California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Facility Information Toolbox (FacIT)

Glossary of Terms/Definitions

This page lists definitions for the key terms, data fields and acronyms used in the FacIT inventory database and waste projection model. Note: These terms are defined specifically for the purposes of FacIT, and they may be used differently in other contexts, such as CalRecycle permits or common industry usage.




A-C | D-F | G-K | L-P | Q-S | T-Z

Activity—A specific category of facility use defined by the types of materials accepted and waste management or recycling functions performed at the site. In this project, a “facility” is a given site. Any given facility may undertake a number of different activities.

Aggregated Flows and Activities—Any combination of material categories analyzed together (aggregated flow) or any group of activities analyzed together (such as material recovery facilities and paper stock processors) to determine capacity gaps or surpluses.

Alternative Daily Cover (ADC)/Alternative Intermediate Cover (AIC)—The use of CalRecycle approved materials (e.g. green waste) to cover disposed waste in a landfill cell at the end of the landfill operating day (daily cover) or at some other interval (intermediate cover) to control odors, fire, vectors, litter, and scavenging. Traditionally, earthen materials, such as soil, are used for cover. Alternative cover materials include tire shreds and low-grade wood chips. In California, proper use of ADC/AIC allows the material to be classified as “diverted through recycling,” and does not “count” as disposal.

Annual Disposal Limit—In the FacIT Model, each landfill and permitted transformation facility has an annual limit on the amount of solid waste it can take in from all sources. The theoretical annual limit is calculated as the daily disposal amount limit shown on the facility operating permit summed up for an entire year.

Annual Facility Capacity—In the FacIT System, unless otherwise qualified, the term capacity means the estimated theoretical maximum amount of material in tons that a diversion facility reports that it can accept in a year for a given activity. Annual Facility Capacity reflects all relevant considerations including CalRecycle or local permit limitations, facility design constraints and ideal operating conditions as interpreted by the facility operator. Some exceptions include:

  • In the Capacity Projection Model, oil facilities are assumed to have unlimited capacity for collection per year.
  • Where Annual Facility Capacity is reported in other measurement units, (for example cubic yards or passenger tire equivalents, or in other time periods such as per day or per month), capacity data is usually converted to tons per year for use in the Facility Inventory and Capacity Projection Model.

For certain facility types, permitting limitations and terminology may complicate the estimate of capacity. For example, tire processing facilities have permit limitations on the number of tires that can be stored on site at a given time, and compost facilities have restrictions on the amount of certain materials that can be stored on site per day. In these cases, annual capacity was estimated based on the reporting facility’s or the analyst’s best judgment.

Annual Landfill Disposal Limit—In FacIT, an Annual Disposal Limit is the maximum quantity of material inputs that a landfill can receive annually, generally given in tons per year, based on the facility operations permit caps. The permit cap amount may be higher or lower than the design capacity of the facility. Exceptions to this limit can be made for declared disasters and public emergencies.

Anaerobic Digestion—The process of biologically decomposing organic matter with little or no oxygen in a fully enclosed structure (in-vessel digestion) to produce biogas, liquid fertilizer and compost. Often used at wastewater treatment facilities or dairies.

Available Annual Facility Capacity—In FacIT, the Available Annual Facility Capacity means the estimated amount of capacity in tons per year for a specified activity that is still available after subtracting the facility’s throughput.

Beneficial Reuse—Using a waste byproduct or other low-value material for a productive use, other than ADC/AIC, at a landfill within regulatory guidelines. Examples include demolition waste that is used as road base or cell wall construction.

Beneficiation—Glass beneficiation is the process of upgrading the value or utility of glass, typically by sorting, removing contaminants, and crushing so it can be used as an industrial feedstock for glass manufacturing facilities.

Biomass Conversion—The process of using controlled combustion of specified types of organic materials (essentially wood, lawn or crop residue) to produce electricity. Not permitted as a solid waste facility or regulated by CalRecycle. See PRC 40106 (a).

Capacity Shortfall—In the FacIT system, a Capacity Shortfall is the shortage or gap for a given activity to manage projected incoming tonnages.

Capacity Surplus—In the FacIT system, a Capacity Surplus is the projected excess capacity that is available beyond what is currently managed for an activity.

Chipping and Grinding—The process that separates, grades and resizes woody green wastes or used lumber to be sent to a composting facility, used at a landfill for Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) or sent to miscellaneous end markets such as feedstock at biomass to energy plants.

