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Given the nature of the recycling business, we understand that there are a great deal of unique terms and phrases involved. Some of our customers find it useful to our B&M Glossary of Terms on hand. You can also download a PDF version here: B&M Glossary of Terms
Anaerobic digestion – AD
Anaerobic digestion is a collection of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process is used for industrial purposes to manage waste and/or to produce fuels. Food waste collected separately from our customers is taken to an AD Facility, during the process methane gas is recovered and the waste material is used as a soil fertiliser.
Animal by-products (ABPs) are entire animal bodies, parts of animals, products of animal origin or other products obtained from animals that are not fit or intended for human consumption. They must be dealt with in accordance with strict regulations designed to prevent harm to people, animals and the environment. ABPs are categorised by the risks they pose and the methods used to deal with them.
A.K.A Mechanical Heat Treatment, Autoclaving involves the high-pressure sterilisation of waste by steam in conjunction with mechanical processing, which ‘cooks’ the waste and so gives a very high pathogen and virus kill rate. The process creates a so-called ‘fibre material’ from the biodegradable portion of the waste, which is separated along with some recyclable materials. (See thermal treatment)
Machinery which compacts separated waste types, such as paper, cardboard, plastic into bales. Bales are compact and heavy which makes transport of the material more efficient. Typically bales of card or plastic weigh approximately 500kg each.
The ash that drops out of the bottom of an incinerator. It can be recovered as an ingredient in the manufacture of concrete. It’s sterile and relatively clean.
B&M Waste Services has been awarded Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2060 and achieved carbon neutrality. Working with Carbon Footprint Ltd, B&M has offset over two thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide by supporting Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) certified clean energy projects around the world, which reduce carbon emissions via the displacement of fossil fuels. These projects will help to combat climate change and sustain our environment for future generations. For more information, see our B&M carbon neutral page
Civic amenity site
Or CA site. Council-run facility for the public to bring their waste for disposal. These sites are for local residents use, businesses are not permitted to bring trade waste to these sites.
Such as medical dressings, soiled items, packaging from medical dressings, old medicines, used syringes, etc. It is usually disposed of by high temperature incineration.For more information on clinical waste types, click the link: Clinical Waste
Different types of waste materials collected and mixed together (e.g. a comingled collection will take paper, cans and plastics all in a single bag or bin).
Is a piece of machinery used to reduce the size of waste material through compaction. By reducing the volume of the waste larger payloads can be achieved thus maximising transport efficiency. Compactors are available in two main types:
Composting involves the use of naturally occurring aerobic processes which break down organic matter to produce an organic material suitable for use as a soil conditioner and a source of nutrients in agriculture and horticulture. In-vessel systems operate at optimal conditions of temperature and moisture content, and because they are enclosed can accept for treatment a wider range of organic materials including food waste. An additional advantage is that air from the composting process, which can be odorous, can be captured and treated.
Waste that is sensitive in nature. Businesses have a duty of care to ensure the safe storage of personal and commercial data. B&M Secure Shredding provide a service whereby be destroy confidential information ensuring the customer compliance to legislation.
For more information, check out our shredding website: https://www.bagnallandmorris.com/shredding
Control of Substances Hazardous To Health – COSHH
Regulations governing how substances must be stored, transported, handled etc. to protect peoples’ health.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
DEFRA is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on the environment, food and rural affairs. As such, Defra is responsible for the government’s approach to waste.
A large enclosed container in which anaerobic composting is carried out. Produces methane as a by-product.
Duty of Care
If you produce, carry, import, keep, treat or dispose of waste you have a legal ‘duty of care’ to make sure your waste is handled safely and only passed to people authorised to receive it. It is your responsibility to make sure the person who collects your waste is a registered waste carrier and is taking the waste to a legitimate site.
Companies that use recycled material in their production processes, such as paper mills.
Energy from waste
The process by which RDF or SRF is incinerated as a way of disposing of it. The resulting heat is used to generate electricity and in some cases to heat large numbers of homes and buildings nearby. The incineration process is tightly regulated by EU rules. Incinerators have to have desulphurisation scrubbers fitted to remove most of the SO2 and NOx from the smoke going up the stack.
Government quango that brought together the National Rivers Authority (i.e. water pollution), the Waste Regulation Authority (i.e. land pollution), and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Pollution (i.e. air pollution). It regulates all aspects of environmental protection.
Environmental Protection Act – EPA 1990
The primary piece of legislation that governs all aspects of waste management.
European Waste Catalogue – EWC
Classifies waste materials and categorises them according to what they are and how they were produced. It is referred to in a number of European Union directives and Commission decisions regarding waste management. The UK has integrated the catalogue into their domestic legislation. It’s a requirement to make a reference to a EWC code on a duty of care waste transfer note.
