Glossary

Copyright January 2022 Waste Reduction Resources, LLC

A Bag’s Life
A recycling promotion that encourages children to clean up plastic pollution while its parent organization, American Progressive Bag Alliance, lobbies for legislation that will prevent plastic bag bans.


Alternative Energy
Alternative energy can mean recyclables get burned up. WTE means Waste To Energy, which can also mean recyclables get burned up.


American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

From their website,“America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.” From USA Today April 3, 2019, “ALEC was created in 1973 in Chicago by a small group of conservative activists and state legislators. Their broad goal was to support conservative ideas and make it easier to disseminate policies that advanced their cause at the state level.”


American Beverage Association (ABA)
From their website, “The Association also serves as liaison between the industry, government and the public, and provides a unified voice in legislative and regulatory matters. As the national voice for the non-alcoholic refreshment beverage industry, the American Beverage Association staff of legislative, scientific, technical, regulatory, legal and communications experts effectively represent members’ interests.” Members include producers and bottlers of soft drinks, bottled water, and other non-alcoholic beverages. The ABA has opposed Container Deposit Laws, (CDLs). Members include Coca-Cola, Disney, Nestle Quik. For complete list see https://www.ameribev.org ABA gives money to Keep America Beautiful.


American Chemical Council (ACC)
From their website, “The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is America’s oldest trade association of its kind, representing more than 190 companies engaged in the business of chemistry.” Members including BP Lubricants USA, Inc., Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, DOW, DuPont, Exxon Mobil Chemical Company, Monsanto Company, Proctor & Gamble Chemicals Division, Shell Chemical LP, and more.


American Iron and Steel Institute
From their website, “The American steel industry is the cleanest and most energy efficient of the leading steel industries in the world. This is due to the high percentage of steel made from recycling scrap to make new steel, and the use of domestically-sourced iron ore pellets, as well as the increasing use of natural gas in place of coal and coke to make iron and steel with lower emissions.” “Steel is 100 percent recyclable, which means it can be recycled into the same material of the same quality again and again.” https://www.steel.org/sustainability/


American Plastic Council (APC)
In 2002 APC merged with the American Chemical Council.


America Recycles Day
Keep America Beautiful, USEPA, and other organizations annually celebrate recycling on Nov.15th. https://americarecyclesday.org


American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance (ARPBA)
Formerly the American Progressive Bag Alliance, is a lobbying group that represents the U.S. plastic bag manufacturing and recycling industry. Founded in 2005, it lobbies against U.S. local and state plastic bag bans and taxes. Part of the Plastics Industry Association. The APBA lobbies against restrictions on plastic. To fight bag bans they use the ALEC approach. The APB successfully defeated a plastic bag ban in Tennessee in 2019. APB Executive Director Matt Seaholm is the former national director of the Americans for Prosperity, a Koch Brother(s) backed organization. Because APBA is owned by the Plastics Industry Association there is no federal requirement to make its expenditures public Sharon Lerner of the Intercept reports that state lobbying disclosures show that APBA has spent millions of dollars fighting plastic bag bans in several states. https://bagalliance.org


Balcones
From their website: “Balcones is a comprehensive environmental services company. We specialize in recovering resources through recycling, document and product destruction, and alternative energy.” Founder Kerry Getter got his start with Waste Management, Inc.
Balcones has facilities in Austin, TX and Little Rock, AR. Neither city has a recycling transparency ordinance.


Basel Network Action (BAN)

From their website, “BAN’s mission is to champion global environmental health and justice by ending toxic trade, catalyzing a toxic-free future, and campaigning for everyone’s right to a clean environment.


