Here you will find definitions of terms commonly used throughout our website.

Waste- the unusable or undesriable byproducts during manufacture or after use of a product.

Recycling - the act of converting waste into reusable material(s).

"Green Scan"- this is the MRC's term for a special thought process that involves considering every aspect of a product's life before buying. For example: Do I need it? What is it made of? Is it sustainably sourced? What is it packaged in? Will I be able to recycle it (or the packaging) when I'm done? All of these questions can be answered fairly quickly once you become familiar with where the information is located on the products you usually buy, and there is almost always an alternative product that can pass a Green Scan.

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) - a facility that receives, separates and prepares recyclables for sale to brokers, processors or manufacturers.

Product Stewardship - the consideration of environmental, health, and safety in the production, use and disposal of a product.

"Closing the loop" - this is often referred to as the last step in the recycling process. In actuality, closing the loop means the cycle starts all over again - the material is used, collected, processed, and purchased again.

Landfill - a location to dispose of waste materials by burying under soil.

Incinerator - a facility for reducing waste materials to ash by burning at high temperatures.

Single Stream Recycling - a method of collecting recyclables where all materials can be collected in a single container. They are then processed and sorted at a Materials Recovery Facility.

Dual Stream Recycling - a method of collecting recyclables where cans, bottles, etc are collected separately from paper products. 

Curbside - a service usually provided by a waste hauler or the community itself where recyclables are collected in bins or carts from the curb, similar to waste collection. 

Drop off site - a location maintained by a company or community that serves as a place for individuals to drop off their own recycling. These locations are usually free to use and hold multiple large dumpsters for different materials.

OCC- Old Corrugated Cardboard.

ONP- Old newspaper.

White Goods- Appliances.

Polystyrene- most commonly referred to as styrofoam.

Film plastic- plastic bags, shrink wrap, plastic wrap, packaging, etc.