On average, each person in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks. For the majority of us, waste is not something we tend to think about.
Not many people know where their waste goes after it is collected. In the UK, most of the waste we dispose of is either taken to landfill sites or is incinerated.
Even though environmental regulations to reduce the environmental impacts of landfill and incineration have improved over recent years, these practices still pose a significant threat to the environment.
But why carry out a waste audit?
Waste audits can be a very effective method of demonstrating the type and amount of waste produced to members of the community.
The discovery of how much waste is sent to landfill or incinerated can often motivate a members of the public to change their views on waste. For community groups, a waste audit can reveal the type and amount of waste created. By finding out what is being thrown away, a community group can work to reduce the amount of waste being thrown away. A waste audit can also provide opportunities for cost savings.
Audits are excellent for team building exercise and can help individuals learn about what they can reduce, reuse, and recycle.
They don’t need to be restricted to ‘black sack’ (or residual waste as it is sometimes called), an audit can also be carried out on recycling and composting streams to discover which non recyclable or non compostable materials are being included. This can help reduce contamination and enable a better quality collection.