Microorganisms that require oxygen to function.
Lliving or active only in the presence of oxygen.
microorganisms that do not require oxygen to function.
living, active, or occurring in the absence of oxygen.
a water-bearing layer of permeable rock, sand, or gravel.
the solid matter left after combustion of materials. (See bottom ash and fly ash.)
the solid rock underlying surface materials such as soil.
made of two different metals; for example, a can may be made with a steel body and an aluminum lid.
the decomposition of
organic products into simple, natural elements (for example, carbon or nitrogen) that can be reused in naturally occurring nutrient cycles.
capable of being broken down by microorganisms into simple compounds such as carbon dioxide,
water, or minerals.
the total weight (mass) of all living matter in a particular habitat or area at a given moment in time.
a closed vessel, or combination of vessels, and tubes together with a furnace or other heat source in which steam is generated.
the unburned and unburnable matter left after waste has gone through the combustion chamber in a waste combustion facility.
a soil type that is made up of very small ■ particles (less than .004 mm), that takes up water slowly, and that has a long water-retention time.
the controlled burning of
municipal solid waste to reduce its volume and, commonly, to recover energy. The act of combustion is burning, which is an oxidative chemical process that results in the creation of heat and light.
a liner that combines an engineered soil layer with a synthetic liner.
the controlled biological decomposition of organic solid waste such as food scraps and yard trimmings. Through composting, organic waste materials are transformed into soil conditioners such as humus or mulch.
unwaxed paper with ruffled or grooved inner liner; material out of which cardboard boxes are made.
the biological process by which material is broken down.
a family of toxic chemical compounds formed when polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are heated or burned. Dioxins are also formed as by-products in the process of chlorinating phenols, which are used in producing herbicides.
the municipal solid waste remaining after recovery of materials for recycling and composting. These remaining materials are either sent to a waste combustion facility or disposed of in landfills.
products having a lifetime of 3 or more years (for example, large and small appliances, furniture, and carpets).
the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
the fair treatment of
people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, programs, and policies. Fair treatment means that no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group should carry a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from the operation of industrial, municipal, and commercial enterprises and from the execution of federal, state and local, and tribal programs and policies.
a protein that is used to activate chemical reactions such as digestion. The enzyme itself is unchanged by the reaction.
EPA's preferred hierarchy of approaches
an integrated municipal solid waste management method in which favored approaches are listed first. The hierarchy consists of source reduction, recycling and composting, waste combustion and landfills, where source reduction is at the top of the hierarchy, and waste combustion and landfills are at the bottom.
products such as stainless steel and tempered steel that contain iron.
a powdery material collected in the air pollution control equipment (scrubber) after combustion in a waste combustion facility.
materials that are useless or unwanted and are thrown away.
the amount by weight, volume, or percentage of materials and products as they enter the waste stream and before materials recovery, composting, or waste combustion takes place.
a mixture of rock fragments ranging from clay to boulders that was deposited by glaciers.
water that infiltrates the soil and is stored in slowly flowing and slowly renewed underground reservoirs called aquifers.
high-density polyethylene plastic; commonly used for milk containers and soft drink bottles; it may also be used for landfill liners.
hazardous waste (HW)
a solid waste that, because of its quantity or concentration or its physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics, may cause or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed. A material is deemed hazardous if it exhibits corrosive, ignitable, toxic, and/or reactive characteristics, or if it is specifically listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous.
household hazardous waste (HHW)
any material that is discarded from homes and that exhibits corrosive, ignitable, toxic, and reactive characteristics (for example, lighter fluid, rat poison, and paint remover).
nonliving, finely divided organic matter from the decomposition of plant and animal substances by soil bacteria. It improves the fertility and water-holding ability of soil. Humus is approximately 60 percent carbon and 6 percent nitrogen, and it contains small amounts of phosphorus and sulfur.
the properties dealing with distribution and circulation of water on the surface of the land, in the soil and underlying rocks, and in the atmosphere.
a chemical reaction that involves splitting a compound into two or more other compounds through the addition of water.
