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This list contains terms and their definitions frequently used either in the waste industry or specifically by Waste Management.

Bagster - The Bagster® bag is a highly durable woven bag that can hold three cubic yards of debris and up to 3,300 pounds, including full sheets of plywood, doors and even a bathtub. Users can purchase a bag and use it for as long as they need. When the project is complete or the bag is full, customers can schedule collection online or over the phone, and a local Waste Management team will collect the bag from the curb within three business days.

Baler - A piece of equipment used to compress and form recycled material into bales.
Bio Diesel

Bio Diesel is a clean burning alternative fuel produced from domestic, renewable resources.  Bio
Diesel is biodegradable, non toxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. 

Brownfield Development - EPA defines a brownfield as an “abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facility where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.” Waste Management has worked with states, communities and other economic development stakeholders to pursue a number of brownfield development projects across the U.S.

Bulky Items - This includes objects such as appliances, furniture, and mattresses. Other examples could include limited quantities of yardwaste and construction debris.

Closed Site (Landfill) - A landfill that has reached its permitted waste capacity and has been permanently capped and certified as closed by the appropriate state regulatory agency.

Closure - The period of time after a landfill has reached its permitted capacity but before it has received certification of closure from a state regulatory agency. During the closure period, certain activities must be performed to comply with environmental and other regulations (e.g. capping [this is the process of placing the final cover material on the landfill], landscaping, etc.).

Composting - A natural approach to recycling in which organic material such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings, and food waste decomposes into a nutritional supplement for your garden or yard.  There are four basic ingredients for composting: nitrogen, carbon, water and air. To find out more please click here **California website

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) - CNG gas is a fossil fuel alternative to gasoline, diesel, or propane.  It is more environmentally clean and safer than other fuels in the event of a spill.

Construction and Demolition (C&D) - A waste stream that is primarily received from construction sites. Some examples of C&D waste include, but are not limited to, concrete, rebar, wood, paneling, linoleum, and carpet.

Container/Bin - Any receptacle used to accumulate waste or recycling from residential, commercial and industrial sites. Containers vary in size and type according to the needs of the customer or restrictions of the community. Containers are also referred to as dumpsters.



Cart comes in 32-35 gallons, 64-65 gallons, or 95-96 gallons.



Curbside Pickup - Residential service that includes MSW, recycling, yard waste, and bulky waste.

Daily Cover - The material used to cover the active section of a landfill at the close of each day.

NJDEP Waste Types
Solid Wastes: Municipal, dry sewage sludge, bulky waste, C&D, vegetative, animal and food processing, dry industrial, material consisting of asbestos or asbestos containing waste, and material consisting of incinerator ash or ash containing waste.
Liquid Wastes: bulk liquid and semi-liquids, septic tank clean-out wastes, and liquid sewage sludge. For more information click here

Dispatch - Department responsible for coordinating daily workload and maintaining communication with the workforce.

Disposal Fee - A fee charged for the amount of waste or recycling disposed of by customers at a disposal facility. (also see Tipping Fee)

Drop-off Box or Center - Location where individuals and businesses can put recyclable material or containers used for waste collection where curbside service is not available.

Dumpster - A generic term use for container/bin

E (electronic)- Waste - Any electronic device or product that has reached the end of its useful life. Waste Management recycles those products through a safe process of removing the valuable metals they contain and allowing industries to reclaim and reuse those metals for other products.
For more inofrmation please click here

Food and Organics - In some communities, our food and organics service helps customers turn kitchen leftovers, table scraps, and other organic materials into valuable, nutrient-rich compost that replenishes the soil. It's as simple as using our collection and recycling services, conveniently available to the growing numbers of communities we serve.

Our food and organics program accepts many biodegradable foodstuffs, including vegetables, fruits, eggshells and other items. Throughout the week participants collect organic material in a container. On collection day, they follow instructions specific to their program for disposal.

Fuel and Environmental Fee - “Waste Management is committed to controlling costs so we can continue to provide you with the best overall value in waste-related services. However, rising fuel prices and costs related to environmental compliance are things we cannot fully control. Our standard fuel/environmental charge is meant to help us cover these increased costs and achieve an acceptable operating margin.”
For more information on our Fuel and Environmental Charge, please click here

Grasscycling/ Cut It and Leave It - The process of leaving grass clippings on a lawn after it is mowed.  The clippings add beneficial organic matter to the soil, providing a natural fertilizer to produce healthy, green lawns.  It also reduces waste by diverting the disposal of the lawn clippings.  For more information about grasscycling, go to:

Greenfield Development - A tract of undeveloped property purchased with the intention of obtaining necessary permitting on which to operate a landfill. This would not include expansions to existing landfills.

GREEN - “Green is the symbolic color of environmentalism and sustainability. In many cultures, green is the color associated with nature and growth. Anything can be green—from energy policy to building design, parenting techniques, and economic strategies. Green is often used to describe efforts to reduce the impact of modern human life on the rest of the natural world.”

Greenopolis - “We are about doing good.” Greenopolis is about informing individuals about the benefits of living “greener.” They provide information both on their website as well as in person through their Greenopolis Recycling Kiosks. Their “goal is to provide you with information and tools to help you to recycle easily, help to save our natural resources for our children’s children, track conservation through recycling and re-use, and educate and reward conservation.” Identifying positive solutions and opinions to help make the world a better place is their desire. They steer clear of negative content and work towards making their information fun yet informative.

Hauling Fee - A fee charged to roll-off customers for the transportation portion of their service. 

Hazardous Waste - Waste that is designated such by regulatory agencies either because it has elevated levels of hazardous chemicals or materials, because it exhibits a potentially dangerous characteristic (e.g., ignitable, corrosive, etc.) or because the material belongs to a general family of materials which have been deemed hazardous by regulatory agencies. 
Household Hazardous Waste includes common items such as pool chemicals, paint, fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, aerosol cans, and propane tanks.  

