The thrust of a waste audit is to reduce the amount of material being hauled off to the landfill. The following two points of a waste management initiative:
- How much single-use plastic is in the garbage every week, including the garbage bags?
- How many of the items in the garbage bins do not belong in the garbage?
Recycling is much more difficult to finesse than waste. After China and India refused to accept any more imports of recycling materials in 2018, the mass of material being recycled and returning to commercial use plummeted. There are six categories of recyclables and their symbols will be found on the eligible plastic products:
At this time, recycling companies are reporting that 1 and 2 plastics are being recycled. The other plastics, 3-6, are being sent to the landfill. The better model for congregations and their member households is called the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Reduce – stop bringing plastics into the building.
Reuse – Not all plastics must be discarded. Many hard plastics can be washed and returned to use. Serving utensils are an excellent example.
Recycle – Consider recycling as a last resort. Recycling also requires a larger carbon footprint.
For a comprehensive waste assessment, consider requesting the Sustainability Plan from NYIPL.