Texas Campaign for the Environment is seeking help to perform a waste audit at nine Dallas businesses. Photos courtesy of Zero Waste Strategies.

Aug. 22, 2018

Want to dig through some garbage for a good cause?

Texas Campaign for the Environment is seeking volunteers to do a waste audit at nine Dallas businesses next month. 

The nonprofit has enlisted Zero Waste Strategies of Austin to oversee the deep dive into commercial trash. The data will be used to promote the expansion of municipal recycling programs in DFW. 

The project, funded by a Meadows Foundation grant, will analyze waste from four types of businesses - office buildings, apartments, restaurants and hotels - over 10 days.

TCE waste audit

“There’s not a lot of available data out there specific to the city of Dallas with regards to commercial waste,” said Corey Troiani, director of TCE’s DFW office. “The city does an annual residential waste audit but we don’t know what’s going on in the business sector.”

Volunteers will be equipped with goggles and gloves to sort, weigh and categorize both waste and recycling.

Troiani said those pursing careers in sustainability will be gaining valuable work experience.

“They will be able to say they’ve been trained to perform a professional waste audit,” said Troiani.

The results will demonstrate to local businesses how waste diversion can help them save money. Troiani said when talking to businesses about recycling, he often is met with skepticism.

“They don’t think they’re throwing out much that can be recycled or they don’t see the advantages to reducing waste,” he said. 

However, Troiani says the formula is simple. 

“If you can reduce your volume of trash, you can reduce your cost,” he said. “What you’re saving can be invested in employee training so they can do it properly.”

In addition, by recycling and establishing zero waste goals, Dallas businesses may qualify for Green Business Certification by the city, which can be used as a selling point. 

"I want to go to restaurants and bars that are fun but are also environmentally responsible,” said Troiani.

Volunteers are needed Sept. 26 through Oct. 6 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Troiani said they are also looking for Dallas businesses to take part in the study.

Partipicants will need to supply their own transportation to specified waste audit sites within the city of Dallas. No experience required, but a passion for waste reduction is helpful.

Those interested need to fill out the online form. Businesses interested in participating in the audit should contact Troiani at corey@texasenvironment.org.

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