The lightweight bits of ash from an incineration process that do not fall into the grate below but instead fly out of the chimney into the air. Incinerators have to ensure they capture most of the fly ash.
The ‘warming’ of the Earth, caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide and methane.
Garden refuse, such as grass and hedge clippings.
Burning waste as a means of disposal.
A large hole in the ground, licensed to receive a range of types of waste. The bottom and sides will be lined to control leachate, and pipes may run through the waste below the surface to extract landfill gas.
This EU directive requires the reduction of biodegradable waste going into landfills to 35% of which it was in 1995 by 2020.
Makes recycling a commercially viable alternative and creates a financial incentive for companies to look at the Zero Waste model. The Landfill tax escalator means that the tax increases by £8 per tonne per year, to reach a guaranteed floor of £80 per tonne in 2014.
Noxious liquid that oozes out of landfills, particularly when the waste in it contains a lot of biodegradable material.
Produced inside landfills. A gas, the simplest hydrocarbon (CH4), and a contributor to the ‘green house effect’. Colourless, odourless and lighter than air, it burns with a bluish flame and can explode when mixed with air or oxygen. Methane can be used to power generators that convert the gas into electrical energy that can be returned to the national grid.
Reducing the amount of waste created at source.
Materials Recovery Facility – MRF
A facility where components of a mixed waste stream are extracted by mechanical separation techniques. MRFs may be high or low technology facilities, depending on the sophistication of plant and equipment employed and the numbers of staff working on site. B&M have two MRF’s, one on the Wirral and one on Trafford Park, Manchester.
Mechanical biological treatment – MBT
The MBT plant is to stabilise and separate the residual waste stream into less harmful and / or more beneficial output streams. MBT plants normally combine a number of different process technologies. The processes tend to involve a recyclate recovery element with a form of biological treatment such as composting or anaerobic digestion.
Municipal solid waste
Defined as household waste plus trade waste collected by the local council.
Waste handled by, or on behalf of, the Council.
Regulations that require businesses that use more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year to reuse recycle or recover a percentage quota of packaging material.
Refuse Derived Fuel
The production of RDF begins with the removal of recyclable material from the waste stream. The remaining residual waste consists largely of combustible components of municipal waste such as plastics and biodegradable waste. This waste is then baled and wrapped in plastic for transportation to an Energy Recovery Facility where the thermal energy is recovered from the RDF generating electricity or steam for district heating
Re-using materials by breaking them down into a more basic form and remanufacturing them.
A type of skip that (intentionally) rolls on and off the back of a lorry. Also known as ‘Roro’ these skips are used to transport bulk loads with capacity up to 50yd3
Large receptacle for waste; they are available in different sizes. Skip waste is often bulky, heavy and not suitable for mobile compaction in a bin lorry.
The UK waste industry is very fragmented, with five major national contractors and hundreds of regional and local firms. A successful waste management strategy will look at selecting a variety of operators, with local best practise in mind. Once a suitable sub-contractor is selected we ensure their compliance, rates are negotiated and they service our clients on our behalf.
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their needs.
Technology creates new ways of processing recovered resource, enabling better material segregation, higher recycling rates, electricity generation etc.
Treating waste with heat. The most common is incineration, but may also include autoclaving (sterilising with steam) and pyrolysis (heating without air – the same process by which the old town gas was made), and other new technologies being developed.
Waste that has arisen in a business, shop or industry. Also includes waste taken away from a house by, for example, a builder, plumber or kitchen fitter.
There is a pecking order of what is environmentally the best thing to do with waste.
1. Reduce: minimise the amount of waste arising in the first place
2. Reuse: find ways of reusing waste, without reprocessing it
3. Recycle/compost: process the waste to remake the original item or compost it
4. Recovery: see Energy from Waste
Waste management strategy
A strategy for the management of wastes, including all the various collection, handling, storage, processing, and final disposal activities.
There are 853 waste streams, as per the EWC classification. Waste streams look at the material life cycle, from end of use to recovery and recycling. Knowing your waste streams starts the process towards waste management best practice.
Waste-to-energy a.k.a. Energy from waste
The process by which waste is incinerated as a way of disposing of it. The resulting heat is used to generate electricity and in some cases to heat large numbers of homes and buildings nearby. The incineration process is tightly regulated by EU rules. Incinerators have to have desulphurisation scrubbers fitted to remove most of the SO2 and NOx from the smoke going up the stack.
Large plastic waste bins with wheels on; used in conjunction with specialist refuse collection vehicles with lifting and tipping mechanisms. Various sizes (litres): 240, 360, 1100.
A large, long pile of green waste piled up for aerobic composting at large outdoors sites.
This means achieving no waste output through a concerted plan to change internal processes that produce waste. Implementing a zero waste strategy is a real brand differentiator for commercial or public sector organisations.