This list contains terms and their definitions frequently used either in the waste industry or specifically by Waste Management.
A modern engineered way to deposit waste into the ground and still protect the environment. As the landfill is built, the base of the cell is lined with a protective layer and materials are installed to monitor and collect leachate and gas emissions. As waste is deposited over the liner, it is compacted with heavy machinery in a effort to get the maximum amount of waste in an area. At the end of the day the waste is covered with soil or special fabric cover (unless specifically exempted by state regulators.) Once the lined area is completely full, it is covered with an engineer-designed cap. Regulations mandate the periodic testing of ground water, leachate levels and gas emissions. Landfills are accounted for a separate line of business within the WM organization. Different types of landfills include MSW, C&D, Asbestos Monofil, Ash Monofil, Special Waste and Hazardous Waste.
A landfill that has been permitted by a state regulatory agency to accept Construction and Demolition waste. This type of landfill must have properties and design features specific to this type of landfilling that have been established by the state regulatory agency.
Wastes that exhibit certain characteristics may be regulated by RCRA. A waste may be considered hazardous if it is ignitable (i.e., burns readily), corrosive, or reactive (e.g., explosive). Waste may also be considered hazardous if it contains certain amounts of toxic chemicals. In addition to these characteristic wastes, EPA has also developed a list of over 500 specific hazardous wastes. Hazardous waste takes many physical forms and may be solid, semi-solid, or even liquid. A hazardous waste landfill is built to specific regulations to allow for the disposal of waste designated by regulatory agencies as being hazardous. These regulations are far more stringent that for an MSW landfill. WM has 5 secure hazardous waste landfills permitted under RCRA. These sites all operate under the name "Chemical Waste Management" (CWM).
A landfill that has been permitted by a state regulatory agency to accept municipal solid waste. This type of landfilling must have properties and design features specific to this type of landfill that have been established by the state regulatory agency.
Parcels of land that are designated and permitted to perform landfilling activities. This would include the entrance, staging area, buffer area and the area that will accept waste for disposal (the waste footprint area).
Liquids that have come in contact with waste. Leachate accumulates in the waste footprint of the landfill. Leachate levels within the landfill must be monitored and cannot exceed state regulatory agency established levels. Depending upon the site, there are different ways to handle collected leachate. Some of these include: 1. Collecting it in tanks and periodically transporting it off-site for treatment and disposal; 2. Collecting it in evaporation ponds which allow it to naturally evaporate into the air; 3. Discharging it into the sewer system, 4. Re-circulating it back into the landfill to aid in the biodegradation of the waste.
A clay and/or synthetic protective layer that is placed on both the bottom and top of a landfill.
An optional feature of front-load containers. The lockbar allows a customer to lock the container. When the container is emptied, and the container is raised up and over the truck, gravity causes the bar to drop allowing the container to be emptied.
Line of business where recyclable material is processed, separated, and sold. This is a facility where recyclable materials are sorted and processed for sale. This process includes separating recyclable materials (manually or by machine) according to type, and baling or otherwise preparing the separated material for sale. Operating costs and revenues for MRF's are accounted for as a separate line of business.
A gas byproduct generated through natural decomposition of solid waste in landfills. This gas is monitored to maintain state regulatory agency levels. Accumulated gas is either burned off using a flare or is converted to energy by use of a gas plant.
A plant where methane gas (generated from decomposing solid waste) is collected and transported to a gas-processing facility at the landfill site. Once processed, the methane gas is sold directly to industrial users or to an Affiliate of WM to use as a fuel to power electricity generators.
"Regular" garbage from non-industrial sources, such as residential homes, restaurants, retail centers, and office buildings. Typical MSW includes paper, discarded food items, and other general discards. Green waste is considered MSW and includes yard clippings, leaves, trees, etc.