Use These Waste Audit Forms To Increase Recycling at Your School

Understand where you are.

Use These Waste Audit Forms To Increase Recycling at Your School


Want to improve recycling and waste collection at your school? Use these waste audit forms to help understand your challenges.


Why perform a school waste audit?


Most people are unaware of how much waste they are producing, but taking inventory of what’s in a school’s trash cans will paint a clear picture.


School waste audits are also an essential component of a carbon footprint analysis. The results can help influence stakeholders, like the principal, school district, superintendent, or policymakers, to make a change.


Additionally, a school waste audit acts as a baseline for future comparison when working towards a specific goal. This can guide behavior or procedural changes while improving bin placement and communication.


An audit can also serve as a benchmark and may even create friendly intra-school or interschool competition. The outcome of a waste audit may reveal opportunities for improvement and even provides a foundation for working towards becoming a zero waste school.


How do I use Waste Audit Forms?


First, specify whether you are auditing your entire school, a classroom, or your cafeteria. Then decide whether you are weighing materials or counting them. For accuracy and consistency, be sure to use the same unit of measurement across all material types.


Before you begin your school waste audit, gather everything you’ll need. Fortunately, you should be able to easily find these items in your classrooms, custodial closets, or at home.

  • Data sheets (printed or digital)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Goggles
  • Plastic tarp
  • Scales for weighing
  • Small bucket for liquids
  • Bins for sorting
  • Waste category signs (a fun project for the classroom!)
  • Clear plastic bags
  • Mop and cleaning supplies
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Aprons (optional)

It’s a good idea to have a dedicated team performing the audit — and it’s always easier to work in groups! Create a system or workflow that is sanitary and efficient. Choose team members who will stay clean during the waste audit so that they can enter information onto the data sheets and/or handle devices.


This is just a start! Get complete instructions for using these forms to perform a school waste audit here.

Waste Audit Form - By Material Types

Waste Audit Form - By Zone

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