Collection/Transfer—Collection of materials from the public or collection firms for shipping to recyclers or disposers. Some secondary consolidation or salvage may occur during temporary custody of the unprocessed material.

Composting—The process of taking organic materials such as green waste, manure, food waste and other organics and transforming them through controlled biological decomposition for sale as an end product, usually in the form of home or farm soil amendments.

Compostable Organics—Organic materials that are accepted and managed by typical composting activity operations. This usually includes green waste, food waste, and manure, but excludes wood, lumber and manmade organics such as carpet.

Construction and Demolition Materials (C&D)—Includes, but is not limited to concrete, wood, and drywall, usually found as a mixed material. C&D materials are usually taken to a C&D processing facility for intermediate processing such as sorting by material type and size reduction for construction fill or raw feedstock material. C&D materials that have no market can be taken to a C&D disposal facility and are not reported as disposed material for calculating local jurisdiction recycling rates.

C&D Materials Manufacturing—The production of finished manufactured products from recycle construction & demolition materials.

Construction and Demolition (C&D) Processing—The process of separating, recovering, reducing the volume, and preparing C&D materials for further processing or wholesale distribution. C&D materials include, but is not limited to concrete, wood, and drywall.

Disaster Relief Operation—An operation that is established because there has been a proclamation of a state or local emergency.

Disposal—The process of collecting municipal solid waste and transferring it to a transfer station, landfill or transformation facility.

Landfill disposal amounts aggregated to a large area such as a county, FacIT region, or statewide are calculated two ways (using a county as the example):

  • Managed Disposal - The total amount of disposed waste material handled by in-county permitted municipal solid waste facilities regardless of where the disposed materials originated (calculated as: in-county created disposed or transformed waste, waste imported into the county from another county for disposal. It excludes any waste exported out of county for disposal or transformation, materials used at in-county landfills for ADC or beneficial reuse, and inert materials sent to a C&D disposal facility).
  • Originating Disposal - The total amount of disposed waste material created within the county regardless of where it is sent for end disposal (calculated as: in-county created waste disposed within or outside the county.  It excludes any waste imported into the county from another county for disposal, materials used as in-county landfill ADC and beneficial reuse materials and inert materials sent to a C&D disposal facility).
  • Projected Disposal - The forecasting of future generated waste disposal amounts using statistical measures such as straight average trend analysis or econometric projection of population and/or economic growth.

Disposal Facility—Facilities that provide a legal site for final disposal of materials including mixed solid waste, beneficial materials used for landfill construction, ADC, and specialized material sites such as C&D, and waste tires.

Diversion—The process of managing waste in some way other than disposal at a landfill or transformation (regulated incineration) facility, so that it is reused or recycled to create new products. Calculated diversion does not include residual material from processing that is sent to disposal.

Econometric Analysis—A mathematical calculation process using historic data patterns and projected economic and demographic growth factors to predict future activities that vary depending on such data. In FacIT, econometric analysis is used to project future waste disposal amounts by county. The data is then summed to develop the regional and statewide estimates.

Electronic Waste—Electronic waste (E-Waste) includes hazardous waste materials such as televisions, computers, and other devices containing circuit boards or video screens nearing the end of their “useful life.” Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled.

Electronic Waste Processing—The process of receiving materials such as televisions, computers, and other electronic devices, from collectors and preparing for shipment to market via size reduction, sorting, etc. The resulting material may be transferred to another facility for further processing or to an end-use destination.

Engineered MSW Conversion—The conversion of solid waste through a process that meets the 8 requirements of PRC 40131.2(a) regarding moisture content, tonnage restrictions, BTU per pound, pre-processing requirements, etc.

Export to Other States/Countries—The process of sending waste or recycled material out of California. Waste exported is considered disposal for CalRecycle regulatory purposes unless it is recycled or otherwise diverted from disposal at its destination. Recycled products may be exported out of state by a collector, a recovery facility, a processor or refiner, or by an export broker.

Facility—The physical location where a recycling or waste management activity occurs. More than one activity may be conducted at a single facility (e.g., a facility may conduct solid waste disposal and construction and demolition processing activities).

Facility Equivalent Table—A listing of the estimated average capacity for a number of different activities and facilities.

