Aluminum: A lightweight, silver-white, metallic element. It is mined in the form of bauxite ore where it exists primarily in combination with oxygen as alumina. Aluminum is used in a variety of ways, but perhaps most familiarly in the manufacture of a soft drink cans.
Bale: A large compacted bundle, usually rectangular, of compressed and bound recyclable materials.
Baler: Equipment used in the recycling industry to compress materials into a uniform rectangular cube for loading into trailers for shipment to end users. Balers can be horizontal or vertical indicating how the force of the pressure is applied to make the bale. Bales are secured by metal wire ties.
Biodegradable: Capable of breaking down or decomposing rapidly under natural conditions and processes.
Bond Paper (Commonly called white office paper): A durable paper usually used for documents such as forms, offset printing, copy paper, stationary, etc.
Buy-Back Center: A recycling facility where consumers can drop-off recyclables and receive payment for them.
Close the Loop: The last, and highly important, step in the recycling process when a consumer buys a recycled product after it has been put into a recycling program and reprocessed into a new item.
Compactor: Equipment used in the recycling and waste industry to compress materials to increase hauling efficiencies for handling materials. Compaction can be upwards of a 3 to 1 ratio. Receiver boxes are attached on the compactor unit and removed when full or the compactor and receiver box may be one total unit.
Composting: The controlled biological decomposition of organic material in the presence of air to form a humus-like material. Controlled methods of composting include mechanical mixing and aerating, ventilating the materials by dropping them through a vertical series of aerated chambers, or placing the compost in piles out in the open air and mixing it or turning it periodically. (EPA)
Computer Paper (Commonly called CPO, computer print-out): One of the highest grades of paper. It includes green-bar, gray/blue bar and white computer paper.
Construction and Demolition Debris (C & D): Waste resulting from construction and demolition projects.
Corrugated Cardboard (OCC, old corrugated cardboard): Boxes or other items made from layers of paper glued together with a ruffled or grooved pattern inside.
Curbside Recycling: A process of collection in which recyclables are set out in containers at residential curbsides for pickup and transfer to a designated collection site or recycling facility.
Drop-off Box: Designated location where recyclables are accepted from the public. No cash is paid for recyclable materials at drop-boxes.
E-waste: A general term for electronic products that have reached the end of their useful life. These include computers, monitors, printers, copiers, fax machines and many other common electronic items.
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Plastic #2: This is a colored or opaque plastic used in laundry detergent bottles and milk jugs. It is recycled and used for more detergent bottles, trash bins and base cups for plastic soft drink bottles.
High Grade Paper: This is relatively valuable paper such as computer paper, ledger paper and white office paper.
Mixed Paper: The commingling of various recyclable paper, such as: white paper, colored paper, card stock, brochures, junk mail, envelopes with and without windows, magazines, etc.
MRF: Material Recovery Facility. A facility that sorts recyclable materials by type, then cleans and compresses them before shipping them to reprocessors.
Non-Ferrous Scrap Metal: Metals which contain little or no iron, such as aluminum, copper, brass and bronze.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET) Plastic #1: A type of clear plastic used to make some household cleaning product bottles, soft drink bottles and other kinds of food containers. It is used to make new cleaning product bottles, carpets, fabric and insulation for winter jackets.
Post-consumer recycled content: Recyclable items that are manufactured into new products.
Tire Derived Fuel (TDF): Blending tire chips with coal or another fuel material to power boilers. Tire chip burn very similarly to coal.
Used Beverage Containers (UBC): A technical term for aluminum cans.
Universal Wastes: A class of hazardous wastes that are widely generated by both individuals and businesses, including non-alkaline batteries, pesticides, thermostats, mercury containing devices, and fluorescent lamps.
Virgin Product: A product made with 100 percent new raw materials and contains no recycled materials.
Waste Audit: The process of identifying types and quantities of items in the waste stream. A waste audit is a major step in planning a waste management system. It helps determine if changes need to be made in purchasing supplies and it helps encourage waste reduction and recycling in daily activities.