Break Free from Plastic
From their website, “The #breakfreefromplastic Movement is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in 2016, more than 11,000 organizations and individual supporters from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. BFFP member organizations and individuals share the common values of environmental protection and social justice, and work together through a holistic approach in order to bring about systemic change under the #breakfreefromplastic core pillars. This means tackling plastic pollution across the whole plastics value chain – from extraction to disposal – focusing on prevention…” https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org


Center for International Environmental Law
From their website: “Since 1989, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has used the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society. CIEL seeks a world where the law reflects the interconnection between humans and the environment, respects the limits of the planet, protects the dignity and equality of each person, and encourages all of earth’s inhabitants to live in balance with each other.”
https://www.ciel.org/about-us/our-mission/


Chemical Recycling
is promoted by the American Chemical Council. They predict billions of dollars of economic output as a result of chemical recycling. See also Cracker Plants to learn about oil and gas companies switching from fossil fuel production to plastic pellet production.


Circulate Capital
From their website, “Circulate Capital is an investment firm dedicated to financing innovation, companies, and infrastructure that prevent the flow of plastic waste into the world’s ocean while advancing the circular economy.” Funders include Chevron Phillips Chemical, PepsiCO, Proctor & Gamble, DOW, Unilever, and CocaCola. Founder and CEO Rob Kaplan is the former Sustainability Director for Walmart. Kaplan is also Co-Founder/Senior Advisor to Closed Loop Partners.


Circular Economy
From The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, “A circular economy entails markets that give incentives to reusing products, rather than scrapping them and then extracting new resources. In such an economy, all forms of waste, such as clothes, scrap metal and obsolete electronics, are returned to the economy or used more efficiently. This can provide a way to not only protect the environment, but use natural resources more wisely, develop new sectors, create jobs and develop new capabilities.”
https://unctad.org/topic/trade-and-environment/circular-economy/


Closed Loop Fund
A fund that gives money to recycling companies and municipalities for recycling infrastructure. Funders include Amazon, Walmart, Walmart Foundation, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Unilever, 3M, PepsiCo, and Johnson & Johnson, Nestle Waters, PepsiCo. See Recycling Partnership.


Container Deposit Laws (CDL)
Formerly known as bottle bills, CDLs are laws requiring a minimal deposit on cans or bottles that can be recycled or washed, and reused. The deposit is refunded when the can or bottle is returned. The states that have a CDL have less litter and better recycling rates. That means less tax payer money is spent to pick up litter and more money goes into the pockets of consumers who return their cans and bottles.


Container Recycling Institute
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1991 that produces research on policies and practices that empower communities to reduce waste, increase recycling, reuse, and high-end closed loop recycling of beverage containers. They keep a data base of information on container and packaging generation, disposal, recovery and recycling in the U.S. and abroad.
https://www.container-recycling.org


Contamination
Occurs when garbage or non-recyclable items are mixed in with recyclables. Contaminates can be anything from dirty diapers, toilet seats, food waste, bowling balls, motor parts, to dead animals. Cross contamination is when unlike recyclables end up in the same bale. For example, a metal lid, broken glass, or smashed plastic lands in a paper bale. Contamination lowers the price paid for your recyclables.


Cost of recycling
Hopefully your community did not pay a consultant big bucks to con elected officials using this equation. Cost of recycling = total costs (that’s your trucks, fuel, maintenance, employee salaries, workers comps, etc.) divided by recyclables collected. Just because an item gets collected at the curb, does not mean it gets recycled, made into a new product that re enters the market place. This is why transparency is very, very important. If you want to be honest about the actual cost of your recycling program, you must know how much of the volume collected, was actually used to make new products.


Cracker Plants
During the fracking process the flared ethane can be captured and piped to a plant that takes oil and gas and “cracks” the ethane into smaller molecules to create ethane. Ethane is used in plastics and chemical manufacturing. There are environmental issues regarding the process as well as concerns about feeding the addiction to unnecessary single-use plastics.


Cross contamination
When unlike recyclables end up in the same bale. Examples could be, glass, a metal lid, broken smashed plastic in a paper bale. Contamination lowers the price paid for your recyclables. Machinery can be destroyed when wrong items land in a bale. Who picks up the cost for this?