FacIT Region—An artificial boundary around one or more counties that serves as a constraint for the flow of materials. See Region map. Materials analyzed at the county or default “regional” level within the Capacity Projection Model are generally bound to flow within the specified region unless the user specifies a custom region.

Forecast—An analytically driven estimate of future events or values that is predicated upon the extrapolation of historical relationships and assumptions about the future.

Gasification—A non-combustion thermal process used to convert solid waste to a clean burning fuel to generate electricity. This activity must remove all recyclable materials and marketable green waste for recycling or composting. See PRC 40117.

Glass Products Manufacturing—The process of taking in mixed and/or sorted glass or processed feedstock from a generator and/or material recovery facility and/or beneficiation feedstock manufacturer and produces recycled content products for wholesale or retail market.

Household Hazardous Waste—Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients, other than used oil. HHW is not considered to be municipal solid waste material; un-recyclable household hazardous waste is sent to a specialized landfill and is not reported as disposal.

HHW/E-Waste Collection—The collection of material from the public or collection firms for delivery to processors or markets.

HHW/E-Waste Manufacturing—The use of processed household hazardous waste and electronic waste in end-use applications

Import—In the FacIT system, import refers to tonnage accepted from outside a county or region. Imported disposal materials are counted as landfill throughput for the accepting county when calculating managed waste amounts. The FacIT model does not include waste imported from another state or country.

Inerts—A category of waste that includes concrete, asphalt, asphalt roofing, aggregate, brick, rubble, and soil. Construction and demolition and inerts (CDI) materials are usually taken to a C&D processing facility for intermediate processing such as sorting by material type and size reduction for sale for construction fill or raw feedstock material. C&D materials that have no market can be taken to a C&D disposal facility and are not reported as disposed material for calculating local jurisdiction recycling rates.

Inerts/C&D Disposal—The land disposal of mixed inerts and construction &demolition material.

Initial Collector/Consolidator—Collectors transport the mixed waste or recyclable material from the generator to a transfer station, materials recovery facility or a recyclables processor. The collector is usually a municipal or commercial waste or recyclables hauling service.

Intermediate Processing—Activities which recover, separate, and/or process recyclable materials for sale to other processors or as feedstock to product manufacturers.

Intermediate Processing (Statewide)—Processes which recover, separate, and/or process recyclable materials for sale to other processors or as feedstock to product manufacturers statewide. This category is distinguished from the Intermediate Processing category for the model, which projects waste flows across the state. See Model. The materials produced by the activities under the Intermediate Processing category were determined to remain within a particular region, while the material produced by the activities under Intermediate Processing (Statewide) typically moved further across regions of the state.

Landfill/Transformation—See Solid Waste Disposal (Landfill) and Transformation, respectively.

Material Recovery Facility (MRF)—An intermediate processing facility that accepts source-separated recyclables from an initial collector and processes them for wholesale distribution. The recyclable material is accumulated for shipment to recycled content manufacturers, brokers or for export out of state. Also see Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Material Recovery Facility and Construction and Demolition (C&D) Processor.

Medication Collection—The collection of Medical Waste (home-generated medications) for proper treatment.

Metals—Scrap metals including tin/steel cans, aluminum cans, ferrous and non ferrous metal.

Metals Refining or Manufacturing—The further processing of separated scrap to remove contaminants and melt or resize metal for use as feedstock or export out of state. Metal products manufacturers develop recycled-content finished products for wholesale or retail market.

Model—An abstraction of reality that captures the most critical elements and relationships of a system and estimates the impacts of changes in the system's variables.

Municipal (or Mixed) Solid Waste (MSW)—Garbage. Refuse that may be mixed with or contain nonorganic, processed industrial materials, plastics, or other recyclables with the potential for recovery. It includes residential, commercial, and institutional wastes.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)—Also known as mixed-waste processing facilities, these are facilities that systematically sort incoming mixed waste loads segregating and salvaging select loads and/or employing sorting lines with manual and automated sorting technologies. Such facilities are treated as transfer stations (with higher recovery rates) in the Facility Information Toolbox since their incoming materials are mixed waste streams.

Other Energy/Fuel Technology—A technology, not otherwise specified, used to produce energy, fuel or chemicals from waste.

Organic Materials Management—Processes that grind, chip and/or decomposition organic wastes in a controlled process for intermediate or final use as a landscape material or soil amendment. See also Anaerobic Digestion, and Biomass Conversion.

