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Some Basics for Conducting a Waste Assessment
A waste assessment is an important step in waste reduction, as it will show you how much waste is being generated by your company and potential ways to reduce that waste. If you already have waste reduction practices being used, it will also show you how effective they are. Lastly, a waste assessment will give you information that you can use to compare with future assessments to evaluate how your waste reduction program is proceeding.
There are three different approaches to conducting waste assessments. A waste
assessment can include just one or a combination of the three depending on
factors such as the amount of waste produced, the size of the company, and the
resources provided to the waste reduction program.
- Purchasing, inventory, maintenance, and operating logs
- Supply, equipment, and raw material invoices.
- Equipment service contracts.
- Repair invoices
- Waste hauling and disposal records and contracts.
- Contracts with recycling facilities and records of earned revenues from recycling.
Use this worksheet from the EPA to record your
- Interviewing employees will get them involved first-hand in waste reduction and will provide you with information you may not otherwise get because of their familiarity with the waste produced
- Don’t only record observations of waste currently being produced, also consider ways to improve efficiency as you conduct your walk-through
Use this worksheet from the EPA to record your findings:
- A waste sort is used when you want to calculate the percentage of each waste item being produced in your company
- It doesn’t have to encompass the whole company; a waste sort can be conducted to target smaller areas if you believe more waste is being produced in those areas
- Keep in mind that your company’s waste generation may vary on a day-to-day basis or from season to season. Make sure you take this into account when conducting your waste sort
- The sample taken needs to be representative of your company’s waste generation or the results will be skewed
- Use this worksheet from the EPA for a step-by-step approach to waste sorts: http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/bus-guid/work-d.pdf
As indicated, the three different approaches to waste assessments
and you have to decide which one(s) will suite your company the best. Just
remember to keep your EPA worksheets and documentation of the waste assessment
process so you’ll have data and information to look back on during the rest of
your waste reduction program. After you have a better
idea of your trash profile and the volume you will be in a much better position
to look into Waste Recycling Equipment such as Trash Compactors, Balers,
Shredders, Grinders, Densifiers, Crushers and other related products.
After you have a better idea of your trash profile and the volume you will be in a much better position to look into Waste Recycling Equipment such as Trash Compactors, Balers, Shredders, Grinders, Densifiers, Crushers and other related products.
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