CONDUCTING A WASTE AUDIT


RECYCLING REQUIRED BY LAW

Act 101 of 1988 requires commercial, institutional and municipal establishments located in Pennsylvania's (mandated municipalities) * to recycle high-grade office paper, corrugated paper, aluminum, and leaf waste. In addition, establishments must recycle any other materials included in the municipality's recycling ordinance.

* Reference Act 101 of 1988. Pennsylvania's Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, Sec. 1501 (c)(1)(iii)

CONDUCTING A WASTE AUDIT

The waste audit is one of the first steps in starting a recycling program. Elements of a good waste audit are as follows:

1. COMPOSITION OF THE WASTE STREAM

The first step in the audit process is to look at what materials you are currently disposing of and in what quantities. In developing your program concentrate on the high volume materials (in retail it would be cardboard and with offices it would be paper). Also look at high value materials such as toner cartridges and aluminum cans.

2. DETERMINE WEIGHT / VOLUME

Look at the weight and volume of the materials you currently dispose of that could be recycled. Restaurants and bars generate large quantities of glass and are often charged a surcharge for collection due to the weight. Retailers generate large volumes of cardboard that can quickly fill dumpsters. If the establishment generates a high volume of cardboard it may pay to look at baling the material, this can also help increase the marketability of the cardboard.

3. SOURCES OF WASTE

Look at your overall operation and determine where the waste is being generated and if this material can be:

4. COLLECTION SYSTEM

recycling bin with small round hole on top Always locate collection containers where the recyclables are being generated. The easier it is to recycle the higher the participation rate will be. Clearly mark all collection containers and make it as hard as possible to contaminate the recyclables. For example use lids with only a hole in the top for the collection of aluminum cans. Locating the recycling containers near trash cans can cut down on contamination.

5. CURRENT AND PROJECTED COSTS

The main reason for starting a recycling program is to reduce waste collection costs. After implementing your recycling program you need to conduct a second waste audit to see if your program has significantly reduced the amount of waste generated. If it has, you may want to reduce your collection schedule or size of your container, which will save you money.


Sample Forms:

You can download these forms as a Microsoft Word document to modify and use.

Waste Material Audit Form (Sample)

MATERIALS LOCATION RECYCLED Y/N DISPOSAL LBS/WEEK DISPOSAL TONS/YR COMMENTS

Computer Paper
         

Ledger Paper
         

Mixed Paper
         

Corrugated
         

Newspaper
         

Magazines
         

Glass Containers
         

Aluminum Cans
         

Steel Cans
         

Scrap Metals
         

Plastics
         

Pallets
         

Batteries
         

others
         

TOTALS
         


Collection Cost Audit Form (Sample)

Date of Collection % Filled Pickup Cost Type Size # of Collections per Month Monthly Cost
             
             
             
             

TOTALS
           

You can download these forms as a Microsoft Word document to modify and use.


[Next Page] [Previous Page] [Recycling Home Page] [Fact Sheets]


Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Land Recycling and Waste Management
Dvision of Waste Minimization and Planning
Recycling and Markets Section
PO Box 8472
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8472

recyclepa@state.pa.us

Hotline Number in Pennsylvania only: 800-346-4242
Please Print on Recycled Paper