California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

State Agency Model Integrated Waste Management Plan

Appendix 1: Glossary of Terms

Cardboard. Paper product made of unbleached kraft fiber, with two heavy outer layers and a wavy inner layer to provide strength.

Composting. The biological decomposition of organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings, brush, and food waste into a soil amendment.

Disposal. Management of solid waste through landfilling, incineration, or other means at permitted solid waste facilities.

Diversion Rate. The amount of materials recycled as a percentage of the solid waste stream.

Glass. All products comprised primarily of glass materials, including, but not limited to, containers, windows, fiberglass insulation, reflective beads, and construction blocks.

Grasscycling. The practice of leaving grass clippings on the lawn while mowing, which allows the nutrients to return to the soil, and decreases water needs.

Ledger Paper. A paper category that includes most office paper, such as letterhead, computer paper, copier bond, and notebook paper.

Materials Exchange Programs. Programs in which two or more companies exchange materials that would otherwise be discarded. Programs may also be managed by organizations using electronic and/or catalog networks to match companies that want to exchange their materials.

Newspaper. A paper product including, but not limited to, legislative bills, all papers that come with old newspapers, and newsprint.

Office Paper. See "Ledger Paper."

Recycled-Content Product. A product that has been manufactured using pre-consumer or post-consumer recycled material.

Recycling. The process by which materials otherwise destined for disposal are collected, remanufactured, and purchased.

Source Reduction. Any action undertaken by an individual or organization to eliminate or reduce the amount of materials before they enter the municipal solid waste stream. This action is intended to conserve resources, promote efficiency, and reduce pollution.

Special Waste. Solid wastes/recyclables that can require special handling and management, such as used motor oil, whole tires, white goods, mattresses, lead-acid batteries, furniture, and medical wastes.

Vermicomposting. The process whereby worms feed on slowly decomposing materials (e.g., vegetable scraps) in a controlled environment to produce a nutrient-rich soil amendment.

Waste Assessment. An on-site assessment of the waste stream and recycling potential of an individual business, industry, institution, or household.

Waste Audit. See "Waste Assessment."

Waste Evaluation. See "Waste Assessment."

Waste Generation. Section 18722(g)(2) of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations provides the following equation for jurisdictions to use in computing waste generation. It applies to State agencies and large State facilities.

Expressed as an equation, the total solid waste generated by the jurisdiction shall be computed as follows:

Generation = Disposal + Diversion, where

= The total quantity of solid waste generated within the jurisdiction.
= The total quantity of solid waste, generated within the jurisdiction, which is transformed or disposed in permitted solid waste facilities
= The total quantity of solid waste, generated within the jurisdiction, which is diverted from permitted solid waste transformation and disposal facilities, through existing source reduction, recycling, and composting programs.

Waste Stream. The total flow of solid waste generated by a business, industry, institution, household, or municipality [or in this case of this document, a State agency or large State facility]. Components of the waste stream are reduced by implementing source reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting techniques.

White Goods. Large appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, water heaters, washers, dryers, and air conditioners that are mad of enameled metal.

Xeriscaping. The practice of landscaping with slow growing, drought-tolerant plants.


  1. Definitions. CalRecycle. 1994. Publication #500-94-039.
  2. Establishing a Waste Reduction Program at Work, Participant’s Manual, CalRecycle. 1996. Publication #442-95-070.
  3. Landfill Mining Feasibility Study, CalRecovery Incorporated. 1993.
  4. State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign, 1999 manual. CalRecycle.
  5. Scrap Specifications Circular 1997: Guidelines for Nonferrous Scrap, Ferrous Scrap, Glass Cullet, Paper Stock, Plastic Scrap, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. 1997.
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Last updated: December 21, 2004
State Agency Waste Management Programs,
Recycling Coordinator:, (916) 341-6199
Buy Recycled Campaign:, (916) 341-6199