Step Three: Perform a Waste Audit

Knowing where to begin with an audit depends on the type and amount of waste your company generates.

A waste audit should address:

  • How much waste your business generates.
  • Where, how and why waste is generated.
  • What types of materials you are throwing away.
  • Where your waste is going and how it is managed.
  • How much your collection and disposal services cost.
  • How much of your waste can be reduced and/or recycled.
  • Through this audit, employees will become aware of what waste is created and how it is managed. Now staff can target opportunities for reduction and recycling.

Knowing where to begin with an audit depends on the type and amount of waste your company generates. For help prioritizing, see the Waste Reduction Checklist for dozens of examples.

Then, for each waste material identified, consider the best management option:

  • Reduce.
  • Reuse or donate.
  • Recycle.
  • Purchase an alternative made from recycled materials.
  • Continue to dispose of the material properly until there is a better option. See Banned from Garbage to determine what materials need special handling.