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Recycling Terms



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ABATEMENT
The reduction in landfill pollution by source reduction and waste recycling.

ABC
Aluminum Beverage cans.

ABS
Acrylonitrile butiadene styrene.

AC
Aerosol cans.

AERATION
The process of exposing compost material to air.

AL
Aluminum.

AP
Auto parts.

ASB
Asbestos.

ASPH
Asphalt.

BA
Brass.

BACK-END SYSTEM
Any of several processes for recovering resources from the organic portion of the waste stream (Ex.: Fluid bed incineration; Pyrolysis; Composting; Combustion; Fiber reclamation).

BALE
A compacted and bound cube of recycled material.

BALER
Equipment that compacts and binds recyclable materials to reduce volume and transportation costs. (BALING).

BENEFICATION
The mechanical processing of waste glass to decontaminate it and crush it to a more uniform size.

BIAS PLY CONSTRUCTION
A tire building method consisting of a casing built using multiple layers of textile laid diagonally across the run of the tire.

BIMETAL CAN (BI-METAL)
A food or beverage can with a steel body and an aluminum lid: it is 100% recyclable by the steel industry.

BIODEGRADABLE
Able to break down or decompose rapidly under natural conditions and processes.

BIOLOGICAL OXYGEN DEMAND (BOD)
The amount of oxygen needed for aerobic microorganisms to function in organic-rich water such as sewage.

BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT
Technology that uses bacteria to consume waste/ organic materials.

BLEACHING
Method used in the paper-making process to produce a bright white paper sheet. It produces dioxins.

BO
Bronze.

BOD
See: Biological oxygen demand.

BOTTLE BANK
Containers meant to receive beverage bottles which people drop off to be recycled.

BOTTLE BILL
A law requiring deposits on beverage containers.

BOXBOARD
Paperboard used for fabricating boxes. Different boxboard grades are classified as to the composition of the top liner, filler (middle layer), and back liner. It includes folding b-- (cereal boxes), setup b-- (shoe boxes), and foodboard (milk cartons).

BRGL
Brown glass.

BRK
Bricks.

BROKE
Paper that has been discarded anywhere in the process of manufacture in the paper mill.

BROWN GOODS
Obsolete electronic products, such as radios and televisions.

BT
Automotive batteries.

BUY-BACK CENTER
A recycling facility that purchases small amounts of secondary materials from the public.

CAPTURE RATE
The percentage of generated secondary materials actually recovered from a household or business.

CARCASS
The foundation structure of a tire, including sidewalls, bead and cord.

CC
Catalytic converters.

CELLULOSE INSULATION
Insulation commonly used in construction and manufactured from waste paper (primarily newsprint) processing, with the addition of chemicals acting as retardants to fire or fibre breakdown.

CHBD
Chipboard.

CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS (CFCs)
Family of inert, nontoxic and easily liquified chemicals manufactured for use as coolants, cleaning solvents, plastic, aerosol propellants and foam insulation.

CLGL
Clear glass.

CO
Copper.

CO-COLLECTION
The collection of bagged recyclables together with other municipal garbage, separated later for recycling or disposal.

COMMINGLED
Mixed recyclables that are collected or processed together.

COMMINUTION
Mechanical shredding or pulverizing of waste; used in solid and water waste treatment.

COMPACTOR
Equipment that densifies recyclable material and contains it under pressure, not allowing it to expand until it is unloaded.

COMPOST
A mixture of garbage, degradable trash and soil in which bacteria in the soil break down the mixture into a soil conditioner (not a fertilizer). It has high organic content but low nitrogen.

CONC
Concrete.

CONTAINERBOARD
The component materials used in the fabrication of corrugated cardboard.

CORRUGATED CARDBOARD, OLD (OCC)
Unbleached, unwaxed kraft paper with ruffled inner liner. A recyclable material used to manufacture cardboard boxes.

COS
Computer scrap.

CPO
Computer print out paper.

CPT
Carpet.

CPTF
Carpet, foam padding.

CRADLE-TO-GRAVE
A system that handles solid waste from creation through disposal.

CRUMB RUBBER
Ground or shredded rubber.

CRUSHER
A mechanical device used to break secondary materials into smaller pieces.

CRYOGENIC SIZE REDUCTION
Process in which flexible substances are made brittle by cooling to extremely low temperatures, using liquid nitrogen and ground rubber.

CSPE-R
Chlorosulforated polyethylene.

CULLET
Crushed glass which can be added to a batch of new materials in the manufacturing of new glass products. It increases the rate of heat gain by batch and reduces fuel costs. Domestic c-- if produced in house during the manufacturing process. Foreign c-- if it comes from an external source.

