Brightmark

How to audit your waste

by sudo June 1st, 2021

Do you know how much you’re throwing away?
As long as our trash cans fill up, so do our landfills…and our oceans. But once it’s out of sight, is your garbage out of mind? Try spending a week paying attention to your waste.

If you want to cut waste, you need to know how much you’re throwing away in the first place.

How to get started:

  • Create a spreadsheet with four categories: landfill, recycling, organic waste, hazardous waste
  • Landfill: trash that you can’t recycle according to your local standards and can’t go into the “organic waste” category
  • Recycling: only the recyclables that your local facility accepts
  • Organic waste: check with your local facility’s yard/food waste standards for what applies here, but it’s generally garden/yard waste and plant-based food scraps
  • Hazardous waste: car oil, batteries, anything that requires unique collection by your waste collection facility
  • For one week, list and tally each item as you throw it away

At the end of the week, review your results. Ask yourself:

  • What are you mostly throwing out?
  • Are there ways you could’ve reused or reduced your waste?

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Sustainability tip: Using a reusable tumbler for all liquids will help prevent over 600 BILLION pieces of plastic waste from being landfilled.
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