Tracking and Reporting

Data Tracking and Reporting

Tracking Your Recycling and Waste Data

To provide a meaningful comparison between schools’ recycling efforts, it’s important that participants use standardized methods of tracking their recycling data. Schools will need to develop a system for tracking the actual weight or volume of material being collected. Examples include:

  • Receive weight tickets from waste/recycling hauler.
  • Utilize the nurse’s scale, a fishing scale or a household scale.
  • Estimate weight by counting the number of bags of recyclable material and multiplying by the true actual weight of one bag.
  • Estimate weight by converting volume of recyclable material into pounds.

If a school intends to use volume-to-weight conversion factors to estimate certain material types, it should review the official conversion factors provided by Recycle-Bowl. Here is a useful Estimating Data Fact Sheet

Reported weights should be based on actual observed recycling generation. For instance, a four cubic-yard dumpster of cardboard must be observed to be full, or a visual determination of how full it is must be made. Simply reporting based on capacity of the container without observed quantities is not allowed.

All recycling data are to be tracked and submitted as a weight in U.S. pounds.

Reporting Your Recycling and Waste Data

Competition Division schools must submit an electronic report at the end of the competition. Weight data is due by December 14, 2018 following the four full weeks of collection. You do not need to go into the reporting system weekly to report your data. You will only report once, at the end of the competition. However, you should have some internal mechanism for collecting and tracking data. Some examples are found here under Scorecards.

The reporting form features an entry field for each of the recyclable material commodities listed under Acceptable Material. Schools that use a “single stream” or mixed recyclables collection system can enter a single aggregate weight. We will also ask you to rate the perception of your recycling program.

Each school must provide an accurate figure totaling the school’s number of students and teachers that participated in the competition. Competition Division schools must also provide a link to the school’s published population figure. Per capita results are determined by dividing a school’s recycling weight by its student and teacher population.

Data Validation Process

  • Keep America Beautiful will oversee all data validation.
  • Keep America Beautiful will identify data outliers based on a standard deviation. We will contact those schools that are outliers to confirm their data is accurate.
  • Schools may be randomly checked by Keep America Beautiful staff members or partners to confirm they are adhering to the rules and regulations of the competition.
  • Keep America Beautiful may call the top 5 schools in each state with weighted and/or estimated data to confirm their understanding of their school’s recycling operations.
  • Keep America Beautiful may, in the course of certifying the accuracy of the data, request back-up documentation from any Competition Division school. Where numbers are thought to be inaccurate, participants will be consulted and may be asked to alter them. In extreme situations, Keep America Beautiful reserves the right to shift participant schools to the Open Division if agreement cannot be reached on appropriate numbers.