Waste Management Audit Report
Waste Audit Report Topic: What is Your Impact on the Environment? Find out with a waste audit… 30% Garbage, and more importantly, where to put it, has become a major issue for municipalities in Ontario over the past decade. Recent landfill issues in Toronto highlight the need to plan for waste disposal and also emphasize the NIMBY factor (Not in My Backyard) and the costs incurred in disposal. Possible solutions include developing more landfill sites, burning the refuse or shipping the waste to other communities or out of the country (e.g. Michigan initially, but now near London, Ontario). None of these solutions are environmentally sound and consequently, individuals, society and the government have endorsed adopting the 3Rs (recycle, reuse and reduce). Adopting waste management strategies that promote the 3Rs, however, first requires some understanding of the waste. The goal of this assignment is to provide you with some perspective on your own impact on the environment. An assessment of our ecological impact is paramount if we are to change our lifestyles to support the long-term sustainability of the planet. A waste audit is just one way that you can analyze and reduce your impact on the environment and includes answers to the following questions: • • • • how much waste is there? what types of waste are at the site (i.e. glass, paper, etc.)? where is most of the waste generated or dumped? what are the cumulative impacts of waste generation at this level? From this information, a management strategy can be developed that considers methods that can be used to change human behaviour (e.g. recycle cans, use both sides of paper, share newspapers, etc.) and to capture more waste (e.g. location of blue boxes, educate public on recyclables, etc.). Assignment Requirements Complete a waste audit for your home, residence, etc. Select an appropriate time period, depending on how much garbage you produce and trends in output; the time period should be long enough that it will give you a representative sample of the waste you and your family or roommates are creating. The time period will depend on how many people are in your house and what their activities are. The audit will include an estimate of the amount and type of waste generated. Make sure you distinguish between waste and recycled material. One week minimum is suggested To develop the most efficient waste recovery system, it is critical to identify where in your house the waste is generated. In other words, is recyclable material not making it to the blue box and it also allows you to single out an extremely environmentally-unconscious (i.e. lazy) roommate. Include in your report a general map of the your ‘system’ including where waste and recyclable containers are located. METHODOLOGY IS IMPORTANT! Learning HOW TO DO A WASTE AUDIT is an important part of this assignment. You will not be spoon-fed instructions on how this should be done in order to be effective. You have been provided with many good starting resources (see list below) as well as other FAQ tips and exemplars. Make use of the resources available! How you complete your waste audit (e.g. measure the waste) is entirely up to you! However, it is strongly recommended that you review waste audits that have been completed elsewhere to get an idea of methods that are used and why they are used. You should also review a periodical, for example, the Canadian Geographer, so you can see how a primary research paper is organized and how detailed their methods are. To measure the amount of waste, you can estimate either volume or weight. Volume may be easier to obtain, although you could use bathroom scales to get a rough measure of weight. Whatever way you choose, be sure to clearly describe how you measured your waste and you must also JUSTIFY your reasons for doing it in the way you have chosen. To determine the types of waste, you need not get your hands dirty (however, you might learn a lot more if you get a little closer to your garbage than is typical!)…you can estimate the percentage of the major types of waste which typically include: newspaper, fine paper, other paper (e.g. paper towel), glass, metals (e.g. cans), plastic, organic (e.g. food), and cardboard/boxboard. You may want to create other categories if you have a specific waste that is an important component of your garbage. You also need to estimate the percent and types of recyclables. Next, present your data in a format that allows for an easy assessment of the amount and types of waste. This could include pie-charts, bar graphs, etc. Look at waste audits prepared by other organizations for ideas. Consider ‘scale’ in presentation as well (e.g. time period, weekends vs. weekdays, etc.) Prepare a report of your findings that includes the following items. Please note that use of “first person” is acceptable and please use subheadings to organize your work. Research on the waste audit process – as a starting point, you must consider: (1) what is a waste audit? (2) Why were audits developed? (3) Who has been a leader in this process? (4) Are there any laws/regulations in Ontario (or your jurisdiction) that require this? You will need to find a good balance of internet and academic (i.e. books and journals) sources to provide your audit with a good theoretical base. A proportion of the mark for this assignment will be allotted to use of references and supporting content. If you are not sure if your reference list is suitable, check with me and I would be glad to help you out. • Objective of report – some suggestions include why you