A waste audit determines how much trash you're generating, how it's disposed of, and what percentage gets to a recycling facility. With this information, you can figure out how much you can eliminate, either by reducing the use of certain materials — say, by making double-sided copies — or by reusing supplies such as packaging.
Simple Steps to Take
- Call your recycling hauler and ask for a waste audit. Most haulers offer this service to customers. Or if you want to get down and dirty yourself, you can conduct your own waste audit! Download the EPA's suggested waste audit methods (see Additional Resources).
- After the waste audit, if you find that you aren't recycling much, start now! Work with your green team or property manager to increase the items accepted in your recycling program.
- Establish a monthly waste reduction goal. 30% reduction is an achievable goal. 50% is a stretch goal.
- After a month, assess the progress your office has made.
- Report this progress to your business. Maybe have a party if you reach your goal for the month.
- Check your waste/recycling contract and see if they would give you monthly waste reports. If not, make sure you change the contract to reflect this next time you renew the contract.