DEGRADABILITY
Ability of materials to break down, by bacterial (biodegradable) or ultraviolet (photodegradable) action.

DEINKING
A process that removes inks, dyes or other contaminants from collected wastepaper.

DETINNER
A company that buys tin mill products, removes the tin through appropriate processes and sells the detinned steel, to steel mills and foundries and the recovered tin on the tin market.

DIOXIN
Chlorinated organic compound: a by-product of the paper-making process that uses chlorine as a bleaching agent. Dioxins can be released into the atmosphere through the incineration of chlorinated paper. They are believed to be highly toxic to humans,

DIVERSION CREDITS
A financial incentive provided to municipalities or private recycling operations based on the tonnage diverted from the waste stream.

ELASTOMER
A material which can be stretched at room temperature to at least twice its size and upon release of the stress, will return to approximately its original lenght.

ENERGY FROM WASTE
A recognized alternative process to reduction or recovery of recyclable materials wich are not currently economical.

EXOTHERMICS
Materials used to generate heat in chemical or other processes.

FD
Fiber drums.

FERROUS METALS (FE)
magnetic metals which are predominantly composed of iron.

FLB
Fluorescent light bulbs.

FLOW CONTROL LAW
Local ordinance controlling, or giving a municipal official authority to control, the collection and/or disposal of municipal solid waste produced in a specific geographical area.

FORCED DEPOSIT
Requires a monetary deposit on beverage containers which is returned to the consumer when the containers are returned to the retailer.

FLY ASH
A fine residue, left after trash is burned in an incinerator, which can be carried in the air. It can contain harmful or toxic substances such as dioxins, lead and mercury.

FR
Freon.

FRONT END SEPARATION
A system in which certain materials removed from the waste stream are directed toward a specific recovery system such as recycling or waste to energy incineration.

FSB
Ferrous steel beams only.

GAYLORD CONTAINER
The trade name for a large, reusable corrugated container used for shipping materials.

GL
Glass, all grades.

GLASPHALT
A trade name for highway paving material in which recovered ground glass replaces some of the gravel normally used in asphalt.

GRADING
Rating of waste or recyclable materials into homogenous categories by type and quality.

GRGL
Green glass.

GRINDING
A size reduction technique that usually utilizes a series of rollers.

GYP
Gypsum, wallboard, drywall.

HBT
Household batteries.

HDPE
See: High density polyethylene.

HEAVY METALS
Elements, including cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic which may be found in the waste stream as part of discarded items (batteries, lighting fixtures, colorants, ink).

HIGH DENSITY POLYETHYLENE (HDPE)
Used to make plastic bottles, milk cartons and other products. It produces toxic fumes when burned. Often referred to as No.2 Plastic.

HIGH GRADE PAPER (HG)
Relatively valuable types of paper such as computer printout, white ledger and tab cards.

HUMUS
The substance which results from decay of plant or animal matter. Biodegradable matters form humus as they decompose.

HZW
Hazardous waste.

INTEGRATED SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommendation that promotes solid waste management through an integrated system that uses resource reduction, recycling, waste to energy incineration and landfilling to manage the reclamation, reuse or disposal of plastics in the waste stream.

INTENSIVE RECYCLING
A concept promoted by opponents of waste to energy systems, whereby municipal recycling efforts target all recyclables in the waste stream.

INTERMEDIATE PROCESSING CENTER (IPC)
Facility that separates, cleans and bails or packages materials for sale to manufacturers or brokers. See also: MRF.

KFT
Kraft paper.

LANDFILL
A private or municipal site where non-hazardous solid or municipal waste is buried.

LB
Light bulbs.

LD
Lead.

LDPE
See: Low density polyethylene.

LEACHING
Process by which soluble materials are dissolved and carried through the soil by a percolating liquid.

LINER
Barrier designed to prevent the leaching of contents from a landfill. Commonly comprised of plastic or dense clay.

LINERBOARD
A paperboard used as the facing material in the production of corrugated shipping containers. See also: Test Linerboard.

LLDPE
Linear low density polyethylene.

LOW DENSITY POLYETHYLENE (LDPE)
Often referred as No.4 Plastic.

LOW GRADE PAPER (LG)
Less valuable types of paper such as mixed office paper, corrugated cardboard and newspaper.

MA
Magnesium.

MATERIALS RECOVERY FACILITY (MRF)
A recycling facility that sorts and processes collected mixed recyclables into individual streams for market. Also known as an intermidiate processing center (IPC).

MDPE
Medium density polyethylene.

ME
Mercury.

MIDDEN
A pit in which trash or garbage is buried. Usually only organic garbage.

MILL BROKE
Waste paper produced by mills during the paper making process that has traditionally been reused in manufacturing paper. It cannot be considered in the recycled content according to U.S. EPA guidelines.

