2b Oct 22 - Waste Audit


Explore the waste our household creates, and what improvements could be made to reduce your waste.



  • Get familiar with what is or isn't recyclable in your community by exploring Recycle BC's resources including their PDF printout. As well as Recycle BC's home recycling resources.
  • Find out where the closest Return It location is to you for any refundable containers found.
  • Find out some of the items commonly contaminating BC Recycling in this CBC News segment.


  • Designing the audit
    1. Decide which bins to use for your 24 hours of collection and where you will perform your audit. You will need an open space that can get a bit messy. A tarp may be used to mitigate this.
    2. Collect Materials: safety gloves (latex, gardening etc.), paper and pencil, camera (opt.), weight scale (opt.).
  • Execute your audit
    1. Empty your bin(s) for collection and alert household of your collection bin for the next 24 hours.
    2. After 24 hours has passed, collect the waste and recycling from designated bins.
    3. Conduct the sorting! *Be sure to keep the products from the waste bin(s) and the recycling bin(s) separate. *
    4. As you sort the waste and recycling, keep track of the most common items found in your sample.
    5. Once you have separated each bin into the four categories, weigh and record each subcategory.
    6. Calculate your results.
    7. Dispose of waste accordingly and clean up!

    Post/reflection questions:

  • What patterns/behaviours did your data show?
  • What were the most common types of waste you found?
  • Were there any items that were in the wrong bin? Ex. Recyclable items in the trash.
  • What easy steps could your household adopt to improve/limit your trash and waste?

Post your thoughts in the form of a blog (please title your blog as follows; Name - Activity (ex. Daphne - Waste Audit). Afterwards, check back at others' posts!

Optional Extension Activities:

  • Design/create your own labels or signs to help your household recycle appropriate items into their bins at home.
  • Discuss a better recycling stations and/or bins with your household to create

Learning Objectives

  • Become familiar with households’ environmental impacts.
  • Record and interpret data.
  • Share/express personal connection/impacts on nature.

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