You decided to work at reducing waste in your tourism/event organization, welcome on board! After having defined a shared purpose within your company in order to engage your top hierarchy and staff in the project, time has come to conduct your waste audit. You might have identified employees excited about this new initiative: empower them to do so!
Doing a waste audit will help you to:
- Focus on priorities: you might otherwise spend time on good practices that may have little impact.
- Understand why: where and how is waste produced and thus find more relevant solutions.
- Mobilize stakeholders providing precise facts and numbers.
- Collect data to understands potential costs and savings.
conduct a waste audit?
1. Define user journeys of key personae to list potential waste
We encourage you to take time to think about your specific case rather than uploading a generic list of potential waste (link to tab 3). By understanding key moments and behaviors, you will be able to provide appropriate waste collection or prevention system.
Testimonial from William Perrault:
“Youngster often come to music festival with cheap booze they intend to drink while queuing to enter the festival. It help them save money and feel more fun. As they seldom can enter the festival with drink because there is a security check at the entrance, they will finish their bottles and hide it anywhere in the surroundings which ends up being littered with waste”.
You can either to this on your own or facilitate a brainstorming session with your green team. For events it might be easier to brainstorm through personae.
- List out key people that come to your structure or event. If categories are too heterogeneous, define smaller ones that differ in composition. For instance music festival participants might have very different behaviors and thus generate very different kinds of waste. It is then relevant to differentiate local youngsters coming in groups at night from families visiting during the day etc. Don’t forget to list out different kinds of employees, partners etc.
- For each personae, try to figure out all the actions those personae will do throughout the day / the event.
- For each action that have been listed, think about the potential waste that could be generated.
2. Fill a grid to details waste by spots, moments and categories
For Hotels, it might be easier to start directly with brainstorming through locations (and not personae):
- List out all the actions and players that relate to specific spaces (rooms, restaurants, swimming pool etc.).
- List out all the potential waste you might find there.
Fill in the grid as much as you can. Some tips to keep in mind:
- Not all columns are compulsory.
- Try to cluster waste in homogenous categories that can be tackled together. Leave waste that is generated in very different moments or spaces separated.
- A lot of this information you can guess/estimate with common sense : to get inspiration on how to weigh your event waste bins and calculate your events waste diversion, check this link.
- Some information might be found on the Internet: if you are only starting your activity or if it’s the first edition of your festival, you might find sectoral reports that will help you make estimations. For instance you might anticipate that “an average customer will leave 20% of its plate unfinished since you found this data on XXXX”.
3. Calculate or estimate volumes through research and interviews
Once you have categories of waste, try to get more precise data.
Who should you interview?
- Peers that have similar jobs but with longer experience. Predecessors form previous festival editions.
- Employees that are on the spots and directly collect the waste.
- Purchasing departments or accountants that will be able to give invoices, receipts, purchasing orders and grids
What questions should you ask?
- Try to fill out the grid with the more important information or at least get estimations about the volume, purchasing, maintenance or end of life cost, existing practices.
Main author of this article:
Thank you to our authors as well as our expert proofreaders who contributed to fact-checking the content. Like the entire toolbox, this article has been created thanks to the collaborative effort of: