Waste Audit – Learning from the Landfill

In the fall of 2017, Divert NS completed an audit of the seven landfills across Nova Scotia. Waste audits are useful tools to gather information about how well we, Nova Scotians, are doing in regard to recycling and keeping resources out of landfills. When we know what materials are ending up in landfills that shouldn’t be there, we can do something about it. 

The audit was conducted by HMJ Consulting Limited, sorting the materials into 21 broad categories of waste, then further into 192 material types.  


Similar to waste audits conducted in 2011 and 2012, organics, plastics and fibre/paper are the top three materials in Nova Scotia landfills. Waste from regulated stewardship programs remains low, which tells us diversion programs are working.  

Where do we go from here?

With this information, Divert NS can shift programming to better focus our education, research & development, and other program activities. In the coming months, we will be focusing on REDUCE – specifically around organics and plastics.  

Divert NS will be sharing the Waste Audit Report findings with our partners in more detail through the year. We hope this information will help our municipal stakeholders in determining the best use of their resources to improve diversion, and give our industry partners a better understanding of the areas where their innovation could improve diversion.  

View the report on our website: Waste Audit 2017

Divert NS is proud of Nova Scotia’s culture of recycling – and we believe all Nova Scotians should be proud too. Our disposal rate is almost 50% lower than the Canadian average. But there’s always more we can do to improve. The waste audits show us where to start.

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