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					What is a waste audit? A waste audit investigates the amount and type of waste your school creates. The audit involves collecting, weighing and calculating the mass of the different materials found in the waste produced by your school. A typical waste audit process 1. Health and safety briefing for all participants 2. All the waste from the school is collected and labelled according to where it has come from 3. Wearing protective gloves, students weigh the individual bags of waste and record the information on their data collection sheet (please see RBS waste audit - Sample data collection sheet) 4. A large plastic sheet is laid out in a large clear space and a bag of waste is emptied onto the sheet 5. Wearing protective gloves, students sort the different types of materials in their waste into separate plastic bags 6. Steps 3 and 4 are repeated until all the waste is sorted, or at least a large sample 7. Students then weigh the bags of sorted waste materials and record the results on their data collection sheet (please see RBS waste audit - Sample data collection sheet) 8. The information recorded is analysed and used to inform an action plan to reduce waste in the school Please note that sorting rubbish can be hazardous. Ensure that you involve an authorised staff member throughout the process. Study the RBS waste audit Sample Risk Assessment Form with your authorised staff member and carry out your own risk assessment of your audit process. Designing your waste audit You will need to think about how you are going to carry out your audit. Below are some questions that you will need to consider: • Which staff members will you need to involve?

Discuss the audit process with your teacher and facilities/cleaning staff at the school; they will need to be involved in the process throughout. Don’t let many people know that you are going to do an audit. You want to collect a typical days waste and if people know an audit is taking place they might think more carefully about the waste they are throwing away. • How much waste will you collect?

The most accurate audit will collect all the waste the school produces in one day. You will need to collect rubbish at the end of the school day to measure either after school or

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during the following day. It is likely that you will need to involve the facilities/cleaning staff that usually collect the waste in this process. Try and collect different types of waste produced by the school including any waste that is recycled. Try and label the waste according to where it was thrown away i.e. classroom, office, computer room or canteen. Also try and find out whether the waste would be recycled or sent to a landfill site or incinerator. This will help inform your action plan to try and reduce waste in the school. If you do not think it will be possible to collect the whole schools waste then collect and weigh a sample of waste from different areas across the school. You can use this to estimate the total mass of the waste from the school. For example if there are 50 classrooms, collect the waste from 5 classrooms and multiply by 10. • What different types of waste do you throw away?

Before you carry out the audit think about the different materials that you are going to find in your waste, such as paper, cardboard or plastic and any waste items that you think there will a lot of e.g. plastic drink bottles. There are likely to be items in the waste that will not fit into these categories, such as items made of more than one material. You will need to have an ‘other’ categories for these items. This will help you to develop your own data collection sheet (please see Sample Data Collection Sheet). • What equipment do you need?

You will need: A large clear uninterrupted space Old clothes Protective gloves Labels to indicate where the waste has come from Labels to indicate different material types that you will sort Measuring scales A large plastic sheet Spare bin bags A data collection sheet and pens Calculator Cleaning equipment e.g. a broom, and a dustpan and brush Next steps You now have a set of audit data. Analyse your data by producing graphs and use this information to inform your action plan. This information is also useful to help communicate your action plan with the rest of the school community.

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