Curb-sort collection
Also called source-separated. When the items you place in your recycle bin get sorted at the curb into a truck, that has segregated compartments for like materials, only plastic with plastic, only glass with glass, only paper with paper, only metals with metals, etc. Contamination is near zero with this system, which means your recyclables are worth more. The way to make curb sort more cost effective and less labor intensive is by using a hydraulic trough that lifts the like items into the segregated compartments, relieving the worker of back strain. See video at www.WasteReductionResources.com


Diversion
If the recyclable placed in the recycling bin is contaminated and not actually made into a new product, that re enters the market place, then the term “diversion rate” is misleading, at best. Contaminated recycling is burned up, shipped to countries lacking environmental/labor laws, dumped illegally, or the hauler kicks the “contaminated can” on to U.S. re-maufacturers. That means the re-manufacturer, instead of making a new product, now has the burden of disposal.


Down-cycle
From Merriam Webster, “to recycle (something) in such a way that the resulting product is of a lower value than the original item: to create an object of lesser value from (a discarded object of higher value) means an item can be recycled only once.”


Due Diligence
The process through which a potential acquirer evaluates an individual or company before engaging in an appointment of the person or contract. A standard procedure is usually followed resulting in a final decision based on evidence. From Wikipedia: “The theory behind due diligence holds that performing this type of investigation contributes significantly to informed decision making by enhancing the amount and quality of information available to decision makers and by ensuring that this information is systematically used to deliberate on the decision at hand and all its costs, benefits, and risks.”


Earth Day 1970
The link below explores the original good intentions for Earth Day.
https://www.earthday.org/about/the-history-of-earth-day/ The original back-to-the-land movement was about living simply, so there would be resources for future generations.


End-users
Also called re-manufacturers, end-users are the companies that make new products from our recyclables. Examples of end-users: a metal company that makes new aluminum cans from old ones; or a glass plant that makes new glass bottles from old ones. End-users did not instigate single stream collection for recyclables, major garbage hauling companies did. This fact is foundational to understanding the need for transparency in your recycling program.


Electronic or High Tech Waste
Electronic products that are no longer used, such as computers, cell phones, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, fax machines, etc. become ewaste. These items may contain beryllium, brominated flame retardants, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel, or zinc.
https://www.epa.gov/large-scale-residential-demolition/electronic-waste-and-demolition
Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled. See Right to Repair.


Ethic
From the American Heritage dictionary, “A principle of right or good conduct, a system of moral principles or values. The rules or standards governing the conduct of the members of a profession.” Hopefully those parties responsible for your community’s solid waste programs include ethics in their decision making process.


Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
From The Guardian: “Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a form of product stewardship. Under EPR, manufacturers and brand owners (known as producers) are responsible for the products they make or sell, and any associated packaging, when they become waste.” In 2021 Maine and Oregon passed EPR legislation. See Legislation page for more information.


Feedstock
A term for your collected recyclables that get made into new products.


Flexible Packaging Association (FPA)

From their website: “The Flexible Packaging Association is the U.S. association of the manufacturers of flexible packaging; and, material or equipment suppliers to the industry. Flexible packaging is produced from paper, plastic, film, aluminum foil, or any combination of those materials, and includes bags, pouches, labels, liners, wraps, rollstock, and other flexible products.” FPA donated to Tennessee lawmakers in the year leading up to the vote that banned proposed plastic bans. Members of FPA include Chevron Phillips, Dow, Exxon, Mobile Chemical, SABIC, and LyondellBasell.


 

Franchise

Franchise  from Merriam-Webster 

“the right or license granted to an individual or group to market a company’s goods or services in a particular territory” In recycling it means you divide the residential communities into a pie giving different recycling collection companies different parts of the pie. It can help avoid a monopoly, as well as reduce heavy truck traffic on streets.


 

Fraud
From Merriam Webster dictionary: deceit, trickery specifically intentional perversion of truth in order to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right. It’s hard to sue for fraud if recycling and garbage are not separate line items on your bill.


Glass Packaging Institute (GPI)
Founded in 1919 as the Glass Container Association of America, the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) is the trade association representing the North American glass container industry. On behalf of glass container manufacturers and their supply chain partners, GPI promotes glass as the optimal packaging choice, advances environmental and recycling policies, advocates industry standards, and educates packaging professionals. “Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity.” Glass can also be rewashed and reused.


