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Waste Audit

Office Waste Audit

1. What is SWM Audit? Why?

SWM audit is structured process to determine waste quantity, types and its sources being generated. It is aimed at qualitative and quantitative characterization of office waste. The audit helps to

• identify scope of reducing waste amount,

• encourage its reuse and recycle, and

• design financially & environmentally smart SWM process or improve the existing process


2. Before Audit

Discuss the audit objectives with colleagues and management. Ensure Management approval and support. Have a schematic office plan to plan the audit scope, time, route and equipments. Identify number of participants required for planning, implementation and post-audit activities and ensure the number. Discuss safety rules with EHS departments or experts and ensure their implementation. Waste-related data may be sensitive; ensure its confidentiality. The audit date may be kept secret to ensure normal routine of waste generation. Ensure availability of necessary instruments. You will need space to store and examine waste, seating arrangement, containers of different sizes to collect waste, tongs to sort waste, rubber hand gloves, weighing scales, data sheets, disinfectant, and first aid kit. You may conduct a trial run or demonstrate important steps to the participants to ensure correct audit process. Decide categories of waste from its recycling utility and as stated in laws.


3. Audit Methodology

Make teams of participants and assign location(s) to each team to collect waste. Take help of housekeeping staff during the process. On data sheet enter observations related to quantity of waste in respective categories. Ensure correct data entry. Plan audits in a way that different teams can share minimum space and number of equipments for analysis of collected waste. The waste to be categorized and weighed for each office location. Collect SWM related data like number of employees and other space users in all locations, number of bins, availability of different bins for categorization at source, timings of waste collection and transportation, safety precautions being followed, feedback of space users and those involved in SWM from improvement point of view.


4. After Audi

Ensure to clean up and decontaminate the area after sorting and analysis. Make a detailed audit report and summary as well. The detailed report to be shared with the Management as well as departments that are directly (Housekeeping, transportation etc.) and indirectly (HR, purchase, finance etc.) involved in SWM. The crisp summary is to enhance awareness of other employees. You may communicate the audit process in organizational communications like intranet, newsletter, magazine etc.

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