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Composition Audit

Required Materials

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There are two categories of materials that you should be considering when collecting items to prepare for your Composition Audit. The first is the personal protective equipment (PPE) that your team should be wearing while conducting the audit, and the second is the task-related equipment.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The number one priority during your Composition Audit should be to keep everyone safe and healthy! Here is the PPE we recommend you use to do so:

  • First Aid Kit: A standard first aid kit should be the minimum standard, but including an eye wash kit is recommended.
  • Work Gloves: These should be protective and cut-resistant. You never know what people have thrown away!
  • Disposable Gloves: (optional) These should not be used in place of Work Gloves, but they can be used in addition to them to prevent liquids from seeping to the skin.
  • Safety Glasses/Goggles: Dust, dirt and fluids can be kicked up while dumping bags or while sorting Refuse. Protect those peepers!
  • Protective Shoes: We recommend steel-toed shoes or boots, but at the least, closed-toed shoes should be mandatory.
  • Well Lit & Ventilated Area: While not necessarily personal protective equipment, this is still very important to keep everyone from getting sick.
  • Nose Plugs: (optional) For individuals who are more sensitive to unpleasant smells, it will benefit them to have nose plugs available.
  • Face Masks: (optional) Similar to nose plugs, face masks can help filter out unpleasant smells. These should always be used if any airborn particles are expected (e.g. if you work with sawdust).
  • Appropriate Clothing: Make sure everyone knows that their clothing will likely get dirty in the process. We recommend clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Full-Body Protective Suits: (optional) These can be used to protect clothing (and to make it look like you're wearing uniforms - great for pictures).

Task-Specific Equipment

Collecting these task-specific items ahead of time will help to ensure that your audit is as effective as possible and runs as smoothly as possible. Here are the items we think would be beneficial for your Composition Audit:

  • The Composition Audit Template: We've created this template for you to make collecting data simple and efficient.
  • Clipboard(s): Snap in the Audit Template, and you're ready to record data!
  • Pen(s): To write down the data, of course!
  • Knife, Scissors or Pliers: These will help you cut into difficult-to-open bags of Refuse.
  • One Large Vinyl Tarp (minimum 8' x 8'): This is where you will dump out your bags of Refuse one at a time.
  • Smaller Vinyl Tarps (minimum 6' x 6'): These are where you will put separated materials for each Stream. We recommend having a minimum of eight of these tarps, but you should have as many tarps as you will have materials separated. For example, you should have a tarp for each of Cans, Plastic, Glass, Paper, Cardboard, Organics and Waste, as well as one tarp for every additional material you expect to find. If you know your organization disposes of a lot of batteries, you should have a tarp for batteries.
  • Washing Station: This is in case you come across containers that need to be rinsed before being recycled while sorting.
  • Clear Plastic Bags: You will need these to bag up the refuse after it has been sorted to dispose of it properly once your audit is complete.
  • Camera(s): Document the experience so that you can share and promote it later!
  • Broom/Mop: For cleaning up after the audit is complete.

Please Note! Depending on where you are conducting your audit, you may need other PPE that is specific to your organization. For example, if you are conducting your audit in a warehouse or manufacturing plant, you may require hard hats or ear plugs due to the other activities going on around you. Please always wear all PPE as designated by your organization's rules and regulations in addition to the PPE that we recommend for the audit.

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