Your guide to recycling terms and abbreviations
The world of recycling can be a tricky one, with lots of abbreviations and terms thrown around that might not mean much to you. We’ve put together this blog post to make the complete guide to recycling terms and abbreviations, so you’ll be totally on top of all those tricky terms. Hopefully this will help you make sense of all the jargon, and if there’s any more you want added to the list just let us know.
Bales – A bale is a block of recyclable material bound together. The materials are compacted together, and normally made from materials like newspapers, plastic or rags.
Carbon Footprint – This term is often talked about in relation to climate change, as it measures the impact we are having on the environment. A lower carbon footprint is better because it means less greenhouse gases have been produced as a result of using fossil fuels.
Comingled waste stream – This is where there is more than one type of waste being recycled.
Energy recovery – This is the process of obtaining energy which can be used for a variety of applications from the processing of waste materials.
MDR or DMR: Mixed Dry Recycling or Dry Mixed Recyclables - This comprises clean materials that can be sorted and recycled – such as paper, cardboard, plastic, drinks cans and glass (blue bin waste)
Mixed waste – This is unsorted waste from both businesses and homes, and can include any kind of waste stream.
MRF: Materials Recovery Facility – This is a recycling facility, just like ours here in Newry, which processes recyclable materials into new products for end users.
MSW: Municipal Solid Waste - This is the bulk of waste from residential, commercial and industrial sources and it includes paper, cans, bottles, food scraps, yard waste and other items (black bin waste). Anything that can’t be recycled from this is normally sent to landfill.
RDF: Refuse Derived Fuel – This is fuel or energy which is created from (MSW) black bin waste. Firstly, all recyclable materials are recovered, then the material is blended to the required calorific value to meet customer requirements. The material is then baled and wrapped for transport.
WTE: Waste to Energy – This is a facility, like our plant in Newry, where recovered MSW is converted using combustion into energy that can be used in a variety of ways.