Hopper - The hopper is the part of a garbage truck or compactor where trash is deposited before compaction. 

Incinerator - An incinerator is a furnace for burning waste. Modern incinerators include pollution mitigation equipment such as flue gas cleaning. There are various types of incinerator plant design: moving grate, fixed grate, rotary-kiln, and fluidized bed.  Also see: waste to energy plant.

Landfill - 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.

Landfill footprint - 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).

Leachate - 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 air in the biodegradation of the waste.

LEED/US Builders Council - The U.S. Green Building Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation. The LEED green building certification program encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance
LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders and government officials all use LEED to help transform the built environment to sustainability. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Liner - A clay and/or synthetic protective layer that is placed on both the bottom and top of a landfill.  May also refer to material placed inside a container before loading with waste to reduce leakage. 

Lockbar/ Gravity Bar - An optional feature of front-load containers. The lockbar allows a customer to lock the container and alleviate and deter unauthorized use of 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.

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) - 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.

Methane - 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.

Methane 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 either sold directly to industrial users or to an affiliate of WM to use as a fuel to power electricity generators.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)/Solid Waste - “Regular” garbage from non-industrial sources, such as residential homes, restaurants, retail centers, and office buildings. Typical MSW includes  non recyclable items, discarded food items, and other general discards.

Post-closure - The period of time after a landfill is certified as closed by a state regulatory agency, until WM has no further monitoring responsibility. Environmental and other regulations require the owner of the closed landfill to continue monitoring activities and general maintenance of the site for a specific period of time (generally 30 years).

RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) - RCRA is the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1976. RCRA’s primary goals are to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal, to conserve energy and natural resources, to reduce the amount of waste generated, and to ensure that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner.

Route - A specifically directed course that a driver follows that has been designated for efficiency, safety, and to provide optimal services to customers.

Scale House - A scale house can be found at a disposal facility. It is the office, usually located a short distance from the main entrance, where all incoming vehicles must stop to be weighed or measured and receive a receipt.  See units of measure.   

Collection Vehicles
Rear-end loader - a truck where waste and recyclables are loaded into the back of the vehicle and compacted.
Front-end loader - a truck where waste and recyclables are picked up from the front and loaded into the top of the vehicle and compacted.  The driver positions and utilizes the forks or lifting device attached to the front of the truck and inserts them into the sleeves located on the commercial container.  Once in place, the container is lifted above the truck and the materials inside are dumped into the truck's box.
Roll-off truck – a truck that utilizes a cable and rails to drop off and pick up containers.  

Snapshot - A camera software program that is used to capture service events on a route. 

Special Waste - Any waste that requires special handling. Special waste is non-hazardous waste generally from an industrial generator and must be analyzed to ensure that it does not contain elevated levels of potentially hazardous chemicals or materials.

Single-Stream Recycling Collection - Denotes one collection method for all paper, glass, metal and plastic recyclables.  The materials are then separated and processed at a materials recovery facility (MRF) and sold to end-markets.

Subtitle D - The Federal rules and regulations that govern the environmental operations of MSW landfills

Sustainability - The traditional definition of sustainability calls for policies and strategies that meet society’s present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Tipping Fee - A fee paid by anyone disposing of waste or recycling materials at a facility. (also see Disposal Fee)

Transfer Station - A facility that consists of a large pad where collection vehicles empty the contents of their trucks. Other machinery (e.g. bucket loader) is then used to load the garbage into long-haul containers  for transport to disposal facilities.  Methods of long-haul transport include: over the road transfer trailers and rail cars.   

Units of Measure
Tons- one ton is 2,000 dry pounds
Cubic Yards- one cubic yard is equivalent to a 3’x3’x3’ cube 
Gallons- containers smaller then one yard are measured in gallons.  See carts in Containers definition. 

Waste Stream - Specific types of waste found in customer’s disposal (trash, cardboard, aluminum, metal, etc.) or a more broad definition of disposal type. (e.g. MSW, C&D, Hazardous, etc.)

Waste-to-Energy Plant /Wheelabrator (WTI) - The WM waste-to-energy facilities are part of Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. These facilities consist of large incinerator-type operations where trash is incinerated (burned). The heat from this combustion process is converted into high-pressure steam, which can be used to generate electricity for sale to public utility companies under long-term contacts. The residue from the incineration process is disposed of in a Landfill.

White Goods/Major Appliances - A major appliance, or domestic appliance, is usually defined as a large machine which accomplishes some routine housekeeping task, which includes purposes such as cooking, food preservation, or cleaning, whether in a household, institutional, commercial or industrial setting.

Please note that many appliances contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) also commonly known as Freon.  It is mandated by state and federal laws that the CFCs be removed of and disposed of safely, and also documented by the reclaimer.  A list of EPA-certified refrigerant reclaimers and more information about the federal regulations can be found here:

WM ezPay - WM ezPay is a convenient online payment option that saves you the time and expense of writing and mailing checks.  Your Waste Management account is credited quickly so there is no worry about the time for mail delivery or check processing.  With WM ezPay you can make a one-time payment or enroll to view invoices, payment details, save payment methods and set up automatic/reoccurring payments.

Yardwaste - Waste materials from farms, landscapers, plant nurseries and greenhouses that are produced from the raising of plants. This waste includes such crop residues as plant stalks, hulls, leaves and tree wastes processed through a wood chipper. Also included are non-crop residues such as leaves, grass clippings, tree parts, and shrubbery and garden wastes.

Zero Waste - Zero Waste is a philosophy that increases reducing, reusing, and recycling to minimize waste going to the landfill.  Also known as zero waste to landfill.