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AUDITING FOR WASTE MINIMIZATION

Walters Consulting Corporation has, as a result of government initiatives and customer inquiries and customer inquiries expanded its environmental program to include waste minimization audits and to provide continuing education programs on waste reduction. In 1989 the Canadian Council of Environmental Ministers (CCEM) adopted as a goal, a 50% reduction in wastes by the year 2000. Ontario's plans to achieve this goal are contained in Bill 143 or The Waste Management Act which, at the time or writing, has received second reading in the Ontario Legislature.

This legislation and its proposed regulations will have a major impact on the Institutional, Commercial and Industrial (ICI) sector which based on government information is responsible for approximately 60 percent of municipal solid waste going to land fills. This sector will be required to introduce waste minimization, audits and workplans, packaging audits and workplans, and source separation programs for selected recyclable materials.

Initially the new regulations will impact construction and demolition businesses employing 50 people at a single location, manufacturing businesses employing 100 at a single location, offices and retail shopping complexes with more than 10,000 square metres of floor area, health care facilities with more than 100 beds, schools with more than 350 students, hotels/motels with more than 75 rooms and foodservice establishments with more than $5 million in gross sales in any one year since 1987. These groups must complete waste audits and workplans by July 31, 1992. All other ICI waste generators have until December 31, 1993 to prepare their audits and workplans.

 

The purpose of the waste minimization audit and workplan is to identify the type and quantity of non-hazardous solid waste being generated and to examine and evaluate opportunities for their minimization by reducing the quantity being generated through: changes in purchasing policies, operating practices and product design; utilization of recycled materials and the reuse or recycling of generated wastes whether independently or in co-operation with other ICI generators; improvement in products and packaging for recycling and reuse. These audits are to be conducted annually with the report and results maintained on site. Based on the most recent waste audit a workplan is to be prepared, displayed in the workplace and implemented. All of these documents must be made available for inspection by either an officer of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment or an official of the local municipality.

The waste minimization audit is a systematic approach to identify ways to reduce or eliminate wastes. Its primary purpose is to develop alternatives and options that will reduce waste generation by a given quantity over a given time frame. An audit can deal with all facets of given operation or business or it can concentrate on a special area or process. Depending on the complexity of the waste audit, a team approach perhaps with assistance of an outside engineering firm, may be required to ensure maximum efficiency with minimum of disruption to the operation. Each waste audit consists of three phases. The first phase is to identify the important sources of waste from the operation. The second is the collection and verification of information on process inputs, outputs and material balances. In the last phase, the acquired data is analyzed and waste minimization options are recommended for implementation.

As there is no one absolutely right waste implementation systems for any business, the development of a workplan will require the co-operation of suppliers in reducing materials inputs, the development of markets for recycables and a review of internal operating practices and processes which may require modification, development of procedures and specification for accepting customers recycables.

In Ontario the initial thrust of the government's waste management program is to reduce the quantity of solid waste going to municipal landfills. Waste minimization auditing procedures can be used to reduce the output of solid waste and to minimize the cost of the implementation plan.

 
The information contained in this web site is intended for marketing purposes only. It is not all-inclusive, and does not fully describe the many and varied services that the company provides, nor does it completely describe the education, training, skills, or expertise of our staff.

 
 
 

Walters Forensic Engineering | 277 Wellington Street West, Suite 800 | Toronto, ON M5V 3H2
Information contact: engineering@waltersforensic.com