Solid waste
Non-liquid, non-soluble materials ranging from municipal garbage to sewage sludge; agricultural refuse; and mining residues.
Primary recycling
Process in which materials are recycled into new products of the same type—turning used aluminum cans into new aluminum cans, for example. (Closed loop)
Secondary recycling
A process in which waste materials are converted into different products; for example, used tires can be shredded and turned into rubberized road surfacing. Also called downcycling. (Open loop)
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
The waste materials produced in homes, businesses, schools, and other places in a community.
Hazardous waste
Any material that can be harmful to human health or the environment if it is not properly disposed of.
Integrated Waste Management (IWM)
An integrated approach to waste management that incorporates a combination of practices to safely and effectively handle municipal solid waste. These practices include source reduction, recycling, composting, waste combustion, and landfilling.
The biological treatment of hazardous waste by natural or genetically engineered microorganisms.
A method employed to clean up a hazardous waste site that uses plants to absorb and accumulate toxic materials.
Tipping Fee
Costs to deliver waste to a landfill or incinerator which recovers initial expenses of construction; creates economic incentive to reduce amount of waste disposed of.
Sanitary landfill
A place to deposit solid waste, where a layer of earth is bulldozed over garbage each day to reduce emissions of gases and odors from the decaying trash, to minimize fires, and to discourage vermin.
Waste-to-energy incinerator
Generates electricity or heat from the incineration (burning to ashes) of waste.
Polluted liquid produced by water passing through buried wastes in a landfill.
Double liner
A safety measure put in place by the RCRA that requires a double liner of clay and plastic to minimize the leaching of hazardous waste from a landfill.
Deep-well disposal
Liquid hazardous wastes are pumped under pressure through a pipe into dry, porous geologic formation.
Surface impoundments
Ponds, pits, or lagoons into which liners are placed and liquid hazardous wastes are stored.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Comprehension, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
Taxed chemical and petroleum industries and gave Congress the authority to respond to releases of hazardous materials into the environment. Also known as the Superfund program, provided for the cleanup of the worst toxic waste sites.
A property which has the presence or potential to be a hazardous waste, pollutant or contaminant i.e. former: gas stations, dry cleaners.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
Regulates solid and hazardous waste from “cradle to grave”.
National Priorities List (NPL)
Is the list of hazardous waste sites in the United States eligible for long-term remedial action (cleanup) financed under the federal Superfund program.
Environmental injustice
The unequal distribution of environmental hazards based on racial or socioeconomic status.
Stockholm Convention
Seeks to protect human health from the 12 most toxic chemicals includes 8 chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides like DDT. Aims to eliminate the production and use of persistent organic pollutants(POPs). Also called POP’s Treaty.
The controlled biological decomposition of organic solid waste such as food scraps and yard trimmings. Through composting, organic waste materials are transformed into soil conditioners such as humus or mulch.
Discarded electronic equipment such as computers, cell phones, television sets, etc.
“Refers to the idea that, while people may be aware of the necessity of some unpleasant realities, such as prisons, landfills, or chemical plants, they insist these places be located away from where they live”- NOT IN MY BACK YARD.
Planned Obsolescence
The planning or designing of a product that will become obsolete over time (no longer functional after a certain period of time). Used to make more money in sales.