Glass Recycling Coalition
Founded in 2016, collaborates across the value chain to strengthen glass recycling. It was founded after it’d become apparent single stream recycling was bad for glass recycling.
https://www.glassrecycles.org


Glass Recycling Foundation
The Glass Recycling Foundation (GRF) is a 501c3 non-profit organization formed to provide and raise funds for localized and targeted assistance, demonstration and pilot projects that address gaps in the glass recycling supply chain across the United States.
https://glassrecyclingfoundation.org/grant-application-and-guide/


Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
From their website: “GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 grassroots groups, non- governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries whose ultimate vision is a just, toxic-free world without incineration.” Article below from their August 2019 website
https://www.no-burn.org/green-groups-push-back-on-incineration-plans-in-australia–on- waste-take-back/


Green Fence/National Sword/Blue Sky
Terms for the Chinese ban of American’s highly contaminated recycling. The U.S. recycle stream began to resemble garbage with the advent of single stream collection. Single stream is the collection method whereby recyclables are handled in the same way as garbage, rather than like valuable assets. All different kinds of recyclables, plastic paper, metals, and sometimes glass, are mixed together into a single compartment truck, thus the term single stream.


Greenwash or Green Veneer
From the Cambridge English Dictionary, “an attempt to make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is”. Greenwashing is not limited to companies. Politicians will greenwash to win votes. Every community needs a recycling transparency law that requires real time observation of all recycle trucks dumping their loads.


Haulers
Garbage haulers are often referred to simply as Haulers. Haulers saw an opportunity (in the 1990s) to regain market share (collection of recyclables) lost to volunteers who, in the 1970s and 80s, began separating glass, paper, plastic, and metals from their household garbage. Recycling reduced the volume the garbage haulers were collecting, thus reducing their profit margin. The recycling volunteers, overwhelmed with success, turned their programs over to municipalities. Municipalities did not want to fool with an extra collection responsibility, and thus the door was open for the private garbage haulers to take control of and regain the lost market share.


Hemp
from Britannica, “The hemp plant is a stout, aromatic, erect annual herb.” It can be used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel. Hemp may be the future substitute for plastic wrap used to hold boxes on pallets, or to cover furniture when moving.


How2Recycle
A standardized labeling system that communicates recycling instructions to the public. It’s made up of a coalition of brands who say they want their packaging to be recycled. Corporations involved include Nestle and WalMart. While it is said to make recycling easier, beware, standardization can lead to a corporate concentration of control of your recyclable resource stream. Remember what happened with standardized education, “No Child Left Behind”?


JUNO
A food recycling project by the Koch Brothers company, Georgia Pacific. In my humble opinion, the next worst idea after single stream collection. Remember dirty MRFs, before single stream?


Last Beach Clean Up
From their website, “Founded by an independent engineer, The Last Beach Cleanup focuses on bringing the facts to the forefront to promote proven and practical solutions to plastic pollution. We do root cause analysis, design tactical solutions and we keep counting to measure progress. We evaluate proposed solutions for economic practicality at scale in real world conditions.” https://www.lastbeachcleanup.org/


LOOP
is a new Terracycle project involving Clorox, Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, Pepsi-Co, Unilever and other corporations in which containers are designed to be refilled. LOOP involves a lot of transportation, so if you can refill locally that’s better.


Keep America Beautiful (KAB)
Receives funding from those who fight CDLs, container deposit laws. On the positive side they do promote litter clean ups and recycling. https://kab.org/


Material Recovery Facility (MRF)
Materials Recovery Facility, a facility that sorts and bales recyclables. Recyclables are called feedstock. Feedstock is sold to re-manufacturers/end-users to make new products.

Clean MRF the recyclables come into the facility already segregated, plastic with plastic, glass with glass, metals with metals, thus contamination is in low single digits.

Dirty MRF the recyclables are literally mixed in with garbage. NO JOKE, there are actually programs where citizens leave the recyclables mixed in with garbage. The recyclables supposedly get separated from the garbage at the MRF. Try visiting one of these facilities unannounced. Unannounced visits allow you to see what is really going on in any facility. Seeing recycle trucks dump in real time is critical to transparency.

