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

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.

Recycle America Alliance (RAA)

Recycle America Alliance (RAA) will be a majority owned and consolidated subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc. RAA handles more than 8 million tons of commodities per year; operates 80 recycling plants and provides marketing responsibility for more than 190 locations in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, RAA operates seven container processing facilities, one plastics recycling facility, and four electronics recycling facilities.

Residential Customers

A segment of the collection business that is made up of single and multi-family dwellings.


A specifically directed course that a driver follows that has been designed for efficiency and to provide optimal service to customers.

Scale House

A scale house can be found at either a landfill or a transfer station. It is the office, located a short distance from the main entrance, where all incoming vehicles must stop to be weighed or measured and receive a disposal ticket.

Solid Waste

"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.

Special Waste

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

Stoker (Wheelabrator)

A grate system used to combust refuse in a controlled fashion.

Subtitle D

The Federal rules and regulations that govern the environmental operations of MSW landfills.


The lowest area of a landfill into which leachate drains.

Tipping fee

A fee paid by anyone disposing of waste at a landfill. (also see Disposal Fee)

Transfer Station

A facility that consists of a large pad where residential and commercial collection vehicles empty the contents of their trucks. Other machinery (e.g. bulldozers) is then used to push the garbage into long-haul trailers for transport to disposal facilities.

Turbine Generator (Wheelabrator)

Device that converts the heat energy of the steam from the boiler into electrical power.