Requiring air or oxygen, used in reference to decomposition processes that occur with the inclusion of oxygen
Composite material made by blending materials under selected conditions. Plastic polymers or co-polymers can be blended with other polymers or elastomers to produce a plastic alloy, e.g. Polycarbonate with ABS. Similarly, different metals can be blended to produce metal alloys such as brass and bronze.
Fuels which are generally less greenhouse intensive than petrol and diesel, e.g. ethanol and compressed natural gas (CNG).
Not requiring air or oxygen, used in reference to decomposition processes that occur in the absence of oxygen.
A process of biologically degrading organic materials in the absence of oxygen, yielding methane gas (that may be combusted to produce energy) and stabilised organic residues (that may be used as a soil additive).
The first step in the waste hierarchy and indicates practices whereby waste generation is circumvented and eliminated (avoided).
A best practice is a process, technique, or innovative use of technology, equipment or resources that has a proven record of success in providing significant improvement in cost, schedule, quality, performance, safety, environment, or other measurable factors which impact an organisation.
Capable of being decomposed through the action of bacteria.
Bioenergy refers to the conversion of biomass to energy, e.g. electricity, gas or biofuel.
Biofuel is the fuel produced by the chemical and/or biological processing of biomass. Biofuel will either be a solid (e.g. charcoal), liquid (e.g. ethanol) or gas (e.g. methane).
Biomass is a natural resource. It refers to materials derived from photosynthesis which are not fossilised such as forest and mill residues, agricultural crops and wastes, wood and wood wastes, animal wastes, livestock operation residues, aquatic plants, fast-growing trees and plants, and municipal and industrial wastes.
Nutrient rich organic materials derived from wastewater solids (sewage sludge) that have been stabilised through processing.
Cleaner production (CP)
Is the continual effort to prevent pollution, reduce the use of energy, water and material resources and minimise waste, all without reducing production capacity.
Cogeneration is the simultaneous production of electricity and useful heat from the combustion of the same fuel source.
Materials all mixed together, such as plastic bottles with glass and metal containers. Commingled recyclable materials require sorting after collection before they can be recycled.
A process of biologically degrading organic materials in the presence of oxygen, yielding carbon dioxide, heat and stabilised organic residues that may be used as a soil additive.
Construction and demolition waste (C&D)
Includes waste from residential, civil and commercial construction and demolition activities, such as fill material (e.g. soil), asphalt, bricks and timber. C&D waste excludes construction waste from owner/occupier renovations, which are included in the municipal waste stream. Unless otherwise noted, C&D waste does not include waste from the commercial and industrial waste stream.
Formal agreements or contracts, often between government and industry sectors. The national packaging covenant and sustainability covenants are examples of voluntary covenants with a regulatory underpinning
The term used to describe crushed glass that is suitable for recycling by glass manufacturers.
Decreasing the consumption of materials and energy while maintaining quality of life.
Design for sustainability (DfS)
An integrated approach aiming to achieve both environmental quality and economic efficiency through the redesign of industrial systems. DfE considers 'cradle to grave' costs and benefits associated with the material acquisition, manufacture, use, disposal and recovery of products.
The rate or percentage of a potentially recyclable material that has been diverted out of the waste disposal stream and therefore not put into landfills.
A location where discarded materials can be left for recycling.
Demand is the rate at which energy is consumed.
Consumption = Demand x Time
An energy audit is a systematic gathering and analysis of energy use information and can be used to determine energy efficiency improvements of a building, plant/equipment or a specific process.
The Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3598:2000 Energy Audits defines three levels of audit.
Using less energy to perform the same function.
A program of well-planned actions aimed at reducing energy use, recurrent energy costs and detrimental greenhouse gas emissions.
A design tool that calculates the energy efficiency of residential house or unit designs using a 5 star scale.
Coal, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and fuels derived from crude oil (including petrol and diesel). They are called fossil fuels because they have been formed over long periods of time from ancient fossilised organic matter.
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