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Recycling and Metrics: What are you Measuring?

We all know the old truism “what gets measured gets done” or “gets fixed.” It is based on this habit that we often begin to measure things when we want to change our behaviors. So it is with waste management and recycling. If we’re going to make sure our agencies are greener after a recycling program than before, then we’ll want metrics to prove our efforts were successful.

But how we measure is just as important, if not more important, than measuring itself. After all, if our metrics somehow skew the effects of an agency’s recycling efforts, undermining the benefit, we’ve actually hurt ourselves. So in an effort to shed some light on how to develop an effective data-gathering plan at your agency, we’d like to share with you a recent article from Environmental Leader. The author is writing primarily for a corporate audience, and as such she focuses on calculating a diversion rate accurately, but her suggestions are just as useful for the agencies.

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