Single Stream MRF tossing unlike recyclables all together in a single compartment truck. The recyclables are all mixed up together and have to be “separated”. Food and liquids cause stuff to stick together, creating an inseparable mess. Paper is contaminated by wayward debris, motor oil, urine, liquids, food, etc. Single Stream was pushed by the garbage hauling industry, an industry financially dependent on our continual generation of waste. Single stream is similar to a dirty MRF.


JUNO MRF

a project by the Koch Brothers’ owned company, Georgia Pacific. (GP) It will be like a dirty MRF in that food coated paper products from cafeterias, stadiums etc. will be collected and recycled into new paper products. GP plans to separate and sell the plastic and metals that are mixed in with the food waste coated papers. The patented process will make transparency problematic.


Mini MRF
can be a single stream MRF that takes smaller loads. The concept is that the sorting and clean up will be easier in a mini MRF than in a large single stream MRF. Cat feces or spaghetti sauce on paper, plastic, metals or glass is still a mess, regardless of the size of your MRF.


Monopoly
From American Heritage Dictionary: “exclusive control or ownership of a commodity or service.” Communities with a conservation ethic see their recyclables as resources that they value enough to control. They do not allow another entity excessive control of their recyclable assets. Allowing a few corporations total control of your recyclables will likely lead to rising costs of your recycling program and less transparency.


Multi-sort recycling/Curb-sort/Source-separated
Multi-stream is a curb side collection method in which citizens place recyclables in segregated bins or a single small 18 gallon bin. A recycling employee sorts the recyclables, at your curb, into multi-compartment truck, of like-only recyclables, glass with glass, paper with paper, aluminum with aluminum. Multi-sort is the opposite of single stream, which mixes unlike materials all together in a single compartment truck. Multi-sort results in almost no contamination. End-users love multi-sort, as it provides them with clean feedstock.


National Sword
From the Center for Eco Technology, “…a policy in China that has banned the importation of certain types of solid waste, as well as set strict contamination limits on recyclable materials. This means that China will not accept shipments that are mixed with trash, the wrong type of recyclable, or low-quality recyclables like greasy paper goods. The policy was announced in July 2017, and the ban officially began January 1, 2018.”


Organizations advocating limited use of plastics
include Greenpeace, Surfrider Foundation, You Sow, the Rainforest Alliance, 5 Gyres, Beyond Plastics, The Last Beach Cleanup.


Participation rates
The number or percentage of citizens that set a recycle bin on the curb. You can have high participation rates simply because high numbers of people put a recycle bin at the curb. So what, if the contents are cat feces, food waste, broken glass, engine parts, dead animals, adult/baby diapers. Don’t be fooled by high participation rates. Every community needs a recycling transparency ordinance.


Plastics Industry Association
A trade group that includes the Carlyle Group, Chevron Phillips, Dow, DuPont, Exxon Mobile, LyondellBasell, Novolex, PepsoCo, Shell Polymers, Walmart. The plastics market is worth billons of dollars annually. When oil and gas prices fall virgin plastic is less expensive to make than recycling plastic. Sharon Lerner’s July 2, 2019 Intercept article states there are 700 plastic industry projects in the works. Since plastic pollution in the ocean has become a major concern some industries are jumping ship and leaving the Plastic Industry Association. https://www.plasticstreaty.org/


Pre-consumer recycled paper
Pre-consumer means before the consumer gets a product, like paper. The trees are cut, the wood is chipped and sent to a mill. A big “mixing bowl” called a beater, beats the wood chips into a sludge. This is put on a conveyor. After it dries the paper is cut to size. When paper is cut to size, the scrap that falls to the floor is called floor scrap. The floor scrap is swept up and added back to the paper making process. That is recycled paper.


Post-consumer recycled paper
Post means after. Post-consumer recycled paper is made from paper that you, the consumer, use, then put in your recycle bin, like your legal pad paper, your junk mail paper. The paper from your recycle bin, if uncontaminated, goes to a paper mill to be made into post-consumer recycled paper. Because single stream has made such a mess of things it’s hard to find paper products with post consumer content. Hopefully the paper from your recycling program is not being burned up in a waste-to-energy facility, i.e., incinerator. But who knows what is happening to your recycling if your community does not have a recycling transparency ordinance?


