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Composition Audit

Roles and Responsibilities

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Many hands make light work! But how many hands do you need for your Composition Audit? And what should those hands be doing during the audit? We've come up with a list of roles and responsibilities you should assign to your team as well as suggestions for how many people you should have doing each one.

Who should do what?

To fill these roles and make everyone's lives easier, you may need to get volunteers to help you with your Composition Audit. If your Sustainability Team is quite small, these volunteers can make sure that your team doesn't end up auditing one division all day long without ever getting to all the other divisions you need to audit as well. Here is the list of how many people we recommend you have based on the size of your organization:

  • The Coordinator: This is the person who will make sure everyone else is ready to go on audit day. They will need to make sure that all the required personal protective equipment (PPE) is handed out to each team member and/or volunteer, and that all the other required materials have been collected for the day. This is also the person who should keep the first aid kit, and they should be around for support throughout the audit.
  • The Expert: Someone has to be in charge! This person will be responsible for all the moving parts of the audit. They should be aware of what everyone's job is and how they should be doing it so that if anyone has any questions, this person can answer them. They need to fully understand what items should be placed on each tarp and why. It might be beneficial for this individual to either have the information on what the Hauler collects, or speak to the Hauler directly to fully understand all the collection options moving forward.
  • Materials Handler: This individual is responsible for making sure that all required materials make it from one division to the next. Having one person in charge of collecting all the materials makes it easier to ensure that nothing is accidentally left behind or thrown away after one division's audit when those materials are still needed at the next location.
  • Set-up Crew: This task can be performed by a couple of individuals, or everyone can take part. They should lay out tarps and signage to make sure that everything is clearly labelled and everyone will know exactly what needs to go where throughout the audit. You should have a minimum of two people to set up at each division's audit.
  • Sorters: These individuals will be sorting through the Refuse that has been dumped on to the large tarp and separating out the materials that belong on the other tarps. They should be given clear instructions as to where each type of item should be placed. For example, apple cores should go in the Organics pile, not the Waste pile. You should have 4-7 Sorters at each division you are auditing.
  • Unloaders: These individuals will be emptying the bags of Refuse onto the largest tarp. Every time the Sorters are finished separating the pile that is dumped, the Unloaders should empty a new bag for them to sort through. You should have 2-3 Unloaders at each division you are auditing.
  • Recorder: This individual will be recording the data that is collected about each Stream at each division using this template. This person should be able to visually estimate what percentage of the whole each tarp represents after each Stream has been completely separated into materials. You should have at least one Recorder at every division's audit, but having two or more people make the estimates individually will allow you to compare results and get even more accurate information.
  • Clean-up Crew: This group should bag and label each tarp's Refuse after it has been sorted and recorded. These items can then be set aside to be put in their respective containers once the audit is complete. Also, at the end of each division's audit, they should help the Materials Handler in collecting all the materials needed for the next audit. You should have a minimum of two people to clean up at each division's audit.
  • Marketers: You're doing a great thing here, you should definitely document the experience! Have at least one person around to take photos or video of the event, and at least one person who can write about the whole experience. Share your successes with the world and inspire others to put in the same effort!

Please Note! You don't necessarily need to have a different person for every one of these roles. For example, your Coordinator can also be your Expert and your Materials Handler. Everyone can participate in either dumping Refuse or sorting it at some point, and the Set-up and Clean-up Crews can be the same individuals. It will all depend on how many people you have available to you, and what everyone is interested in doing that day. Just make sure you have at least a few people who are comfortable actually sorting the Refuse, (with gloves, of course)! Individuals can also trade roles from one division to the next, as long as they know how to properly perform each of the tasks that they will be responsible for.

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