Other Organics Management—Other organics management besides composting of green waste. An example is composting at a mushroom farm.

Other Recycling Manufacturing—Other recycling manufacturing not otherwise classified.

Per Capita Disposal—A numeric indicator of reported disposal divided by the population (residents) specific to a county, region or statewide.

Paper Stock Processing—The processing of mixed and/or sorted paper from initial collectors and/or a materials recovery facility. The received paper may be separated into types and/or grades, partially processed such as shredded, and/or refined to develop industrial feedstock materials. Processed paper feedstock may be sold to a paper products manufacturer or exported out of state.

Paper and Paperboard Converting—The operation of treating, modifying, or otherwise manipulating the finished paper and paperboard so that it can be made into end-user products.

Paper and Paperboard Manufacturing—The process of taking in mixed and/or sorted paper or processed feedstock from a generator and/or a materials recovery facility, and/or a paper feedstock processor. The received paper is used for the manufacture of recycled-content products for the wholesale or retail market.

Plastics Manufacturing—The process of taking in mixed and/or sorted plastic or processed feedstock from a generator and/or a materials recovery facility, and/or a plastics shred and grind and/or plastic reclaimer feedstock manufacturer. The received plastic is used in the manufacturing of recycled-content products for wholesale and retail market.

Plastic Shredding and Grinding—The processing of plastics to add further value, typically by reducing size (creating pellets or flakes). Shred and grind occurs after materials recovery facility processing and before manufacturing final products. Plastic shred and grind is considered stage one manufacturing process creating finished recycled plastic products for markets.

Plastic Reclaiming—Processing plastics to add further value, typically by separating, removing contaminants, reducing in size (creating pellets or flakes) and washing the plastics. Reclaiming occurs after materials recovery facility processing and before manufacturing final products.

Recycling Market—Accepts separated and treated material or feedstock in order to manufacture new final products that contain “recycled” content.

Remaining Lifetime Landfill Capacity—In the FacIT system, Remaining Lifetime Landfill Capacity means the additional amount of waste in tons that a landfill is able to accept for disposal at the site from the current date into the future. (i.e., the amount of additional waste that the facility can accept before it reaches its Total Lifetime Landfill Capacity) .Remaining Lifetime Landfill Capacity is calculated as Total Lifetime Landfill Capacity minus the already Utilized Landfill Capacity. Often this information is available for the date the solid waste facility permit was last updated.

Residue—Unusable waste byproducts remaining after recyclables are processed.

Retreading—The process of retreading used tires (called “casings”). Casings are first inspected to ensure they are in suitable condition. Then worn tread is buffed away, and a new tread is bonded to the casing in a manner similar to how a new tire is made. The rubber buffings from retreader operations or tire processors are used to make tire-derived products such as rubber landscape, playground bark, and molded rubber products.

Scrap Metal Processing—The process of sorting, removing contaminants and/or crushing metal so it can be used as an industrial feedstock or exported out of state.

Sharps—Hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household, including a multifamily residence or household.

Sharps Collection—The collection of Medical Waste (home-generated sharps) for proper treatment.

Solid Waste Disposal (Landfill)— A permitted facility that provides a legal site for final disposal of materials including mixed solid waste, beneficial materials used for landfill construction, ADC, and specialized material sites such as C&D, and waste tires. Two types of landfills are defined in the model. Mixed solid waste landfills are permitted to accept mixed solid waste and have rigidly enforced landfill capacities (total amount of waste that can be accepted in a given year and over their lifetime). Construction and demolition landfills accept only construction and demolition waste materials.

Throughput—In the FacIT system, throughput means the total amount of material actually received at a facility, in tons per year for a specific activity in a given year. If throughput is reported in other units, e.g., cubic yards, or in other time periods such as per day or per month, the amount is always converted to tons per year for use in the Facility Inventory and Capacity Projection Model.

Tire-Derived Fuel—Waste tires used as fuel in a power plant or cement kiln.

Tire-Derived Product (TDP) Manufacturing—The process of producing end products using ground rubber or other processed scrap tire feedstock. Examples of TDP include playground surfacing, flooring tiles, mats, and rubberized asphalt concrete.