MINIMUM RECYCLED CONTENT LAWS
Laws requiring a product or type of packaging to contain a certain percentage of recycled material.

MJC
Milk, juice cartons.

MLR
Multi layered resins.

MRF
See: Materials recovery facility.

MSW
See: Municipal solid waste.

MULCHING
The natural and gradual decomposition of dead organic matter that has been evenly distributed in a thin layer on the ground.

MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE (MSW)
Residential and commercial trash and/or garbage generated by a particular municipal area.

MW
Medical waste.

MWP
Mixed waste paper.

NEW SCRAP
Material which is discarded during a manufacturing or processing operation and which cannot be directly fed back to that operation.

NEWSPRINT
Alternate term for the low grade paper used to make newspaper.

NI
Nickel.

NON FERROUS SCRAP METALS (NF)
Metals which contain no iron, such as aluminum, copper, brass and bronze.

NORYL
Plastics noryl.

NPC
Nylon polycarbonate.

OCC
See: Corrugated cardboard, old.

OF
Oil filters.

OFFICE PAPER
Waste paper generated by offices, including stationery, photocopy and computer paper.

OMG
Old magazines.

ONP
Old newspapers.

OWM
Oil water mixture.

OZONE DEPLETION
Destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer of the earth's athmosphere due to the release of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, into the environment.

PA
Paper, all grades.

PAPERBOARD
General term for heavyweight grades of paper that are used for containers, boxes, cartons and packaging materials. It is divided into: Containerboard, Boxboard and Other Paperboard.

PAPER STOCK
Scrap or waste papers that have been sorted and baled into specific grades. It is commonly used interchangeably with the term waste paper.

PC
Polycarbonate.

PE
Polyethylene.

PD
Plastic drums.

PERFORATOR/FLATTENER
Equipment that perforates and flattens material, then ejects it into a receptacle or processor. Used to prevent plastic bottles from expanding after flattening.

PET
See: Polyethylene terephthalate.
PG
Plate glass.

PHOTODEGRADABLE
A process where ultraviolet radiation degrades the chemical bond or link in the polymer or chemical structure of a plastic. See also: Degradability.

PL
Plastic, all grades.

PM
Precious metals.

POLYETHYLENE TERAPHTHALATE (PET)
A type of plastic that is clear or colored transparent with high gloss. It is used for carbonated beverage bottles and some household cleanser containers. Often referred to as No. 1 Plastic.

POLYPROPILENE (PP)
Plastic with a smooth surface that cracks easily when bent and is difficult to scratch. Typical uses are: battery cases, dairy tubs, jar lids, straws and syrup bottles. It is hard to collect in marketable quantities for recycling and has limited uses in its recycled form. Often referred to as No. 5 Plastic.

POLYSTYRENE (PS)
Plastic with a smooth surface that cracks easily when bent. Used for fast food packaging, styrofoam cups and packing peanuts, it takes up a large part of landfill space because of its bulk. Often referred to as No. 6 Plastic.

POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC)
Environmentally indestructible plastic that releases toxic hydrocloric acid when burned. It is used for food wraps and containers for personal care products. Often referred to as V-3 or No. 3 Plastic.

POST CONSUMER MATERIAL
Any household or commercial product which has served its original, intended use.

POST INDUSTRIAL MATERIAL
Industrial manufacturing scrap.

PP
See: Polypropylene.

PRE-CONSUMER WASTE
Waste produced by converting or printing operations and includes any scraps, trimmings, overruns, etc.

PRECYCLE
Source reduction option whereby evaluation and selection of items for purchase is dependent upon method of manufacture, product content and recyclability of product after consumer use.

PS
See: Polystyrene.

PVC
See: Polyvinyl chloride.

PW
Papermill waste.

PYROLYSIS
A process of producing fuels from waste by heating it in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere.

RB
Rubber, all grades.

RBC
Rubber crumbs.

RBF
Rubber buffings.

RBIT
Rubber inner tubes.

RBS
Rubber, shredded tires.

RBT
Rubber, used tires.

RD
Radiators.

RDF
See: Refuse derived fuel.

RECLAIMER
A company that processes post-consumer materials into new products. See also: Reprocessing.

RECLAMATION
See: Refuse reclamation.

RECYCLING
Process by which materials that would otherwise become solid waste are collected, separated or processed and returned to the economic mainstream to be reused in the form of raw materials or finished goods.

REDEMPTION
To turn in a secondary material to the original supplier.

REDUCTION
See: Source reduction.

REFUSE DERIVED FUEL (RDF)
Fuel produced by separating, shredding and processing mixed wastes.

REFUSE RECLAMATION
Transformation of solid waste into useful products, such as soil conditioners or recycled materials.

