waste audit can help your organization reduce waste, which helps the environment and cuts down on your organization’s waste disposal bill. Once an organization understands how its wasting resources, it can begin conserving, recycling, or reusing them instead of tossing them in the trash.
Some government and non-profit organizations conduct waste audits for free. However, a business owner or staff member can also easily conduct a company waste audit.
When preparing for a solid waste audit, research and consider the following:
- WasteWise: An EPA program that gives participating businesses access to EPA resources to help them reduce waste. This program is free and works for all businesses, large or small. For more information on this program, click here. For a guide produced by the EPA on how businesses can reduce waste, click here.
- Solid Waste Reduction Module: Created by Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources, this module walks home and business owners through the waste audit process. Click here to check it out.
- 7 Steps for Conducting a Waste Audit: The Natural Resource Defense Council shares a seven step process for conducting a waste audit. To see the plan, go here.
- Pick a waste audit method and conduct a waste audit.
- At the end of the waste audit, document where you can reduce waste.
- Implement a waste reduction policy. This can be informal. Just make sure employees know what to conserve and how to do it.
- Assess your progress by monitoring your savings. You can also conduct another audit to see how much your waste production has decreased.
- Conduct waste audits regularly to identify more waste reduction opportunities.
- Continue to set higher goals for your business. Always strive to conserve more resources and produce less waste.
Solid Waste: Products and materials discarded after use, composed primarily of solids at normal, ambient temperatures. For more information on solid waste, click here.