are doing this, what it might tell you, or the importance of this work. • Methods – for completing the audit, rationale, including what an audit is, how it was conducted, any problems encountered. • Findings or Results – including a summary of waste material, the composition of the different streams (i.e., paper, glass, ….), and presentation in some easily readable format – look at what other organizations have done to present their waste audit facts. • Discussion and Summary – including suggestions or management strategies to implement or improve the 3Rs in your household, and improvements or difficulties in completing the audit. You want to provide evidence that you have considered the ‘academic’ side of waste audits, their goals and results in concert with your own findings. You need to provide a well-written summary of what you have found. A simple description of your results and room-mates’ habits will not earn strong marks. Again, have a look at any primary research periodical to examine the layout, organization and level of detail. They all have the same basic ingredients that your personal audit should include. • Some good starting sources on the subject of waste audits are: • • • • • • https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/940102 https://www.ontario.ca/document/guide-waste-audits-and-waste-reduction-workplans-industrial-commercial-and-institutional-sectors https://uwaterloo.ca/community-health-environment-communicationsinitiative/projects/stratford-campus-waste-audit-and-zero-waste-feasibility http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/discipline//SpecColl/_baks/watglist.html.0002.a0e3.ba k https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/33363052/view-2007-waste-auditwilfrid-laurier-university http://www.sustainablewaterlooregion.ca/2016/09/introducing-waste-and-waterreduction-targets/ • • • • • • • https://sustain.ubc.ca/campus-initiatives/recycling-waste/what-ubc-doing/wasteaction-plan http://www.rco.on.ca/uploads/File/RC_Resources_Educators_Audits.pdf http://3rcertified.ca/uploads/File/Solid_WasteRecycling_Aug-Sept2012(1).pdf https://www.banffcentre.ca/sites/default/files/Nature/Banff%20Centre%20Waste% 20Audit%20Program%20November%202005).pdf http://www.goevergreenllc.com/blog/how-to-conduct-a-waste-audit/ https://www.ccme.ca/files/Resources/waste/packaging/pn_1210_e. pdf https://www.ontario.ca/document/guide-waste-audits-and-waste-reduction-workplans-construction-demolition-projects-required-under Referencing and Report Writing Please do NOT rely solely on the internet. Marks are allocated to use of scholarly journals, government documents and other relevant books, texts, etc. A portion of the grade (15%) for the waste audit will be devoted to use of good reference materials. Or – enter titles into library catalogue for specific locations: Middleton, N (1999). The Global Casino, 2nd edition (chapter 17) Waste Management journal (available on-line through WLU library) Fenco Maclaren Inc. (1996). Waste Audit User’s Manual: A Comprehensive Guide To The Waste Audit Process. Waste Audit Guidance PLAN 1. Define the study area 2. 3. o Plan to meet audit objectives o Determine location(s) to be audited o Determine types and approximate quantities of waste to be audited Collect background information o Visit location(s) and record: number of people using study area, types and locations of bins, types of waste generated Prepare for the audit o Collect auditing equipment (gloves, extra plastic bags) o Finalise waste collection details COLLECT 1. Collect the waste o Collect, categorize and weigh waste generated each day SORT 1. Prepare the sorting area Categorize the waste generated into 2 main categories: 1) Recyclable Waste and 2) Non-recyclable Waste. Further categorize the waste by the types of materials found (i.e., food, paper, cardboard, tin, mental, glass etc.) Sort the waste o Weigh or estimate the volume of each days trash o Count and weigh individual materials o Record findings on data sheet o Re-bag and dispose of sorted waste if necessary Final clean up and decontamination o Dispose of waste and recycle materials o Clean-up o Sweep and disinfect area if necessary o 2. 3. ANALYSE 1. Enter and analyse the data Record data Do calculations to quantify total waste and recyclables generated each day and over the course of the audit. Prepare an audit report o Prepare audit report. o o 2. Referencing and Report Writing Students are expected to correctly reference all sources used. Please use both in-text Author-Date citations and a separate page for references. When using Internet sources, the author or source should be placed in the text (not the URL) and the entire reference should appear in the reference list where the URL is offered to the reader. Do not use footnotes for referencing. Use an accepted referencing style depending on your preference. A good site to get proper procedures for electronic references (required for assignment #1) can be found at The Columbia Guide to Online Style. Additional information on APA and MLA styles can be found at the B. David Schwartz Memorial Library. And, you can always use the library to consult a styles manual! Marks will be deducted if correct and thorough referencing procedures are not followed in this and the subsequent assignment! If you require additional assistance with referencing or writing in general, please make an appointment to visit the WLU Writing Centre for assistance. Internet sources are valuable, but only when balanced with ‘real’ sources like books, journals, etc.
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