Solano County - Waste Audit (5-10 min.)
The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash every day. With 327 million people in the United States, that adds up to around 720,000 tons of garbage produced daily. That's enough trash to fill 60,000 12-ton garbage trucks.

By the end of the year, the amount of trash produced by Americans would fit in 21.9 MILLION 12-ton garbage trucks. And because the U.S. doesn't have enough space to store all of that waste, much of it gets sent to other countries, where it negatively affects the health and well-being of others.

The good news is that there are many simple changes you can make to help curb America's trash problem. Take this audit to find new ways to lessen your impact and save the planet from waste.
Below are several Yes/No questions related to home waste management. Each question is actually a recommendation for how you can reduce the amount of waste you create and potentially lower waste management costs.

Keep track of the questions for which you reply with a "No" and consider whether or not the suggestion could work for you. Skip the questions that do not apply. Enjoy stopping waste!
Only your responses are being recorded. These responses will not be used for any purpose except to track the total number of users. We are not collecting or selling your personal information when you use this educational tool.
Do you use your own reusable bags or boxes to hold your purchases?
Do you purchase produce without any packaging and avoid placing produce in plastic "produce bags"? Produce can go directly into a reusable bag, taken out and weighed, and then washed thoroughly at home before eating.
Do you opt for products or brands that have the least about of packaging, or is packaged in recycled or recyclable/compostable packaging?
Do you check expiration or "best by" dates before purchasing food, medicine, or other products to avoid spoilage and waste?
Do you purchase items from the bulk counters and place bulk items in reusable bags or containers? In addition to bulk dry and wet foods, there are also stores that sell refillable shampoos, conditioners, laundry detergents, etc.
Do you purchase fresh produce even if they are not perfectly shaped or colored?
Do you only purchase what you need or have a plan for using?
Do you purchase second-hand items as much as possible?
Whenever possible, do you choose to get receipts emailed or texted instead of printed?
Do you have a compost bin, pile, or some other way to recycle food scraps?
Do you replant food scraps that can regrow themselves, such as romaine lettuce, celery, onions, carrots, and potatoes?
Do you use edible scraps that are usually tossed out, such as beet and carrot greens, apple peels, or strawberry tops in other recipes such as soups, salads, or smoothies?
Do you store food items like potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, and onions at room temperature instead of in the fridge? Placing these items in the fridge can make them soil or ripen too early.
Do you keep food items that produce ethylene gas, such as bananas, avocados, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, pears, and onions, away from other foods? Foods that produce ethylene gas can make other foods ripen faster and spoil.
Do you preserve (can, ferment, or pickle) extra ripening foods to avoid waste?
Do you save leftovers in a clear container so that you are more likely to see and eat them?
Do you keep your fridge and pantry organized so you can clearly see what items you have to use?
Do you know your city's exact requirements for recycling? What is accepted for recycling varies by city.
Do you rinse food/liquids completely out of cans, bottles, and plastic containers and let these items dry before placing them with other recyclables? Contaminated containers and wet paper/cardboard material are never recyclable.
Do you collect California Redemption Value (CRV) cans and bottles and exchange them for CRV refunds? You can be refunded 5 cents per can and 10 cents per bottle - the "additional" amount you paid when you purchased the item(s).
Do you have a few reusable items, such as straws, bags, beverage bottles, eating utensils, or food storage containers?
Do you give away or sell unused items in good condition instead of throwing them in the trash?
If items are not in good condition, do you find alternative uses for them? For example, old shirts and washcloths can replace paper towels.
Do you return plant/fruit containers to plant nurseries/farmers for reuse?
If you change your motor oil and/or oil filter at home, do you take it to a Certified Used Oil Recycling Center? Trashing or dumping used oil and oil filters is illegal.
Do you store unused, partially used, or empty bottles of chemicals, paints, aerosol cans, etc. in a safe location and then bring them to your city or county's Household Hazardous Waste facility? Trashing or dumping these items is illegal.
Do you collect batteries and other electronic waste in a safe location and then bring them to an electronic waste recycling facility or Household Hazardous Waste facility? It is illegal to place these items in the trash.
Have you done your best to stop receiving junk mail? There are many resources to help remove you from mailing lists for credit card offers, advertisements, and more, such as
Have you tried making your own cleaning products, makeup, and/or toiletries? Many of these items can be made with common household ingredients.
Have you communicated your needs or concerns over trash and trash management to your local or state representatives?
After completing this audit, what are three things you want to do to reduce your waste?
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