The following information is taken directly from the Regional District of North Okanagan's website.  

ICI Waste Audit / Waste Assessment Kit

Industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) sectors produce more than half the solid waste being disposed of in local landfills. This comprises the environment and burdens business, as waste removal and disposal are increasingly costly. Therefore, an integrated and proactive approach to waste reduction will not only protect the environment - it will benefit ICI sectors by saving time and money, and by improving public image.

Conducting a waste audit is the necessary first step in any serious attempt to reduce business waste. This kit provides step-by-step instructions on how to perform a waste audit for any type of business, whether large or small. Once you've completed the audit, you can develop a waste reduction plan that will set a framework for reducing, reusing, and recycling solid waste.

Why a Waste Audit?

Businesses conduct waste audits to determine if diversion programs are necessary and what benefits can be realized. An effective waste audit is the first step toward:

  • Understanding the waste stream - Before any diversion program can be designed, you must know what/how much waste material is being produced. Information gathered will provide a baseline about waste materials that can be diverted from disposal.
  • Designing waste diversion programs - To be effective, diversion programs must be designed to meet the specific challenges of your company's waste stream and must reflect a solid understanding of the 3R hierarchy of waste reduction, reuse, and recycling.
  • Managing recyclable waste - Once waste has been qualified and quantified and diversion programs have been designed, resulting reduction policies and practices must be managed effectively. To that end, all participants must have a clear understanding of objectives, policies, procedures, employee responsibilities, technical options for handling the waste stream, and progress.
  • Monitoring progress - An organized monitoring process will determine if your diversion program is delivering the intended results. You must review your waste stream and diversion practices regularly against base-line information to determine if adjustments are necessary.

An effective audit process will answer the following questions:

  • What specific waste is produced and how much is produced?
  • Where in the overall operation is the waste produced?
  • Is any of this waste currently being recycled?
  • Can any of this waste be used in another part of the operation?
  • Do we know of anyone else that can use this waste?
  • Can we produce less of this waste or eliminate it entirely? Will the quantity change with anticipated new business?

The user-friendly forms included will help you answer these questions systematically:

To conduct an effective audit, you must also:

  • Get employees involved. They can provide information about the waste they produce, how to reduce or eliminate it, and how to enable and promote employee participation in the 3R hierarchy. If employees are involved from the beginning of the audit and the development of a diversion strategy, they will be responsible and accountable for the outcome.
  • Understand each operation fully so you can determine if there's a better way to operate. Can you produce less/no waste or produce a better quality waste, making it more readily recyclable or suitable for a value-added product?
  • Understand potential markets and commodity values, government regulations, transporting products, etc. Once programs are designed, there must be an ongoing education program to keep everyone on stream.
[Source: Regional District of North Okanagan ]