Improved waste management process through waste auditing, diversion, and automation program


Segment    Family    Class




SDG Alignment

12. Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns

UN SDG Target


Target Description

By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale


1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment


• Conduct a waste audit at your facility, to determine the composition of your waste and key waste ratios, along with the diversion rate, and recycling rate (A guide on Canada Waste Audit link is provided in the reference).

• Determine your current waste collection methods, including cost per bin collection, collection frequency, bin rental cost and volume being collected on each trip. Once after, evaluate your complete spending on waste management services.

• Identify the waste management best practices to ensure proper waste sorting. Contact your municipal waste management office for resources and toolkits (ex., the City of Calgary resources offered - link in references).

• Formula for calculation of waste diversion rate = (weight of recycling)/(weight of recycling + weight of garbage) x 100 (Please see the link in resources redirecting to for more information regarding waste diversion rate)

• Consider hiring a local company to perform waste auditing services.

Opportunity Identification 

Reduced spend on waste management services with potential revenue from recycling certain products (such as electronics), and branding/marketing opportunity.

Diversion of waste by recycling and composting can help reduce solid waste accumulation in landfills and impact the environment.

Strategy Build & Execution

• Evaluate the current waste management service provider contract auto-renewals and performance parameters.

• Set a waste diversion target.

• Consider the option to bid out the waste diversion initiative to a local third-party provider/specialist based on assessment.

• Install wireless bin monitoring sensors in high volume bins to monitor the fullness and develop an efficient waste collection schedule along with optimal sizing.

• Develop a consistent and standardized waste, recycling and compost bin imagery and signage in your building and provide training if necessary. Ensure to provide an informative and engaging signage to encourage proper sorting at the source. Complete the employee satisfaction survey after training.

• Iteratively schedule pickups with a disposal service provider based on bin fullness level, and establish bin volume requirements.

• Recalculate waste diversion KPIs and metrics to see the impact of interventions.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

• Communicate the developed strategy to your current service provider and their level of involvement in the process.

• Build a collaborative strategy for scheduling efficient pickups and proper bin sizing based on bin monitoring sensors'. If working with a local service provider, leverage this point as a trial program to build the supplier's sustainability offering and cost savings to other clients and widen their market scope.

• Offer incremental incentive targets for waste ratio improvement (ex: $ bonus for 99% recycled materials being recycled after waste diversion initiative and maintain year over year).

Supplier Performance & Management

• Request for proof of proper disposal and municipal supplier certifications for waste disposal from your waste management service provider.

• Collaborate iteratively to evaluate the bin size and scheduling pickups based on data from the wireless bin monitoring sensors installed.

• Ensure regular compliance to achieve established waste targets and for internal refresher training.

• Every year evaluate the waste ratios before and after the diversion initiatives. Identify and record the collaboratve strategy efficiencies and cost savings or revenue generated from recycling as well.

Resource Links

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