Anaerobic Digestion – The conversion of biodegradable waste matter into compost in the absence of oxygen.
Carbon Footprint – A measure of the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by a single endeavor or by a company, household, or individual through day-to-day activities over a given period.
Compost – A mixture of various decaying organic substances, as dead leaves or manure, used for fertilizing soil.
Construction and Demolition Debris (C&D) – Consists of the debris generated during the construction, renovation, and demolition of buildings, roads, and bridges. C&D materials often contain bulky, heavy materials, such as concrete, wood, metals, glass, and salvaged building components. Reducing and recycling C&D materials conserves landfill space.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. CSR is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society.
Diversion – Diversion, often called waste diversion or landfill diversion, is the process of diverting waste from landfill. Landfill diversion can occur through recycling.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) – An interactive electronic system that enables a supplier and a customer to communicate easily.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – The transference of money from one place to another over the internet.
e-Waste – Describes loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, or broken electrical or electronic devices.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) – Greenhouse gases are gases in an atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Greenhouse gases greatly affect the temperature of the Earth; without them, Earth's surface would be on average about 59° F colder than at present.
Hazardous Waste – A hazardous waste is waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment. There are four factors that determine whether or not a substance is hazardous:
- ignitability (i.e., flammable)
U.S. environmental laws additionally describe a "hazardous waste" as a waste that has the potential to:
- cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness; or
- pose a substantial hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.
Industrial Waste – Industrial waste is a type of waste produced by industrial activity, such as that of factories, mills and mines. It has existed since the outset of the industrial revolution.
Much industrial waste is neither hazardous nor toxic, such as waste fiber produced by agriculture and logging.
Toxic waste, chemical waste, industrial solid waste and municipal solid waste are designations of industrial waste. Sewage treatment can be used to clean water tainted with industrial waste.
Penalties and fees are created as enforcement actions and to ensure that violating conditions are corrected in a timely manner to ensure consistent treatment of industrial dischargers; to eliminate economic advantages for violations; and to ensure that states recover expenses attributable to violations.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) – A life cycle assessment (LCA, also known as life cycle analysis, ecobalance, and cradle-to-grave analysis) is the investigation and evaluation of the environmental impacts of a given product or service caused or necessitated by its existence.
Load Optimization – Load Optimization or Compactor Load Optimization is a strategy to ensure that compactors are full (and compliant with local, state and federal regulations) such that haulers are not making unnecessary trips to the landfill or recycling facility.
Material Recovery Facility (MRF) – A materials recovery facility or materials reclamation facility or materials recycling facility (MRF - pronounced "murf") is a specialized plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers. Generally, there are two different types - clean and dirty MRFs.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) – Municipal solid waste (MSW) is a waste type that includes predominantly household waste (domestic waste) with the addition of commercial wastes collected by a municipality within a given area. They are in either solid or semisolid form and generally exclude industrial hazardous wastes.
Across the country, many communities, businesses, and individuals have found creative ways to reduce and better manage Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) - more commonly known as trash or garbage - through a coordinated mix of practices that includes source reduction, recycling (including composting), and disposal. The most environmentally sound management of MSW is achieved when these approaches are implemented according to this order:
source reduction first, recycling and composting second, waste-to-energy third and disposal in landfills last.
WM eBusiness – Oakleaf's secure web portal containing all the important information about clients’ accounts - from billing and management reports to data analysis and service details.
Old Cardboard Cardboard (OCC) – OCC (which stands for old corrugated cardboard, or old corrugated containers or old corrugated cartons or old corrugated cases) are an excellent source of fiber for recycling. They can be compressed and baled for cost effective transport to anywhere in need of fiber for papermaking. Thus they help developing countries without much afforestation to build a paper and packaging industry locally and develop their exports to global markets.
Organic Waste – Organic waste (also called biodegradable waste) is a type of waste, typically originating from plant or animal sources, which may be broken down by other living organisms. Waste that cannot be broken down by other living organisms may be called non-biodegradable.
Recycling – Recycling involves processing used materials (waste) into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production. Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction.
Reverse Logistics – Reverse logistics stands for all operations related to the reuse of products and materials. It is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, cost effective flow of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods and related information from the point of consumption to the point of origin for the purpose of recapturing value or proper disposal.
Right-Sizing – A strategy to ensure that waste container size and frequency of pickup are optimized at each location to meet your business needs.
Single Stream Recycling – Single stream (also known as “fully commingled”) recycling refers to a system in which all paper fibers and containers are mixed together in a collection truck, instead of being sorted into separate commodities (newspaper, cardboard, plastic, glass, metal, etc.) and handled separately throughout the collection process. In single stream, both the collection and processing systems must be designed to handle this fully commingled mixture of recyclables.
Site Survey – a physical visit made to a client site to document current conditions and practices relating to waste recycling and disposal. It includes a review of on site collection practices, materials recycled and disposed and equipment used in each process step. May also include evaluation of historical volumes and service costs.
Sustainability – Sustainability is a new way of thinking about an age-old concern: ensuring that our children and grandchildren inherit a tomorrow that is at least as good as today, preferably better. Companies embracing sustainability implement environmental and social practices that protect and enhance the human and natural resources needed by future generations to enjoy a quality of life equal to or greater than our own.
Universal Waste – Universal Waste is a category of waste materials not designated as "hazardous waste", but containing materials that need to be prevented from free release into the environment. Universal Waste includes:
- Mercury-containing equipment (including many thermostats)
- Lamps containing mercury (e.g. fluorescent lamps, including compact fluorescent lamps)
Businesses and other generators of such waste are required to provide for their proper disposal.
Upcycling – Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.
Waste Audit – A comprehensive review of current client site conditions, equipment and practices for solid waste reuse, recycling and disposal. Combines site survey and waste characterization with review of historical data to create detailed baseline data and evaluation of economic and environmental aspects of the current waste management approach. Can be configured to support LEED certification requirements.
Waste Characterization – A determination of waste composition by volume- or weight-based analysis. Typically used to determine recycling program effectiveness, opportunities for additional recycling and individual site compliance with client guidelines for waste recycling and disposal practices.
Waste-To-Energy – Waste-to-energy is the process of creating energy in the form of electricity or heat from the incineration of waste source.