Posted: January 24th, 2023



To discover what items contribute most to your greatest solid waste stream (including all items that are discarded as final waste and intended for recycling) and to recommend practical steps that you can take to reduce your generation of waste including recyclable materials.

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Your Assignment

  1. Conduct a 2-day waste audit. Keep a list of all specific types (e.g., uncoated paper, coffee cup), the volume of each type that you discard and the location of where you have discarded this item over 2 days according the categories of waste streams:
  • Garbage (cannot be recycled)
  • Recycling (including which recycling stream if that option is available)
  • Compost

Report the results of your waste audit in a table indicating the specific type of each waste, its volume (e.g., cm3), and the location where it was discarded over two days. Please summarize the data where possible by adding together the same type of item discarded at the same location over the 2-day period.

  1. For the two specific types that constitute the largest source of waste answer the questions listed below. The “largest source” is usually defined according to volume but could also be expressed as weight.

2.1 What is the likely destination of each of the two types of waste that you discarded over that 2-day period? A destination could be: landfill and bonus if you know the location of the landfill; recycling stream (e.g.,  aluminum cans are very likely recycled by re-refining, but plastic bags are likely not recycled but rather are likely landfilled or exported


. This answer must be supported by a minimum of one reference per item where the reference is from a reputable source that could include a news outlet.

2.2 What is one action that you can take to reduce the volume of each of the two wastes discarded?

2.3 What reasonable policy/policies or regulation(s) could be taken by the provincial or federal government to reduce the volumes of each type of waste discarded? You need to specify which level of government and the answer must be realistic.

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