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Agricultural pollution

The liquid and solid wastes from farming, including runoff and leaching of pesticides and fertilizers; erosion and dust from plowing; animal manure and carcasses; and crop residues and debris.

Airborne particulates

Total suspended particulate matter found in the atmosphere as solid particles or liquid droplets. The chemical composition of particulates varies widely, depending on location and time of year. Airborne particulates include windblown dust, emissions from industrial processes, smoke from the burning of wood and coal, and the exhaust of motor vehicles.

Acid deposition

A complex chemical and atmospheric phenomenon that occurs when emissions of sulfur and nitrogen compounds and other substances are transformed by chemical processes in the atmosphere, often far from the original sources, and then deposited on earth in either a wet or a dry form. The wet forms, popularly called “acid rain,” can fall as rain, snow, or fog. The dry forms are acidic gases or particulates.


A process that promotes biological degradation of organic water. The process may be passive (as when waste is exposed to air), or active (as when a mixing or bubbling device introduces the air).


Life or processes that require, or are not destroyed by, the presence of oxygen.


Reducing the degree or intensity of, or eliminating, pollution.


Reducing the degree or intensity of, or eliminating, pollution.


A substance used to soak up another substance.


The process of transferring molecules of gas, liquid, or a dissolved substance to the surface of a solid where it is bound by chemical or physical forces.

Acid rain

Rainfall made so acidic by atmospheric pollution that it causes environmental harm, chiefly to forests and lakes. The main cause is the industrial burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the waste gases from which contain sulphur and nitrogen oxides which combine with atmospheric water to form acids.


The increase in size of an inorganic body by the addition or accumulation of particles.


Aerosol is a colloid of fine solid particles or liquid droplets, in air or another gas

Aerobic treatment

Process by which microbes decompose complex organic compounds in the presence of oxygen and use the liberated energy for reproduction and growth.

Aerobic digestion

Sludge stabilization process involving direct oxidation of biodegradable matter and oxidation of microbial cellular material.

Air Pollution

The presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more air pollutants or any combination thereof in such quantities and of such characteristics and duration as to be, or be likely to be, injurious to public welfare, to the health of human, plant or animal life, or to property, or as unreasonably to interfere with the enjoyment of life and property.

Air Quality Index

A measure of the quantity of harmful particles and chemicals in the air. The index is used by weather forecasters to indicate the purity of the air on a given day. The higher the index, the smoggier and more polluted the air.

Air Quality Health Index

Air Quality Health Index or (AQHI) is a scale designed in Canada to help understand the impact of air quality on health. It is a health protection tool used to make decisions to reduce short-term exposure to air pollution by adjusting activity levels during increased levels of air pollution.

Alternative energy

Renewable energy sources, such as biomass, small hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal energy and photovoltaic conversion systems. In addition, the term covers new transportation fuels (such as ethanol from renewable energy sources) and new applications of conventional energy sources (such as the use of propane and natural gas as automotive fuels, and batteries in electric vehicles).


The production and discharge of something, especially gas or radiation.


Bottom ash, air pollution control residue and other residuals of the combustion process from an incinerator utilized for the combustion of municipal solid waste.

Assimilable organic carbon (AOC)

The portion of dissolved organic carbon thatis easily used by microbes as a carbon source.

Assimilative capacity

The ability of a water body to receive wastewater and toxic materials without deleterious effects on aquatic life or the humans who consume the water.

Baghouse filter

Large fabric bag, usually made of glass fibers, used to eliminate intermediate and large (greater than 20 microns in diameter) particles. This device operates in a way similar to the bag of an electric vacuum cleaner, passing the air and smaller particulate matter while entrapping the larger particulates.

Bacteria (singular: bacterium)

Microscopic living organisms that can aid in pollution control by consuming or breaking down organic matter in sewage or by similarly acting on oil spills or Other water pollutants. Bacteria in soil, water, or air can cause human, animal, and plant health problems.

Background level

In air pollution control, the concentration of air pollutants in a definite area during a fixed period of time prior to the starting up or on the stoppage of a source of emission under control. In toxic substances monitoring, the average presence in the environment, originally referring to naturally occurring phenomena.

Basel Convention

Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs). It does not, however, address the movement of radioactive waste.


that can be taken back into the earth naturally and so not harm the environment.


Bentonite is absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite. One of the first findings of Bentonite was in the Cretaceous Benton Shale near Rock River, Wyoming.


Flow reversal in a water distribution system that may result in contamination due to a cross connection.

Back pressure

Pressure due to a force operating in a direction opposite to that required.


An obstructing device or plate used to provide even distribution or to prevent short-circuiting or vortexing of flow entering a tank or vessel.

Baffle Chamber

In incinerator design, a chamber designed to promote the settling of fly ash and coarse particulate matter by changing the direction and/or reducing the velocity of the gases produced by the combustion of the refuse or sludge.


An air emissions control device that uses a fabric or glass fiber filter to remove airborne particulates from a gas stream.

