Taking out the trash isn’t just a chore. It could be costing your business money—not to mention your customers’ loyalty. Today’s consumers want to support businesses with eco-friendly practices. And the more you throw out, the more you’re spending on trash collection and replacement materials.

Before you can reduce waste at your organization, you need data to create the smartest plan of attack. If you don’t have the information on-hand, it’s time to do a waste audit.  We turned advice from sustainability consultants Great Forest and Badger Balm, a personal care company that conducts quarterly audits, into a simple checklist to help your business get started.

What Is a Waste Audit?

A waste audit is a method for analysing an organization’s waste stream. The goal is to discover what types and quantities of waste (paper, plastic, food etc.) you produce within a given timeframe—usually a week. Auditing also measures how much waste is recycled vs. thrown out. Businesses usually conduct waste audits in order to set recycling, reduction and diversion goals as they prepare to go green or seek LEED Certification.

 Why Audit?

“Our study shows that 77% of what is thrown out is actually not trash at all. In other words, most companies are probably paying too much for trash removal, and losing a lot of valuable recyclables every day. But they do not realize it because they have not had a proper waste audit to analyze their waste streams.”

Ross Guberman | CEO, Great Forest

Should You DIY or Hire a Service?

Businesses that produce a relatively small amount of trash (offices, boutique stores etc.) or who simply want some baseline data often conduct their audit themselves. However, Waste audits conducted for a specific purpose should always be done by experienced experts who know what to look out for, and more importantly, how to analyze the data properly. In particular, hiring a service is recommended for projects like:

Seeking LEED or TRUE certification.

Determining storage and equipment needs during construction.

Creating a waste-related request for proposal (RPF).

Get In Touch

Triq in-Nassaba, Safi, SFI 1637, Malta