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Glossary of Recycling Terms

We clarify the most commonly used application terms in the recycling industry.

Clean MRF (Materials Recovery Facility)
A facility that accepts recyclable commingled materials that has already been separated at the source from municipal solid waste generated by either residential or commercial sources.

Dirty MRF (Materials Recovery Facility)
A facility that accepts a mixed solid waste stream and then proceeds to separate out desginated recyclable materials through a combination of manual and mechanical sorting.

Wet MRF (Materials Recovery Facility)
Combines a dirty MRF with water which acts to density separate and clean the output stream and clean the output streams. It also hydrocrushes and dissolves biodegradable organics in solution to make them suitable for anaerobic digestion.

MSW (Municipal Solid Waste)
Waste from homes and businesses. Typically contains food, paper and plastic packaging for recycling.

C&I Waste (Commercial & Industrial Waste)
Waste from businesses; restaurants, factories, pubs etc and public sector organisations such as local authorities. This type of waste tends to consist of paper, packaging materials, glass, metal and textiles.

C&D Waste (Construction & Demolition Waste)
Materials generated by the construction or demolition of buildings, roads etc and generally consists of heavy bulk materials, such as brick, concrete, wood, metals and glass.

WEEE Waste (Waste from electronic & electronic equipment)
Loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete or broken electrical or electronic devices. Contains plastic and metals.

RDF or SRF (Refuse Derived Fuel or Solid Recovered Fuel)
Fuel produced by shredding and dehydrating solid waste (MSW) with a waste conveter technology.

MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment)
A form of waste processing facility that combines a sorting facility with a form of biological treatment such as composting or anaerobic digestion. MBT plants are designed to process mixed houshold waste as well as commercial and industrial wastes. 

BMT (Biological Mechanical Treatment)
Biological phase before mechanical sorting.

EFW or WTE (Energy Recovery From Waste or Waste To Energy)
The process of creating energy in the form of electricity or heat from the incineration of waste source.

CA site or HWRC (Civic Amenity Waste Site or Household Waste Recycling Centre)
A facility where the public can dispose of household waste and also contain recycling points.

Trommel Fines
Fine material that falls through the holes of a trommel (used to separate coarse and fine materials).

Bottom Ash
Bottom ash refers to the non-combustible residues of combustion in an incinerator or furnace.

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)
Commonly used for milk bottles, bleach containers and most shampoo bottles.

LDPE ( Low Density Polyethylene)
Commonly used for plastic carrier bags, bin liners and packaging films.

PET (Polythylene Terephthalate)
Commonly used for fizzy drink bottles, water bottles and salad trays.

PP (Polypropylene)
Commonly used for margarine tubs, microwave meal trays. It is also produced as fibres and filaments for carpets, wall coverings and vehicle upholstery.

PS (Polystyrene)
Commonly used for yogurt pots, foam food containers and egg cartons, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
Commonly used for pipes, fittings, windows and door frames and automotive parts.