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This glossary of terms was compiled from a wide range of sources and covers some of the most commonly used waste-related words and abbreviations.

Please select a letter from the A-Z index to find the definition of a term.

A-Z index
Garden Waste
Green waste or organic waste from the garden, such as flowers and plants, garden prunings, grass cuttings, hedge clippings, leaves and bark, small branches, straw, twigs, weeds and wood shavings. This type of waste can be used in composting.
Thermal treatment that involves heating waste in the presence of oxygen to recover energy in the form of gas.
Global Warming
The progressive, gradual increase in the Earth’s average temperature thought to be caused by the greenhouse effect, which contributes to climate change.
Green Waste
Waste that can be broken down by a natural process of decomposition with bacteria and other micro-organisms. Green waste includes garden waste and food waste. Also called biodegradable waste or organic waste.
Greenhouse Effect
Warming that results when solar radiation is trapped by the atmosphere, caused by the presence of greenhouse gases that allow incoming sunlight to pass through, but absorb heat radiated back from the Earth's surface. Contributes to climate change.
Greenhouse Gas
A gas composed of molecules that absorb and reradiate infrared electromagnetic radiation. Greenhouse gases are released from the waste in landfill sites and, when present in the atmosphere, these gases contribute to climate change. Carbon Dioxide and methane are among the principal greenhouse gases.
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