How to Perform a Waste Audit on Your Business

19th Jan 2024

What’s a Waste Audit?

Undertaking a waste audit is the process of reviewing current waste handling procedures with the aim of identifying a more efficient or sustainable solution to improve them going forward. All businesses in the UK can benefit from a regular Waste Audit to ensure that they maximise recycling rates and minimise overheads.

How A Waste Audit Can Help Your Business

The insights from a waste audit can help your business identify methods of cutting costs, create more efficient decision-making and reduce your environmental impact. Since it will look at every area of the business, it will often highlight behaviours or new technology that will not only make your business run more smoothly, but greatly improve your overall sustainability.

Waste disposal costs for UK businesses are predicted to rise in 2024 therefore it’s a great time to think about how a small change to your waste handling could deliver a positive environmental and financial boost for your business.

The 5 Steps of a Waste Audit

Identify Your Waste Streams

Identifying your businesses waste streams are fundamental for highlighting potential improvements. The waste output of a business will be different depending on size, industry, and demand. This stage will involve pinpointing where your waste is coming from, what materials it is comprised of and how much of it is organic, recyclable, and non- recyclable.

For example, the waste stream of a business working in hospitality would differ from one in manufacturing. Obvious signs that problems exist with your current procedures include overflowing bins, fines, and unexpected additional charges from your waste collection firm.

Measure the Waste Volume

Once the various waste streams in a business have been identified, it’s important to translate that into quantifiable and measurable data. This allows a business to create a benchmark for when new procedures are implemented.

A business could have different units of measurements depending on the form their waste takes. For instance, a factory could review previous charges on invoices from their waste collection provider. The number of 1100 litre bins being filled in a restaurant could be recorded. All this data can help you calculate the return on investment from any new machinery purchased to help your business handle waste more efficiently.

Monitor For Spike Events

Every business will have unique waste patterns. These can include seasonal shifts, planned product sales, economic strife and prosperity, your business location and many more. A waste audit will highlight these spikes in your business and implement methods for counteracting them.

Review Disposal Methods

The most efficient and environmentally conscious disposal method for your waste will depend on volumes produced and your location. A waste audit considers whether recycling, landfill or reusing is the best method for dealing with your waste. It can also identify ways that you can re-purpose waste such as the shredding of cardboard boxes to make packing materials for your goods.  

Many businesses, from manufacturing to hospitality, are installing recycling equipment into the workplace to manage their recyclable waste more efficiently and sustainably. Compactors, recycling balers and glass crushers are all simple technologies that can transform waste handling at your site. They can even be integrated into your production line to reduce waste handling.

The implementation of new waste disposal practices can also have unexpected benefits for your business including an enhanced corporate image and staff morale. Staff members who previously had to manually crush cardboard boxes will welcome the introduction of a cardboard baler.

Unless you have a background in waste management, it’s important to enlist help from industry experts such as QCR Recycling Equipment who have been supplying waste compaction solutions to businesses since 1999. They can also assist with the necessary staff training and risk assessments for smooth implementation.

Action and Observe

Following the completion of a waste audit a business might have a plethora of options available, ranging from new disposal methods and new equipment to consider. Free recycling equipment trials such as those offered by QCR can help businesses to assess the operational and financial benefits of installing new machinery.

Regular waste audits can help to keep you informed of current waste legislation and broad range of waste handling equipment available. For businesses who promote themselves publicly as being sustainable, a regular waste audit can also protect your business from negative publicity as you can be reassured that you are acting responsibly.

Claim a Free Waste Audit from QCR

You can book a free no-obligation appointment with one of their nationwide team at QCR Recycling Equipment on their website. A Waste Audit can take as little as 15 minutes, but the savings identified can be substantial.

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