Bulk Waste
Objects too large to fit in a garbage bag or wheeled bin, such as furniture and metal appliances, aka white goods. (Designated as a separate stream by DSNY)

Capture Rate
The percentage of materials designated for recycling that is actually set out for separate collection.

Biogdegradable material that decomposes over a specific set of conditions and time defined by ASTM D6400 and D6868. (Usually requires an industrial composting facility) Biodegradable Products Institute has a certification for compostable products.

Construction and Demolition Waste
C&D Discarded building materials, packaging, and rubble generated during the construction, renovation and demolition of buildings and structures. Does not include land-clearing and excavation materials that are natural (e.g., rock, soil, stone, vegetation)

Contamination Rate
The percentage of materials set out for separate recycling collection that is not accepted in NYC’s recycling program.

Final disposition of waste materials through landfilling or an energy-recovery process involving techniques such as combustion, gasification, or pyrolysis.

Diversion, Diversion Rate
From a general waste-management perspective, “diversion” is any combination of reuse, recycling, and composting activities that reduces the volume of waste disposed. “Diversion rate” is the percentage of all material set out for collection that is recycled.

Same as ‘waste.’ A colloquial term.

Metal, glass, and plastic: materials designated by DSNY for mandatory source-separation for recycling. As currently defined by DSNY, the only plastics included in this designation are rigid.

Municipal Solid Waste
The subcategory of solid waste that includes any material discarded by households, businesses, or institutions. Among the waste categories it does not include are industrial wastes, construction and demolition debris, and sanitary wastes.

Old corrugated cardboard–post-consumer cardboard. Designated by DSNY as part of the “Paper” stream, but generally collected separately by private carters.

As designated by DSNY: food scraps, yard waste and food-soiled paper.

Paper, Mixed Paper
Any clean paper suitable for use as a feedstock in making new paper or cardboard products, i.e., any paper without significant contamination from liquids or soiling from food or other organics.

The process of diverting discarded material from disposal, generally through source-separated set-out and collection, intermediate processing at a materials-recovery facility (MRF), and end-use manufacturing that alters the form of the secondary material to make a new product. Composting is a form of recycling.

Items or materials that are discarded and disposed.

Using an object or material again, either for its original purpose or for a similar purpose, without significantly altering the physical form of the object or material.

Single-Stream Recycling
Source-separated recycling in which all recyclables other than those designated as “organics” may be set out in the same bag or container for collection in a single truck or truck compartment.

Solid Waste
Garbage, refuse, sludges, and other discarded solid materials resulting from residential activities, and industrial and commercial operations.

Source Reduction/Waste Mimimization/Waste Prevention/Waste Reduction
Actions or choices taken before waste is generated to reduce the number or volume of discards.

Portion of waste stream which is not recyclable

Discarded material, including any sub-streams that may be separated at the source for diversion from disposal by some form of recycling or organics processing.

Waste Generation Rate
The rate at which waste is set out for collection, typically reported in terms of amounts per generator per time period (e.g. pounds per capita per week).



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