Waste management is a crucial component of running a business. Not only does it make your business more sustainable, but it can also cut down expenses. That’s why executives and business owners alike are emphasizing managing the trash generated within their organization.
The best way to get started is conducting a thorough waste management audit of the office premises. It informs you where you stand at the money and helps set goals for the future. You can do it yourself or hire a waste auditor. You should refer to resources like https://www.costanalysts.com/services/waste-management-auditing/ for information on waste management auditing. In this article, learn what a waste management auditing process looks like.
Defining Goals and Objective
The first thing a waste management audit demands is to define the goals and objectives. It would help you craft the roadmap and provide you a direction to follow. Waste auditing is industry-specific. Even within the industry, it varies from company to company.
Large corporations operating in multiple countries will have different objectives than mid-sized restaurant chains. Companies require waste audits because of any of the following:
- Learn about the company’s current waste handling
- Figure out the opportunities for improvement
- Create new initiatives to reduce waste generated within the company and improve recycling
- Stay compliant with the local, national, and international laws about the environment
So every waste management audit begins with defining goals. It should be listed in the objectives section of the report.
Assembling an Audit Team
To handle the audit process, you need to recruit a team. The team members can comprise managers, employees, and ground staff members. Have rounds of meeting with the team members and understand what the audit is about and how they’ll go about it.
The team should also figure out the audit process. The plan should include the following:
- Assigning roles and conducting a walk-through
- Locating the waste disposal areas
- Figuring out the current waste management process
All three components are core to a waste audit plan.
Along with the plan, you should figure out when to conduct the audit. It’s likely going to take several days or weeks. You can perform a 5-day work audit where team members gather at the end of the day and inspect the disposal for the day. Or you can conduct random day audit tests.
Preparing Audit Worksheets
As you go about conducting the audit, you will have to capture that data. And that’s where you’d need a comprehensive audit worksheet. The worksheet should be according to the types of waste. At the bare minimum, it’s necessary to record the composition and material of the waste types.
The worksheet should also contain a section for recording the waste’s source. Besides that, you should note how it ends up in the trash can. Is it consumed by the workers or a by-product of the manufacturing process?
The more detailed data you can gather, the better. If you’re a small business, use the waste audit worksheet provided by Denver’s Government. Or else, you can request a customized worksheet from a waste audit agency.
Collecting and Sorting Waste Sample
Next in the process is getting your hands dirty. Your assigned team members should sort through the waste material and categorize them. The classification can be degradable/non-degradable, human-generated/by-product, recyclable/non-recyclable, or hazardous/non-hazardous. It all depends on your main objective and approach.
After the waste is classified, you should record the weight of each type. Take photos along the process for analysis.
Also, throughout the sorting process, your team members should wear protective gear. Depending on the amount of trash, the duration can be 1-3 hours or more.
You’re likely to repeat this process several times on different dates. The average of the numbers will give you a much accurate figure.
Comparing Estimates with Records
Once you’ve collected all the data, it’s time to check it against existing records. The existing record includes receipts, purchase orders, and computer-generated data. It will help you figure out the ways for improvement and how you should handle waste going forward.
You can also cross-reference your data with the waste disposal company’s data. It will help you better understand your consumption. Finally, you should set goals for improvement and lay a blueprint to get there. Carry out such audits from time to time to understand your progress and effectiveness.
Waste auditing shouldn’t be an expensive undertaking either. Most auditing companies will offer competitive pricing and reduce wastage by 5-10%. As consumers are becoming environmentally conscious, they demand companies to become sustainable too. Reducing wastage within your company is the first step you can take.