Steps and Benefits of a Commercial Waste Audit
Businesses that don't have a waste audit conducted at least once a year are throwing savings in the trash.
Waste audits reveal crucial information about the waste generated by your company and the amount of money spent on disposing of it.
The combined effect of factors such as policy changes, human neglect, the diminishing performance of equipment, increase in disposal and recycling charges increase the year-over-year waste costs for companies and organizations. Thus, we recommend a waste audit every 1-2 years to keep waste and cost reduction initiatives running efficiently.
What is a Waste Audit and Why Your Business Needs it
The objective of a waste audit is to improve the bottom line of your business, promote sustainability, reduce waste production, and reduce your business's environmental impact.
A waste audit helps you identify and optimize deficient areas in your waste stream to save you money.
Small shopping establishments, complexes, restaurants, office buildings, hospitals, educational establishments, manufacturing plants, hotels, and motels - all of these can benefit from a waste audit.
You have the option of hiring outside help if you don't have in-house expertise.
How Does a Waste Audit Save Businesses Money?
To first understand where you can save money, you will have to know where you are spending money.
The amount of money you pay your commercial waste hauler is proportional to the amount of waste you produce. An increase in waste generation means an increased frequency of waste haulage and an increased site-tipping fee (or gate fee).
The small costs of buying numerous waste containers also add up. Conducting a waste audit plugs the cash-flow leaks.
After conducting a waste audit for you, a waste management company in Utah can suggest ways you can save money with solutions including:
- Reducing and recycling waste
- Producing less waste that goes to landfills
- Identifying inefficiencies in the waste stream
- Conducting preventive maintenance of equipment leading to reduced waste production
- Reducing frequency of waste pickups
- Decreasing the required waste storage space
- Strategically placing waste bins for recyclable, organic, and solid waste
Reduction and recycling are the cornerstones of money-saving efforts through a waste audit.
Reduction leads to less expenditure on raw materials and supplies that eventually turn into waste, and recycling leads to less disposal fees charged by your waste management company.
A study by Great Forest reveals that "77% of waste that is thrown out is actually recyclable." Do you see what that means for your business' bottom line?
How is a Waste Audit Done?
A waste audit starts with understanding the capabilities, needs, and operations of your organization. So a meeting between managers of your company and the person or service you hired for a waste audit should be the first task.
The whole waste audit process can last for 1-5 days, depending upon the size of the business.
Steps to a Waste Audit
Step 1: Assembling Basic Information
A waste audit begins with collecting basic information about the factors that contribute to waste generation. This information will serve as a reference for planning waste reduction activities.
Data collection includes:
- The number of your employees, personnel, students, or customers
- Site location and size
- The amount of recycled and reused products
- Purchase policies
- Internal activities (cafeteria, office space, commercial and industrial grounds, etc.)
- Waste generated by daily operations
- Waste storage facilities
- Current waste management tactics
- Personnel responsible for waste management
- Quantity of waste produced
- Quantity of recyclable waste
- Current waste collection and segregation methods
- Frequency of waste collection
- Current waste disposal activities and recycling programs
- Gross waste disposal and recycling cost
- Currently accessible waste disposal and recycling services
Step 2: Identifying Resource Requirement
The waste audit process needs equipment to sort and store the waste while you are analyzing your waste stream.
If you hire a Utah waste audit company, they will see to the equipment needs, but if you are planning to do it in-house, you may need to purchase items including:
- Weighing scale
- Sorting tables
- Sorting bins
- Garbage bags and Labels
- Protective clothing
- Journal for data entry
- Hand trowel
Step 3: Identifying and categorizing waste
Categorizing waste makes it easier to implement actions for its reduction or recycling.
Waste auditors have to go through waste bins to identify waste, analyze and record data, and then divide it into recyclable or non-recyclable categories.
It's also an opportunity to weigh the total waste produced by your organization.
This information reveals the source of waste generation and hints toward actionable steps for reducing waste generation.
Step 4: Developing an Action Plan and Implementation
Use the collected data to identify gaps in current waste management methods and the potential for improving waste reduction and recycling.
A waste audit coordinator or service can help you reduce waste production by suggesting ways to:
- Switch to less wasteful materials or processes
- Use more eco-friendly options
- Use recycled materials
- Reduce waste generation during operations
- Source eco-friendly raw materials and supplies
- Replace disposable products with reusable products
- Train employees for adopting sustainable practices
- Recycle internally
- Make waste use less storage space
Some examples of a waste reduction plan can include:
- Setting up more bins to collect recyclable waste
- Encouraging cafeterias to use more recyclable products
- Encouraging employees to use both sides of the paper
- Encouraging employees to bring reusable water bottles instead of using plastic bottles
- Using updated equipment or conducting maintenance so that it produces less waste
Get a Waste Audit in Utah
A waste audit has other benefits apart from cost reduction. The mindset of customers is shifting toward favoring sustainable brands. Mentioning your new initiative known on social media, PR articles, company blogs, collateral, etc., can win you the appreciation of your target customers.
Companies driven by a mission to reduce waste can use waste audits to measure the success of their efforts.
Enviro Care offers waste audit services in Utah. We have helped organizations in Utah and surrounding states save money by identifying deficiencies in their waste management programs.
We believe in sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Our experts work with your team to improve your profitability and reduce the environmental impact of your business. Our prior experience working with companies and organizations and our training programs keep our staff members updated with industry knowledge and the latest best practices.
To get a waste audit for your business, call us today!