Total Lifetime Landfill Capacity—Landfills are unique in the FacIT system because they are the only facility type that has a declared lifespan. For the purposes of the project, Total Lifetime Landfill Capacity means the total amount of waste in tons that a landfill reports that it is able to accept for disposal during the life of the facility. This maximum volumetric capacity reflects all relevant considerations including CalRecycle or other agency permit, landfill design, or operating constraints. This value is often available in cubic yards, requiring the use of a conversion factor (e.g., landfill in-place density, in pounds per cubic yard) to convert the data to tons. If the landfill has not reported its own conversion factor, FacIT uses a CalRecycle standard number for the conversion.

TransformationThe use of incineration, pyrolysis, distillation, or biological conversion (other than composting) to combust unprocessed or minimally processed solid waste to produce electricity. See PRC 40201.

Transfer Station—Receives, temporarily stores and ships unprocessed waste/recyclables.

Used Oil Collection—Receives used oil, temporarily stores it, and ships it off-site to another facility.

Waste Characterization Region—The California multicounty regions as defined in CalRecycle’s Statewide Waste Characterization Studies are different than those shown on the FacIT Regions Map. The FacIT Capacity Projection Model uses statewide averaged waste disposal composition findings from the characterization studies as estimation factors; the model output data for each of the four FacIT Regions are based on a slightly different aggregation of counties.

Waste Tire Processing – The processing of used and/or waste tires via polymer treatment, rubber reclaiming, crumb rubber production, shredding, chipping, grinding, baling or other method to create an intermediate product or feedstock.

Waste Tire Disposal - MSW disposal facilities that landfill significant quantities of waste tires.

Waste to Energy, Fuels and Chemicals: Processes which transform, convert or digest solid waste materials to generate energy, fuels, and/or chemicals. See also Engineered MSW Conversion, Gasification, Other Energy/Fuel Technology, Transformation, and Tire Derived Fuel.

Woods and Poole—A commercial provider of the historical and projected economic and demographic growth factor estimates used in the Capacity Projection Model for econometric analysis (refer to definition herein) predictions of disposal tonnages.


AD—See Anaerobic Digestion

ADC/AIC—See Alternative Daily Cover/Alternative Intermediate Cover.

BR—See Beneficial Reuse.

C&D—See Construction and Demolition Materials.

CDI—See Construction and Demolition and Inerts.

DRS—Disposal Reporting System, a CalRecycle database that includes data on the quantity of waste disposed by facility and by source jurisdiction, as well as quantities of materials used as ADC/AIC and in beneficial use applications.

EMSW—See Engineered MSW Conversion

HHW—See Household Hazardous Waste.

IT Services—Information Technology Services Branch, a branch within CalRecycle’s Administration, Finance, and Information Technology Services Division. IT Services staff perform FacIT database and web design work.

KIS—Knowledge Integration Section, a branch with CalRecycle’s Policy Development and Analysis Office. KIS staff managed the FacIT contract for CalRecycle and is responsible for the web page content.

LEA—Local Enforcement Agency, local government agencies that have interactions with, information about, and potentially some authority over waste and recycling facilities.

MCD—Materials Collection Database, one of several CalRecycle databases used as sources to help develop the FacIT Facility Inventory. The database contains information on where to take selected materials for recycling.

MRF—Materials Recovery Facility.

MSW -- Municipal Solid Waste or Mixed Solid Waste.

SWIS—Solid Waste Information System, CalRecycle’s main database covering permitted solid waste management facilities and their regulatory permit information.

TAC—Technical Advisory Committee, a group of public agency, non-profit and waste industry representatives that provided advice to the FacIT project staff.

TDF—Tire-derived fuel, tire chips or whole tires used for energy. In California cement kilns and some co-generation facilities have historically used TDF. Its use is considered by CalRecycle to be disposal.

TDP—Tire-derived product, a product manufactured from recovered scrap tires. Examples include playground surfacing, flooring tiles, mats, and rubberized asphalt concrete.

RMDZ—Recycling Market Development Zone - a CalRecycle program involving local zones with the goal of assisting recycling businesses to develop, expand and thrive. For this project, the RMDZ database, consisting of data from the RMDZ program and RMDZ loan program, was consulted to help develop the Facility Inventory.

WTMS—Waste Tire Manifest System, a CalRecycle database containing waste tire information including data on shipment of waste tires and waste tire facility and hauler information.

Last updated: May 1, 2014
Facility Information Toolbox (FacIT),