REGRIND
Ground up recyclable plastics.

REMANUFACTURING
The process of disassembly and reassembly of products during which time parts are cleaned, repaired or replaced.

REPROCESSING
Operation of reforming reclaimed materials into new products.

RESOURCE RECOVERY
Any process of obtaining matter or energy from materials formerly discarded.

RETREADING
The process of removing a worn tread and placing a new tread on an undamaged tire casing.

REUSE
To use a product repeteadly in the same form (e.g.: glass bottles, cloth diapers).

RS
Railscrap.

RUBBER ASPHALT
A product that combines ground-up scrap tires and asphalt. It is primarily used in highway, airport runway and street projects as a stress-absorbing membrane interlayer.

RUBBISH
Solid waste that does not contain food waste.

SALVAGE
The act of obtaining a secondary material through collection, sorting, etc.

SC
Steel cans.

SCRAP
That portion of solid waste which can be economically recycled.

SD
Steel drums.

SECONDARY MATERIAL
See: Post consumer material; Post industrial material.

SEPARATION
See: Source separation.

SG
Specialty grades, paper.

SHREDDING
Size reduction by shearing action.

SHT
Stainless, high temperature steel.

SM
Special metals.

SOLID WASTE
Nonsoluble, discarded solid materials, including sewage sludge, municipal garbage, industrial wastes, agricultural refuse, demolition wastes and mining residues.

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
The handling of activities which provide for the collection, separation, storage, transport, transfer, processing, recycling, incineration, treatment and disposal of solid waste.

SOURCE REDUCTION
Reducing the quantity of waste which in turn lessens the amount of material that enters the waste stream.

SOURCE SEPARATION
The sorting of specific waste materials prior to their collection or deposition into a collection container.

SPECIAL WASTES
Any waste requiring special handling such as scrap tires, used motor oil, hospital wastes or household hazardous wastes.

STEEL CAN
A rigid container made exclusively or primarily of steel. It is 100% recyclable.

SWEATING FURNACES
Furnace in which metals are separated by melting at different temperatures.

TB
Telephone books.

TEST LINERBOARD
Linerboard that is made exclusively out of recycled materials such as double-lined kraft cuttings and old corrugated containers.

TF
Tin foil.

THERMOPLASTICS (TPO)
Plastics which can be reformed repeteadly by application of heat and pressure.

THERMOSETS
Plastics which once molded cannot be reformed using heat or pressure.

TI
Titanium.

TIN CAN
A term sometimes used to describe a steel food can. Technological developments have allowed for the tin coating on a can to become progressively thinner, to the point that tin now represents less than one percent of the weight of a steel can.

TIPPING FEE
Charge for the unloading or dumping of waste at a recycling facility, composting facility, landfill, transfer station or waste to energy facility.

TP
Truck parts.

TPO
See: Thermoplastics.

TS
Tin (metal).

TX
Textiles, all grades.

TXC
Textiles, cotton.

TXJ
Textiles, jute.

TXN
Textiles, nonwoven.

TXR
Textiles, wiping rags.

TXS
Textiles, synthetic.

TXU
Textiles, used clothing.

TXW
Textiles, wool.

UBC
Used beverage containers.

USBC
Used steel beverage containers.

UST
Underground storage tanks.

V-3
See: PVC.

VOLUME REDUCTION
Processing waste materials to decrease the amount of space the materials occupy. It is accomplished by mechanical, thermal or biological means.

VULCANIZATION OF RUBBER
A chemical reaction of sulphur with rubber to cause cross-linking of the polymer chain which increases strenght and resiliency of rubber.

WASTE
Unwanted materials remaining from manufacturing processes, or refuse from humans and animals.

WASTE EXCHANGE
The use by one company of an industrial waste generated by another firm.

WASTE RECYCLING
A method of recovering waste as resources. It includes the reuse of wastes or the collection and treatment of a waste product for use as a replacement of all or part of the raw material in the manufacturing process.

WASTE REDUCTION
The prevention of waste at its source. See also: Source reduction.

WASTE STREAM
The flow of waste material from generation to disposal.

WASTE TO ENERGY INCINERATION
An alternative process to reduction or recovery of recyclable materials which are not currently economical.

WHITE GOODS (WGA)
A generic term for obsolete major appliances such as refrigerators, water heaters and stoves. See also: Brown goods.

WINDROWING
The placement and management of compostable material in piled rows, where micro-organisms break down organic material into a finished compost product.

WO
Waste oil.

WP
Waste wood products.

WW
Waste water.

YARD WASTE (YW)
Leaves, grass clippings and other organic wastes produced as part of yard and garden development and maintenance.

ZI
Zinc.

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