Glossary of Waste Management Terms


A machine used to compress recyclables into bundles to reduce their volume.
Paper products, corrugated cardboard, and aluminum and steel cans are
commonly baled.

Also called “common area maintenance”. A method of charging commercial tenants
for services, such as site maintenance and trash removal based on the square
footage of their space, rather than services used.

The mixing of materials during collection.

A machine used to compress materials to a smaller volume, so that more
materials can fit into a container.

Disposal Cost Savings
Economic savings from reduced waste hauling operation expenses and avoided
disposal facility tipping fees.

False Full
A temporary blockage of the ram in a waste compactor that cause a pressure
gauge to incorrectly read that the compactor is full.

Fullness Monitoring
Electronic monitoring of the fullness of a waste compactor container.

An individual, company, organization, or activity that produces waste or
recyclable materials.

A company that collects and transports garbage and/or recyclable materials
for disposal.

Hazardous Waste
Waste requiring special precaution in its use, collection, storage,
transportation, treatment, or disposal to prevent injury to human health or
the environment. Includes flammable, corrosive, ignitable, reactive, toxic,
radioactive, volatile, and pathological materials.


A land waste disposal site that is designed to encourage decomposition while
minimizing water pollution from run-off and leaching.

A category of paper recycling materials that includes most office paper, such
as letterhead, computer paper, copier bond, and notebook paper.

Open Top
A type of waste container that is used without a compactor and is filled from
an open top. Also called a ‘dumpster’.

An electronic system that allows tenants, such as retailers at a shopping mall,
to be charged only for their actual compactor usage and not a flat monthly fee
(usually as part of CAM).

Pull Fee
The amount charged by a waste hauler for collecting and transporting waste to
a waste disposal facility.

Recyclable Material
Those materials that are capable of being recycled, which would otherwise be
discarded as solid waste.

The process by which materials otherwise destined for disposal are collected,
broken down, remanufactured, and purchased.

A specially constructed truck which drops off and picks up a 10-50 cubic
yard container at a site.

Scheduled Pickup
An agreement between a waste hauler and a tenant to pick-up trash on a
scheduled basis, without regard to container fullness or other variable factors.

Secondary Materials
Recyclable materials, such as waste paper and scrap metal.

Solid Waste Management
The administration of activities for the collection, storage, transportation,
processing, treatment, and disposal of solid waste.

Special Waste
Solid wastes, recyclables that can require special handling and management,
such as used motor oil, whole tires, white goods, mattresses, lead-acid
batteries, furniture, and medical wastes.

Third Party Service
A company that offers services such as hauler’s invoice consolidation and
scheduling of compactor container pickups. Monthly ongoing fees are charged.

Tipping Fee
Charge for dumping (‘tipping’) a container of waste at a landfill, incinerator,
or other waste disposal facility. The fee is usually dollars per ton.

Usage monitoring
Electronically monitoring when a waste compactor is being used. Could also
monitor who is using it and limit access to authorized personnel.

Waste Assessment
An on-site assessment of the waste stream and recycling potential of an
individual business, industry, institution, or household.

Waste Stream
The total flow of solid waste generated by a business, industry, institution,
household, or municipality. Components of the waste stream are reduced by
implementing source reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting techniques.