composed of matter that is not animal or vegetable; not having the organized structure of living things.
older waste combustion facilities that burned unsorted, unprocessed waste and had no pollution emissions controls or regulations.
integrated waste management
an integrated approach to waste management that incorporates a combination of practices to safely and effectively handle municipal solid waste. These practices include source reduction, recycling, composting, waste combustion, and landfilling.
a group of people drawn or acting together because of a common '. interest, concern, or issue.
a private or municipal site where nonhazardous solid or municipal waste is disposed of in a series of compacted layers oh land, and the layers are covered daily with soil, clay, or plastic foam.
depositing waste in a landfill.
low-density polyethylene plastic most commonly used in grocery bags.
a liquid resulting from decomposition and from precipitation percolating down through a landfill.
a process that attempts to identify the effect a product has on resources over its entire lifetime.
soil containing a mixture of day, sand, silt, and humus.
a waste combustion facility that receives waste from which only large, bulky, noncombustable items have been removed. These plants can combust approximately 3,000 tons of refuse per day.
materials removed from the waste stream for recycling or
materials recovery facility (MRF)
a centralized facility where waste is received, sorted, and processed for recycling.
a megawatt is equal to 1 million watts; a watt is the basic unit used to measure electric power.
microorganisms that are most active in moderate temperatures ranging from 50 to 113degrees Fahrenheit (10—
45 degrees Celsius).
a colorless, odorless, flammable, gaseous hydrocarbon present in natural gas and formed by the decomposition of organic matter.
a living being (such as a bacterium) that is too small to be seen by the unaided eye.
part of the decomposition process involving soil microbes that decompose organic matter and release nutrients in their inorganic form such as phosphate (PO4).
municipal solid waste (MSW)
includes wastes such as durable goods, nondurable goods, containers and packaging, food scraps, yard trimmings, and miscellaneous inorganic wastes from residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial administrative and packaging waste. MSW does not include wastes from other sources such as construction and demolition wastes, automobile bodies, municipal sludges, combustion ash, and industrial process wastes that might also be disposed of in municipal waste landfills or waste combustion facilities.
those raw materials supplied by the Earth and its processes. Natural resources include nutrients, minerals, water, plants, animals, and so forth. (See also perpetual resource, renewable resource, and nonrenewable resource.)
the final cost after deducting for charges and expenses.
NIMBY (not in my backyard)
an attitude expressing opposition to a proposed site for a potentially unpopular facility such as a landfill.
materials that are generally defined as having a lifetime of less than 3 years (for example, newspapers, magazines, books, paper and plastic disposable plates, and cups).
metals that do not contain iron.
a substance such as oil, coal, gas, copper, and gold that, once used, cannot be replaced in this geological age. (See also natural resources.)
natural processes that recycle nutrients (for example, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and phosphorus) from the nonliving environment to living organisms and back to the nonliving environment (also called biogeochemical cycle).
referring to or derived from living organisms. In chemistry, any compound containing carbon.
a chemical reaction that involves the loss of an electron. Oxidation often involves the addition of oxygen and the loss of hydrogen ions.
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)
synthetic organic compounds that are used to make oils, grease, and waxes and that are created by substituting one to ten chlorine atoms onto a biphenyl aromatic structure. These compounds are considered toxic contaminants and are highly persistent in the environment The more chlorine atoms attached to the biphenyl structure, the more toxic and persistent the compound. PCBs are regulated under the Toxic Substance Control Act and their manufacture has been prohibited in the United States since 1979.
polyethylene terephthalate, a type of plastic that is clearor colored transparent with high gloss; mostly used in carbonated beverage containers.
this measure of acidity or alkalinity has a scale that runs from 0 to 14, where 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic (low pH), and above 7 is alkaline (high pH).
polypropylene plastic used in bottle caps, straws, and deli food containers.
materials that are used by consumers and then collected and recycled to make new products.
materials such as scraps and trimmings that are part of the manufacturing process and are used to make new products.