BP05: Waste Audit & Planning

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Official language

Purpose

To reduce adverse environmental effects caused by products and materials acquired, used, and disposed of for the normal operations of the business.

 

Objective

At least once a year, perform a waste audit to help understand the project’s current waste generation and diversion processes and discover opportunities for improvement.

The audit is a tool that should be used to determine the project’s current waste performance including generation and diversion and serve as a baseline for measuring all future improvements to the project’s waste diversion process.

 

Submittal Requirements

BIT Building/BIT for Tenants

1. A waste audit report that contains the following information:

  • Project name
  • Date of waste audit
  • Staff name(s) or vendor that conducted the waste audit
  • Audited waste stream categories
  • Audit results
  • Audit results as compared to baseline, if necessary
  • Opportunities for improvement
  • Strategies for implementing improvement opportunities

2. Documentation of implementing any short-term (one year or less) and/or long-term (more than one year) waste-diversion initiatives (this may be an excerpt from the annual sustainability planning meeting).

Implementation Guidance

BIT Building/BIT for Tenants

Each year perform a waste audit to help with the evaluation of your project’s current waste diversion process and goals. Waste audits can be performed by internal staff, the waste hauler(s), or a 3rd party.

The waste audit should help:

  • Determine the project’s current waste performance including the types and quantities of waste generated and leaving the project as well as an assessment of proper waste diversion techniques (i.e. recyclables are cleaned before being placed in receptacles).
  • Provide a baseline for measuring all future improvements to the waste diversion process or, in subsequent years, a determination of successes and opportunities against previous years audit results.
  • Identify opportunities for furthering waste diversion goals.

 

Suggested steps for conducting a waste audit:

  1. Create a waste audit team. Select two or three people to join the waste audit team. Ideally team membership should be interested waste diversion and committed to furthering the company’s overall waste reduction goals.

  2. Create use-type categories for each space. Depending on the project type or size, categorize different spaces by use-type. For instance, the type of waste going into the lunchroom trash receptacle is most likely going to be vastly different than the waste going into the copy room recycling bin.
  3. Determine a representative waste sample. Depending its size, you do not need to audit the waste from your entire project. A good representative sample of the usual amount of waste generated by your project is approximately 10% of the total, daily generated waste from each space use-type during normal operations. Durable goods, construction waste, and other types of waste that fall outside of ‘normal’ business operations should not be included in the audit.
  4. Do not notify building occupants prior to conducting the audit to get a clear picture of waste habits under typical conditions.
  5. Audit a representative waste sample from each of space category.
  6. Sort by the five largest waste stream types and amounts. Separate the material in each stream into key material types and measure the amounts by weight or volume.
  7. Analyze effectiveness of the current waste process. Analyze the audit results to look for recycling, composting, and source-reduction opportunities. Assess the amount of recyclables placed in the trash, as well as upstream purchasing and source reduction opportunities for both recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Look for evidence that building occupants may not understand the building’s recycling/composting program, and improve your waste management and communication strategy accordingly.
  8. Summarize the results. Summarize the results including establishing a baseline or, for subsequent waste audits, a performance comparison to previous waste audits. Calculate the current diversion rate. Look for opportunities for improvement. (The diversion rate is the total amount of waste diverted from landfills divided by the total amount of waste generated.)​​​
  9. Implement methods for improvement. Share the audit results with building occupants, meet with waste hauling vendors and/or building management, and implement new diversion initiatives.
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BIT User’s viewpoint

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Implementation toolkit

Purpose

To reduce adverse environmental effects caused by products and materials acquired, used, and disposed of for the normal operations of the business.

 

Objective

At least once a year, perform a waste audit to help understand the project’s current waste generation and diversion processes and discover opportunities for improvement.

The audit is a tool that should be used to determine the project’s current waste performance including generation and diversion and serve as a baseline for measuring all future improvements to the project’s waste diversion process.

 

Implementation Requirements

BIT Building/BIT for Tenants

Each year perform a waste audit to help with the evaluation of your project’s current waste diversion process and goals. Waste audits can be performed by internal staff, the waste hauler(s), or a 3rd party.

The waste audit should help:

  • Determine the project’s current waste performance including the types and quantities of waste generated and leaving the project as well as an assessment of proper waste diversion techniques (i.e. recyclables are cleaned before being placed in receptacles).
  • Provide a baseline for measuring all future improvements to the waste diversion process or, in subsequent years, a determination of successes and opportunities against previous years audit results.
  • Identify opportunities for furthering waste diversion goals.

 

Suggested steps for conducting a waste audit:

  1. Create a waste audit team. Select two or three people to join the waste audit team. Ideally team membership should be interested waste diversion and committed to furthering the company’s overall waste reduction goals.

  2. Create use-type categories for each space. Depending on the project type or size, categorize different spaces by use-type. For instance, the type of waste going into the lunchroom trash receptacle is most likely going to be vastly different than the waste going into the copy room recycling bin.
  3. Determine a representative waste sample. Depending its size, you do not need to audit the waste from your entire project. A good representative sample of the usual amount of waste generated by your project is approximately 10% of the total, daily generated waste from each space use-type during normal operations. Durable goods, construction waste, and other types of waste that fall outside of ‘normal’ business operations should not be included in the audit.
  4. Do not notify building occupants prior to conducting the audit to get a clear picture of waste habits under typical conditions.
  5. Audit a representative waste sample from each of space category.
  6. Sort by the five largest waste stream types and amounts. Separate the material in each stream into key material types and measure the amounts by weight or volume.
  7. Analyze effectiveness of the current waste process. Analyze the audit results to look for recycling, composting, and source-reduction opportunities. Assess the amount of recyclables placed in the trash, as well as upstream purchasing and source reduction opportunities for both recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Look for evidence that building occupants may not understand the building’s recycling/composting program, and improve your waste management and communication strategy accordingly.
  8. Summarize the results. Summarize the results including establishing a baseline or, for subsequent waste audits, a performance comparison to previous waste audits. Calculate the current diversion rate. Look for opportunities for improvement. (The diversion rate is the total amount of waste diverted from landfills divided by the total amount of waste generated.)​​​
  9. Implement methods for improvement. Share the audit results with building occupants, meet with waste hauling vendors and/or building management, and implement new diversion initiatives.

Submittal Requirements

BIT Building/BIT for Tenants

1. A waste audit report that contains the following information:

  • Project name
  • Date of waste audit
  • Staff name(s) or vendor that conducted the waste audit
  • Audited waste stream categories
  • Audit results
  • Audit results as compared to baseline, if necessary
  • Opportunities for improvement
  • Strategies for implementing improvement opportunities

2. Documentation of implementing any short-term (one year or less) and/or long-term (more than one year) waste-diversion initiatives (this may be an excerpt from the annual sustainability planning meeting).

BIT User expert

Stephen Ward

LEED AP O+M, SITES AP, TRUE Adviser, SFP


Facility Manager

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