Ball Valve

A valve utilizing a rotating ball with a hole through it that allows straight-through flow in the open position.


An instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure.

Barometric condenser

A condenser in which vapor is condensed by direct contact With water.

Basel Convention

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs). It does not, however, address the movement of radioactive waste. The Convention is also intended to minimize the amount and toxicity of wastes generated, to ensure their environmentally sound management as closely as possible to the source of generation, and to assist LDCs in environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate.

The Convention was opened for signature on 22 March 1989, and entered into force on 5 May 1992. As of May 2013, 179 states and the European Union are parties to the Convention. Haiti and the United States have signed the Convention but not ratified it.


A process by which a company or organization compares its products and methods with those of the most successful in its field, in order to judge its own performance, or that of other companies of the same type.

Best Available Technique

The latest stage of development (state of the art) of processes, of Technologies facilities or of methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability of a particular measure for limiting environmental and social impacts.

Better process controls

to ensure that the process conditions are optimal with respect to resource consumption, production and waste generation.

Biochemical oxygen demand or B.O.D

is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic biological organisms in a body of water to break down organic material present in a given water sample at certain temperature over a specific time period. The term also refers to a chemical procedure for determining this amount. This is not a precise quantitative test, although it is widely used as an indication of the organic quality of water. The BOD value is most commonly expressed in milligrams of oxygen consumed per liter of sample during 5 days of incubation at 20 °C and is often used as a robust surrogate of the degree of organic pollution of water.


Output other than the principal product(s) of an industrial process. Byproducts have low value in comparison with the principal product(s) and may be discarded or sold either in their original state, or after further processing.


Toxic substance (such as heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls) that slowly builds up in concentration in living organisms (including bacteria, algae, fungi, and plants). Bioaccumulants enter a body through contaminated air, water, and/or food, and keep on accumulating because they are very slowly metabolized, not metabolized at all, or are excreted very slowly.


Having the capacity to be broken down by living organisms into inorganic compounds.


A type of energy derived from renewable plant and animal materials. Examples of biofuels include ethanol (often made from corn in the United States and sugarcane in Brazil), biodiesel (vegetable oils and liquid animal fats), green diesel (derived from algae and other plant sources) and biogas (methane derived from animal manure and other digested organic material).


Conversion of a substance into other compounds by organisms; includes biodegradation.


Biomass, is a renewable organic matter, and can include biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms, such as wood, waste, and alcohol fuels.

Biochemical Oxygen Demand

It is the oxygen required by the living organism present in the water for the decomposition of organic matter under the sufficient amount of oxygen. The amount of oxygen required for the stabilization is the amount taken as measure of decomposable organic matter.

Catalytic incinerator

A control device that oxidizes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by using a catalyst to promote the combustion process. Catalytic incinerators require lower temperatures than conventional thermal incinerators, yielding fuel and cost savings.

Catalytic converter

An air pollution abatement device that removes pollutants from motor vehicle exhaust, either by oxidizing them into carbon dioxide and water or by reducing them to Nitrogen and oxygen.


Any substance that can cause or contribute to the production of cancer.


Cultivation is the act of caring for or raising plants. Your desire to grow your own fruits and vegetables in the backyard means you'll be engaged in some heavy cultivation. The word cultivation is most often used to talk about the ways that farmers take care of crops.

Cake filtration

Filtration classification for filters where solids are removed on the entering face of the granular media.


The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water 1°C, also known as a “small calorie.” A “large calorie” or “kilocalorie” is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a kilogram of water by 1°C.

Capacity Building

Means by which skills, experience, technical and management capacity are developed within an organizational structure, often through the provision of technical assistance, short/long-term training, and specialist inputs. The process may involve the development of human, material and financial resources.

Carbons credit

A market-driven way of reducing the impact of greenhouse gas emissions; it allows an agent to benefit financially from an emission reduction. There are two forms of carbon credit, those that are part of national and international trade and those that are purchased by individuals. Internationally, to achieve Kyoto Protocol objectives, ‘caps’ (limits) on participating country’s emissions are established. To meet these limits countries, in turn, set ‘caps’ (allowances or credits: 1 convertible and transferable credit = 1 metric tonne of CO2-e emissions) for operators. Operators that meet the agreed ‘caps’ can then sell unused credits to operators who exceed ‘caps’. Operators can then choose the most cost-effective way of reducing emissions. Individual carbon credits would operate in a similar way cf. carbon offset.

Carbon Footprint

The total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an (CF) organization, event or product. For simplicity of reporting, it is often expressed in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent of other GHGs, emitted.


The process in plants and algae by which atmospheric carbon dioxide is converted into organic carbon compounds, such as carbohydrates, usually by photosynthesis.


A carbon-neutral activity, company etc balances the amount of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide it produces with actions that are designed to protect the environment, for example planting trees or using less electricity.

Carbonaceous material

Recent developments in material science—in particular, advances in carbonaceous materials, such as new natural graphite, carbon foam, carbon annotates, and carbon matrix composites (CAMCs)—open opportunities for new heat exchanger designs.


