S-Cubed Environmental (in partnership with 2cg Inc.) was asked to conduct several waste audits at City Owned buildings. The findings from these studies are used to help the City reduce garbage generation by launching recycling programs or campaigns that should move the City to an 80% per cent waste reduction target by the year 2020. S-Cubed environmental has found that waste audits are key to identifying people’s behaviors – as an example over the years we have noticed more people using plastic Ziploc bags versus reusable containers. Another ongoing material we see growing use of is coffee cups. With the data now available, the City of Calgary used this to educate staff about the importance of waste reduction. As an example a coffee cup campaign was launched during waste reduction week encouraging staff to carry with them a reusable mug for their coffee and tea.
The City mandate was to have less waste to the landfill! Was this goal being achieved?
Waste audits identify the types of materials an organization generates and how much of each type is recovered through diversion programs or how much is landfilled. When programs are implemented and being used for some time, it’s important to check-in and see if the education and communication of those programs are working to keep materials out of the landfill. Waste audits also identify changes in people’s behaviors and can lead to initiatives and education tools to create awareness about those issues which can lead to less garbage produced or contamination.
Waste audits are the first step in any effective Zero Waste program and cost reduction initiative. The results allow for materials to be targeted and educational strategies developed. A coffee cup campaign was launched during waste reduction week, encouraging staff to carry with them a reusable mug for their coffee and tea.
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