Glossary: Venues and Events: Reducing Waste

AB 75 (Chapter 764, Statutes of 1999, Strom-Martin): Legislation, known as the State Agency Model Integrated Waste Management Act, requires each California State agency and large State facility to plan for and reduce its disposal of solid waste by at least 25 percent by 2002 and by at least 50 percent on and after January 1, 2004.

AB 341 (Chapter 476, Statutes of 2011, Chesbro): Sets forth the requirements of the statewide mandatory commercial recycling program. Please see our Mandatory Commercial Recycling page for more information.

AB 939 (Chapter 1095, Statutes of 1989, Sher): Legislation, known as the Integrated Waste Management Act, requires each California jurisdiction to reduce its disposal of solid waste in permitted landfills by 50 percent on and after January 1, 2000. Fines and other sanctions may be imposed on jurisdictions failing to meet or maintain their goals.

AB 1826 (Chapter 727,Statutes of 2014, Chesbro): The law phases in the requirements on businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units, over time based on the amount and type of waste the business produces on a weekly basis, with full implementation realized in 2019. Additionally, the law contains a 2020 trigger that will increase the scope of affected businesses, if waste reduction targets are not met. Please see our Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling page for more information.

Biodegradable Plastic: A form of plastic suitable for use in cups, plates, and other products, usually made from cornstarch or other plant material that can be composted after use.

Environmental Preference: To revise product specifications, policies, and/or purchasing contract terms to request or give preference to products or services that minimize impacts on the environment throughout the processes of manufacture, distribution, use, reuse and recycling, and disposal. For example, buying materials containing recycled-content materials.

Compost: A soil amendment made from the controlled biological decomposition of plant and other selected organic materials. Compost is different than mulch, which is a shredded or chipped organic product placed on top of soil as a protective layer.

Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris: Nonhazardous materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick, lumber, wallboard, roofing material, ceramics, and plastics resulting from construction, deconstruction, remodeling, repair, cleanup, or demolition operations.

Disposal: Any waste that is disposed at CalRecycle-permitted nonhazardous landfills, most waste-to-energy conversion plants, or is exported from the state.

Diversion: For State measurement purposes, any combination of waste prevention (source reduction), recycling, reuse, and composting activities that reduce waste disposal at CalRecycle-permitted landfills and some waste-to-energy transformation facilities.

Generation: The total amount of waste produced by a facility, event, or jurisdiction generator. The basic formula is disposal plus diversion equals generation.

Green Building: Designing for resource efficient use of materials in facility demolition, construction, and operations. For example, the U.S. Green Building Council issues voluntary industry standards known as the LEED Green Building Rating System™.

Hazardous Waste: Materials not allowed in municipal landfills, including used motor oil and oil filters, antifreeze and other vehicle fluids; car batteries; paints and varnishes; pesticides; and some cleaning supplies (Health and Safety Code Section 25117).

Jurisdiction: A city, county, a combined city and county, or a group of cites or counties acting as a CalRecycle-approved regional agency with the responsibility for meeting AB 939 State Integrated Waste Management Act requirements.

Materials Recovery Facility: Commonly called a MRF (pronounced “murf”). A processing facility that removes recyclables from the waste stream. A “dirty MRF” removes reusable materials from unseparated trash; a “clean MRF” separates commingled recyclables.

Postconsumer material: An end product that has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and, if not recycled, would otherwise be disposed as a solid waste.

Preconsumer material: Any recovered material other than postconsumer, including manufacturing trimmings, unsold scrap, and reprocessed or converted feedstock materials.

Recycled Content: As listed on product labels, meaning the product contains some percentage of postconsumer and/or preconsumer recycled materials. This differs from “recyclable,” which means that the material could possibly be recycled.

Source Reduction: Preventing waste by redesigning products, processes, or specifications to accomplish the same task while using less material.

Waste Analysis: Classifying and quantifying waste materials disposed by a facility to determine what kinds of source reduction and recycling programs are feasible to implement. Also known as waste characterization, waste sorting, or waste sampling.

Waste Audit: An examination of a facility’s work processes and products that generate solid waste to determine how they can be restructured to use less material, use materials with recycled content, reuse or recycle materials, and safely dispose of wastes that cannot be diverted.

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