Processing
is when our recyclables get baled for shipping. If your community is, (unfortunately), using single stream collection, then processing means the attempt to separate and try to diminish the contamination of the varied recyclables and then bale them. Lots of contamination occurs with single stream facilities.
Product stewardship from the Product Stewardship website, “the act of making products safer for people and the planet, from design to disposal.”
Recycling is NOT incineration, OR making fuel pellets from contaminated paper, or using glass as daily landfill cover. Recycling is when a collected material is made into something new and re- enters the market place. If handled properly, glass retains its quality or purity, even with infinite recycling. Paper is fiber. Each time paper is recycled the fiber is shortened. High grade office paper is a long fiber. If you begin with high grade, paper can be recycled about seven times. Your paper egg carton has very short fiber. Steel can be recycled into the same material of the same quality again and again.


Recycling Partnership
The Recycling Partnership gives grants for recycling programs. A few of their funding partners include Amazon, American Chemical Council, Coca Cola, DOW, Exxon Mobile, International Bottled Water Association, Keurig, Nestle, Dr. Pepper, Pepsico, Proctor & Gamble, Waste Management, Inc. Partners receive a tax write-off.


Recycling rate
EPA’s recycling measurement method calculates a recycling rate that requires dividing the total amount of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) recycled in a given year by the total amount of MSW generated. This is tricky because of the lack of transparency in most municipal recycling programs. Every community needs a recycling transparency law.


Recyclable resource stream
The recyclables in your community: cardboard, paper, plastic, metals, glass, etc. make up your recyclable resource stream. They are valuable assets if kept clean, sorted, and uncontaminated.
End-users refer to them as feedstock.


Reloop platform

From their website, “Reloop’s Vision is a world free of pollution, where an ambitious and integrated circular economy allows our precious resources to remain resources, so that people, businesses and nature can flourish. Our mission is to work with governments, industry and society to accelerate the global transition to a circular economy for all resources.”

https://www.reloopplatform.org


Re-manufacturers (also called end-users)
The companies that make new products from our recyclables. Examples include a glass company that makes new bottles from old ones, a “lumber” company that makes plastic lumber from your laundry detergent containers, an egg carton company that uses post consumer paper to make egg cartons, a metal company that makes new aluminum cans from old ones. End- users/re-manufacturers must have good quality feedstock to make new products.


Refillable
A container that can be filled again and again. Before plastic bottles, most drinks were in refillable glass bottles. https://resource-recycling.com/recycling/2018/03/13/oregon-expands-program-for-refillable-glass-bottles/


Right to Repair
is a movement addressing the growing problem of electronic waste and other products that become obsolete rather than being made to be fixed. Farmers want to be able to fix tractors and many people want to be able to fix their cell phone and computers. Visit Legislation page.
https://www.repair.org/history
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/right-to-repair-law-may-run-into-the-changing-definition-of-ownership-11633108731/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/23/climate/right-to-repair.html


Roll-Out carts
Recycling bins on wheels. They are often 90-96 gallons and used in single stream collection programs. They look just like the garbage cans used by the major garbage hauling corporations.


Recycling Transparency Laws.
In 2013 Louise Mann of WasteReductionResources.com initiated Arkansas Resolution HR 1043. http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2013/2013R/Bills/HR1043.pdf She pursued it because the recycling transparency ordinance she initiated in her community in 2011 did not accomplish what she’d hope. The good news, 2021 saw both litigation and legislation come to light regarding transparency in recycling. See Litigation and Legislation pages on this website.


Single Stream Collection
When unlike recyclables are tossed all together in a single compartment truck. Single stream collection was initiated and promoted by major garbage hauling companies as a way to regain market share lost to the original recycling programs that were run by volunteers then municipalities. The result of single stream has been contamination of recyclables in the double digits, dangerous working conditions for recycling employees, and little or no money for the collected materials.


