|Tracking Materials and Cost Benifits|
Tracking the campus waste stream and cost benefits of recycling is an important component of managing a recycling program. Tracking the breakdown of the waste stream into garbage, hazardous material, compost, and recyclables is a valuable method for monitoring the efficacy of the program. Other information that is valuable to track includes: revenue generated from selling recyclables, savings from reuse programs, use of volunteers and academic interns, and cost avoidance from reducing trash costs. This information is invaluable in terms of keeping records for program monitoring and improvement, legitimizing funding needs, demonstrating the success of the program, projecting budgets, and being able to compare to other colleges.
Tracking is a laborious process and requires a regular time commitment. Build tracking into a paid position so that one staff member is responsible for maintaining the program tracking system. This is a technical duty.
Creating a Tracking Mechanism
Microsoft Excel is a good software program to utilize when developing a tracking mechanism. If possible, create a “program staff only” shared file on the server. Within that folder, create a “tracking” folder where all of the relevant information can be easily located. Besides a folder on tracking, this shared file can contain endless folders relating to other valuable program information that the staff needs to access.
Tips for Creating a Program Waste stream Tracking Template
These are just a few examples of the infinite possibilities for creating an extensive tracking system for a campus recycling program. The more tracking, the better. Utilize tracking to internally benchmark the campus recycling program to meet program, university, state, and federal goals. Spreadsheets, charts, and graphs will be important tools for demonstrating program success.
EPA Recycling Rate Worksheets
EPA Waste Division- Measuring Source Reduction
EPA Waste Tracking Worksheets
Flexible Packaging Association Source Reduction FAQs
Gadget Lab- MIT Trash Tracking Project
MassDEP Municipal Waste Reduction Toolkit and Recycling Related Websites