Capture rate:

This is the percentage of a recyclable material collected (placed aside for recycling), out of the total amount of that particular material generated. The capture rate is an excellent indicator of how well a building’s recycling program is working.

Capture rate = Total recycling /Total recycling + Recycling in waste*100

Cart (as it relates to waste):

A bin with wheels usually made out of plastic for storing materials.


When non- recyclables are mixed with materials in a recycling stream.

Contamination rate:

The percentage of material in a recycling bin that ‘normally’ shouldn’t be there as that material is not acceptable in that program. A high contamination rate means all the materials in that particular recycling bin could be deemed ‘not recyclable’. A high level of contamination makes processing of materials difficult. Hence such materials are re-channeled for disposal.


A system of redirecting materials from landfill by reusing, recycling or recovery.

Diversion Rate:

An expression of how much waste is actually prevented from ending up in landfill is referred to as Diversion rate.

Diversion rate = Total recycling/Total recycling +Total waste*100

Material Destination:

A place(s) where materials are transported. A destination can be a transfer station, a sorting facility (material recovery facility), a factory for processing materials or a landfill site.


A site for solid waste disposal whereby waste is buried in layers and covered by soil.

Non-recyclable materials:

Materials that are deemed ‘not recyclable’ such as soiled paper towels, broken rubber bands.


This is a process whereby waste materials are converted new materials. Materials that would have been discarded as waste are processed into new products.

Recycling stream:

Materials that are placed aside for recycling. These include recyclable materials such as paper, cans/glass/plastic, cardboard. Depending on the program(s) available organics, scrap metal, electronic waste and other recyclables may also be collected.


A term that denotes Reduce Reuse Recycle. Commonly referred to as the 3Rs.


A law or rule made by an authority.


Materials including recyclables and trash generated as a result of different activities.

Waste to Energy: is one of the processes of diverting non-recyclable waste from landfill. This involves conversion of waste to energy usually in the form of electricity, heat and fuel.


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