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Recycling & Waste Audits

Ideal Audit Conditions

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While any audit you conduct will give you some insights into your program, when trying to improve the day-to-day success of your program you want to make sure you're auditing a "typical" collection of Recycling and Waste for each of your divisions.

What are the Conditions of an Ideal Audit?

An ideal audit will give you insights into your program that accurately portray typical Recycling and Waste collection activity for each of your divisions. You should be able to use these insights to make adjustments to your program that will improve it overall. Here are a few things to consider when planning your audit date:

  • Don't conduct your audit immediately after running a big event. When you run an event, more often than not you produce more Refuse than you would on a typical day. Therefore, if you conduct your audit right after an event, your data will be skewed.
  • Don't conduct your audit immediately after a slow week. Similar to running an event, which will skew your data one way, if you conduct your audit right after a particularly slow work week, your results may skew in the opposite direction. Some organizations shut down during holidays, or many people are on vacation at these times. If anything is going on that would likely cause you to collect less Refuse than normal, then it isn't an ideal week to conduct your audit.
  • Don't warn users that you'll be auditing. If you want a true portrayal of how people are using your current system, don't warn them ahead of time when you plan to check up on them. People will naturally be more careful about what they put where if you let them know the audit is coming up. While this may be good for a week or two's recycling rates, it won't help you get accurate data that will allow you to improve your program long-term.
  • Audit as close to when your Hauler picks up the refuse as possible. This tip is specifically for your Composition Audit. You want to get the full scope of the composition of your streams, therefore you should wait until all the Refuse has been collected for transport. If your Hauler picks up early in the morning, try to audit the day before. If they pick up later in the afternoon, try to audit the morning of the pickup. You'll see all your Refuse in the final stages of collection that YOU can control.
  • Audit your stations every day for a week. This tip is specifically for your Station Audit. You want to get the full scope of the usage of your stations, therefore you need to see how that usage changes over a period of time. If you only check once in the week, you will only get a snapshot of your Recycling Program at work, and this won't be enough data to effectively analyse to make change.

Please Note! These are just some of the things that we find helpful to iron out before an audit. You may have other steps you should take ahead of time to ensure you collect the most accurate data, and they should also be discussed at your pre-audit meeting. If you can't think of anything else, these are a great start!

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