How to carry out a trash audit for your home or small business in Uganda

If you’re working on a zero-waste goal, you probably must have heard of a term waste audit or trash audit. In order to reduce the waste you generate, you need to know your trash.

We use the waste audit at Yo-Waste to help our customers divert a lot of waste and save money on waste collection.

The process of carrying out a trash audit is too simple than most people think, they’re four steps you can use to reduce the waste you generate.

So let’s see how exactly you can carry out a trash audit for your small business or home.

Step 1: Know your trash

The first thing is to know your trash. To do this, pour down all the trash in your trash bins and note down all items on cardboard or some piece of paper. You can use tallying for trash that keeps reappearing on your list.

Step 2: Organize the list by frequency of the tally

Now you can organize your list depending on the frequency of the items.

From the list, you will see how you can possibly reduce some of the waste you generate. It’s better you do this for at least a week. The idea is to help you know what kind of trash you generate the most and how you can possibly reduce this waste.

It’s hard to go zero waste on the first day or week or even a year, but if you always know what type of trash you generate, it’s easy to come up with swaps that can help you reduce on the trash generated.

Step 3: Think of making some changes

At this stage, you can think of how to swap some of those items with reusable ones. I recommend starting with the items that appear the most because of two reasons:

  1. You’ll make the biggest impact.
  2. The impact will be immediate and noticeable, most people like this.

This is how the trash audit could help me reduce my waste.

  • Bottle: The first thing I would do to reduce the many water bottles I generate every day is buying one plastic bottle which is flexible and reusable. This won’t only save me on plastic waste but also cut my costs of buying water.

  • Packaging paper: I would also buy one mid-sized shopping basket that I will use when shopping for anything at the grocery, this won’t only save me of a paper bag waste but also reduce on polythene waste which is also very dangerous.

You can do this for all items and realize ways on how to reduce the waste you generate, this approach will help you a lot in achieving your zero waste goals.

Step 4: Continuously Repeat

This doesn’t mean you’ll achieve the zero waste goal that easily because on several weeks you generate different trash. The best option is to continuously carry out the waste audit perhaps on a weekly level and devise means on how you can swap some items on your audit list for reusable items.

If you can do this for the next one year, chances are high that in at least 3 months you could have achieved amazing progress in achieving your zero waste goal. Just to help you know, it’s nearly impossible to achieve a zero waste goal, but if you can reduce the quantity of waste which could be avoided, well and good.

About the Writer.

The writer is a Co-Founder of Yo-Waste LTD, Yo-Waste LTD provides waste, recycling and smart solutions for businesses and governments. Part of what we do is connecting local waste haulers and recycling businesses to customers that need their services.

Our startup is on the move to creating a circular economy in Uganda were at least 90% waste generated by small businesses is diverted.

Just imagine if we could divert all waste generated by that coffee shop in your neighborhood or maybe the waste generated by your restaurant, hotel, or grocery, this will help us achieve zero waste goals for our cities and communities.

For small business owners, Yo-Waste Connect app will help you get real-time updates of when your trash was collected, rate the driver who serviced your business and automates all your waste collection payments online.

We want to help you create businesses that become sustainable, save money on waste collection and divert more waste.