Meal scraps from a yogurt dessert

How to do a Home Trash Audit

Performing a Home Trash Audit is a great way to see where you currently are in the amount of waste produced in your kitchen. 

The trash audit is a way for you and your family to identify exactly what is being wasted in the kitchen. By waste, we’re counting everything that is not consumed. This includes items going into the trash, down the disposal, in the recycle, and out to compost.

Why do a Trash Audit?

A Trash Audit will give you a clear picture of what you are wasting in your kitchen. It can be eye-opening to realize just how much is being thrown in the trash, recycle, and down the sink. 

Even with the efforts we have been making in this, we still had a lot more waste than I was hoping. Once you know what you are throwing away, you can work on a plan to cut down on that waste. 

What is a Trash Audit?

A Trash Audit is exactly what it sounds like. You are taking an audit of all of the trash that is made in the kitchen. There are a few ways to do this, some involve taking the garbage bag and emptying it to take account. 

That sounds way too messy for me, not to mention gross. Emptying the garbage was not going to happen for me. So I found a better way. 

Rather than going through the garbage after it’s thrown out, make a list of items as they are wasted. Then you can tally the results after a set amount of time.

How to do a Trash Audit

Using this method, a Trash Audit isn’t too hard, or gross. If you haven’t yet, sign up for the email list and Welcome Kit. There will be a printable file for your Home Trash Audit. 

Print this out and put it near your kitchen trash can. We put ours on a clipboard with a pen attached and left it on the counter. Because it was right over the trash can, it was easy to remember to mark things down as we threw them in the garbage. 


After you do the trash audit for one month, add all of your tally marks up to see what you threw away the most. This will give you a clear vision of exactly what produces the most waste in your kitchen. 

If you want to see how you compare to others, enter your results here:

Your Turn

If you haven’t already signed up for the newsletter and to get your Welcome Kit, make sure to do right now. You’ll receive an email with your kit to get started reducing the waste in your kitchen. In this kit, there is a Trash Audit that you can print and keep near your kitchen trash can to mark off as you throw out anything.


Once you’ve done the Trash Audit, you can enter your results here: ____________

This will give you an idea about how you compare with others and see what you should work on first. 

After completing the entire Welcome Kit, you can do the Getting Started Course which will walk you through the results of everything you did in the kit and give ideas and suggestions for ways to work on each individual waste item in the kitchen.

15 thoughts on “How to do a Home Trash Audit”

  1. Thank goodness that we really don’t throw away much trash. A large majority of the waste is recyclable or compostable. We have been able to drastically reduce our waste. Its important for everyone to do a trash audit for their home to see how much waste they produce.

  2. I have to admit that I’m ashamed that I never thought of this. Food waste is such a big problem these days. I will make sure to share your article with all my friends, and we will start reducing waste!

  3. This is such an important step in trying to reduce waste. I have an idea of what are our big items, but I’m going to do this and see if I’m right!

  4. I love this idea & want to try it! My husband and I purposely keep a smaller than average trash can to help us be more conscious of what we throw out and waste. I feel like it’s made us more likely to recycle and use our compost bin.

  5. This is a great idea! I am really wanting to decrease our waste so this is a great place to start. I don’t live anywhere near the ocean but I see the videos of the sea life suffering from plastic bags and straws and it breaks my heart. It made me wonder if the wildlife in my area are effected as well and I just can not stand the thought of that. So I want to decrease or eliminate disposable plastics in my home, which leads me to want to decrease our waste all around.

  6. A trash audit sounds like a great idea! I should totally do this. Sadly, with 2 young kids who like some food one day and hate it the next, I know food would be a huge section of our garbage!

  7. I have never heard of this idea and it sounds really great. This could save a lot of if things wasted. I like this idea and I might dicuss it with the family, thank you for sharing!

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