Single-Use containers or items
Items meant to be used for a very short period of time. Examples include food and beverage containers, packaging, take out containers from restaurants, or wrap that goes around pallets of products being transported. Some are recyclables. The ones usually tossed as garbage are made from plastic such as service ware, bottles, wrappers, straws, and bags.


Source-separated
When the items you place in your recycle bin get sorted at the curb into a truck that is segregated by like-material, paper with paper, glass with glass, aluminum with aluminum, cardboard with cardboard. Curb-sort provides re-manufacturers, (companies making new products), with clean usable feedstock. Contamination is almost zero. When workers leave contaminants in the curbside recycle bin citizens get the message about what can and can’t be recycled in their community.


Standardized
From Merriam Webster, “to bring about conformity with a standard especially in order to assure consistency and regularity”. Remember “No Child Left Behind”? So, how did standardization work out for students and teachers? Standardization could result in too much private control of recycling, even less transparency in recycling, sham recycling, higher recycling fees, landfills that fill prematurely because they contain contaminated recycling, or increase incineration. Another name for incineration is WTE, waste to energy.


Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC)
From their website, “Our mission is to bring packaging sustainability stakeholders together to catalyze actionable improvements to packaging systems and lend an authoritative voice on issues related to packaging sustainability.” Members include ALDIs, Amy’s Kitchen, Bedford Industries, Costco, etc. Click on the link for a guide to understanding the OR and ME new EPR laws https://epr-frontend.vercel.app


Terracycle
From Wikipedia “TerraCycle is a private U.S.-based recycling business headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey. It primarily runs a volunteer-based recycling platform to collect non- recyclable pre-consumer and post-consumer waste on behalf of corporate donors or municipalities to turn it into raw material to be used in new products. Terracyle was sued in 2021 for misleading consumers about recyclability of products. https://www.wsj.com/articles/terracycle-partners-including-coca-cola-p-g-to-change-recycling-labels-after-settling-lawsuit-11637005586


The Three Rs
The original three Rs were Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, in that order. To accommodate those who profit from Amercia’s convenience addiction the order was flipped to Recycle, Reduce, Reuse. This is a marketing (greenwash) gimmick to convince citizens that if we recycle, it’s okay to consume as much as we want.


Upcycle
From Wikipedia, “Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by- products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality, such as artistic value or environmental value.” From Earthhero.com, “recycling breaks products down into their raw materials to be made into totally new things, while upcycling creatively repurposes old materials while maintaining some of their original characteristics.”


Vertical Integration
When a company controls more than one stage of the processes used to turn raw material into a product, then get it to a customer. To learn about the pros and cons click on the link below.
https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-vertical-integration-3305807 Potential problem is excessive control, monopoly like control.


Waste Management companies in the United States

Companies on the Waste Today trade journal list generated a total of $52.5 billion in revenue in 2020. Of this, $46.8 billion came from the top ten largest haulers. The top three largest are Waste Management with $15,460,000,000, Republic with $10, 300,000,000, and Waste Connections with $ 5,388,000,000.
https://www.wastetodaymagazine.com/article/largest-haulers-in-north-america-of-2020/


Wrap Recycling Action Program (WRAP)
From their website: “The Wrap Recycling Action Program (WRAP) is a national public awareness and outreach initiative designed to make plastic film – including wraps, bags, and flexible packaging– a commonly recycled material with a strong and ever-growing recycling rate.” Hemp may be a replacement for some plastic wrapping.


Zero Waste
From Zero Waste International Alliance, “Zero Waste: The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”


Zero Waste USA
from their website, “A major hub of the broad and diverse Zero Waste movement, Zero Waste USA’s mission is to facilitate the transition to a just world without waste, promote the Zero Waste brand – No Burn, No Bury, No Toxics, and insure it is not diluted by short term interests.” https://zerowasteusa.org/


Since its inception in 2019 this glossary has been a continual work in progress. As you spot needed corrections or have suggestions, please notify us at www.WasteReductionResources.com
Thank you.

Copyright © 2022 Waste Reduction Resources. All Rights Reserved.