A positively charged ion that migrates to the cathode when an electrical potential is applied to a solution


Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) is an organic compound that contains only carbon, chlorine, and fluorine, produced as a volatile derivative of methane, ethane, and propane. They are also commonly known by the DuPont brand name Freon. Many CFCs have been widely used as refrigerants, propellants (in aerosol applications), and solvents.

Chemical oxygen demand (COD)

does not differentiate between biologically available and inert organic matter, and it is a measure of the total quantity of oxygen required to oxidize all organic material into carbon dioxide and water. COD values are always greater than BOD values, but COD measurements can be made in a few hours while BOD measurements take three days.

Chemical Treatment

Any water or wastewater treatment process involving the addition of chemicals to obtain a desired result such as precipitation, coagulation, flocculation, sludge conditioning, disinfection, or odor control.

Chemical Leasing

In the chemical industry, chemical leasing is a business model in which the chemical company supplies a substance for a specific service, but retains ownership of the chemical. It is intended to shift the focus from increasing sales volume of chemicals towards a value added approach.

Circular economy

A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Circular systems employ recycling, reuse remanufacturing and refurbishment to create a closed system, minimizing the use of resource input and the creation of waste.

Clean computing

Clean computing is when an organization's manufacture, use and disposal of IT equipment do not produce any harmful waste at any stage. Non-hazardous materials are used in chip construction and packaging.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

As set out in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a flexible mechanism which allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Protocol to implement an emission-reduction project in a developing country in order to earn sellable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2 which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.

Cleaner Production

The continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes, goods, and services to increase overall efficiency, and reduce risks to humans and the environment. Cleaner Production can be applied to the processes used in any industry, to goods themselves, and to various services provided in society.

Clean technology

includes recycling, renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels), information technology, green transportation, electric motors, green chemistry, lighting, Greywater, and many other appliances that are now more energy efficient.

Climate change

Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcing, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use (IPCC, 2001).

Note that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change indicated in 1999: "climate change" means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

Co2 flooding

Carbon dioxide (CO2) flooding is a process whereby carbon dioxide is injected into an oil reservoir in order to increase output when extracting oil.

Co2 emission

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colourless, odourless and non-poisonous gas formed by combustion of carbon and in the respiration of living organisms and is considered a greenhouse gas. Emissions means the release of greenhouse gases and/or their precursors into the atmosphere over a specified area and period of time.

Co Processing

The use of waste as raw material, or as a source of energy, or both to replace natural mineral resources (material recycling) and fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and gas (energy recovery) in industrial processes, mainly in energy intensive industries such as cement, lime, steel, glass etc.

CO2 Equivalent

The concentration of CO2 that would cause the same amount of radiative forcing as the given mixture of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 eq) provide a universal standard of measurement against which the impacts of releasing (or avoiding the release of) different greenhouse gases can be evaluated.


A cogeneration system is the sequential or simultaneous generation of multiple forms of useful energy (usually mechanical and thermal) in a single, integrated system. CHP systems consist of a number of individual components – prime mover (heat engine), generator, heat recovery, and electrical interconnection – configured into an integrated whole.


The use of decomposing vegetable matter, including table scraps, grass clippings, leaves, peat and soil to fertilize the soil. Composting reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill, and helps put valuable nutrients back into residential and commercial gardens.


Preservation of the natural environment-including wildlife, habitat, and the ecosystems they are a part of.


An undesired substance found in a material which has an effect on the ability of that material to be used or processed properly.


Expenditure during a particular period on goods and services used in satisfaction of needs and wants, or process in which the substance of a thing is completely destroyed, and/or incorporated or transformed into something else.

Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility (CSER)

A values-based way of conducting business in a manner that advances sustainable development, seeking positive impact between business operations and society, aware of the close interrelation between business and society as well as of companies, like citizens, having basic rights and duties wherever they operate.

Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to cradle promotes the principle that products can be designed from the outset so that, after their useful lives, they will provide nourishment for something new. This could be either as a biological nutrient that will easily re-enter the water or soil without depositing synthetic materials and toxins or as technical nutrients that will continually circulate as pure and valuable material within a closed loop industrial cycle.


The anaerobic biological reduction of nitrate nitrogen to nitrogen gas.


Removal of sulfur from fossil fuels to reduce pollution.


The process of reducing or eliminating the presence of harmful substances, such as infectious agents, so as to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission from those substances.


Device used to remove dissolved gases from solution, usually by means of an air-stripping column.


The biological breakdown of organic substances.


The physical or chemical process where water in combination with other matter is removed.


To discard into the natural environment, or to “trash” the planet. Includes Litter, Burn, Barrels, Unnecessary Vehicle Idling, and Dumping discards onto land or into water.

Deionization (DI)

The process of removing ions from water, most commonly Through an ion exchange process.

Direct emissions

Emissions from sources generally within the boundary of an organization. Direct emissions mainly arise from the following activities: production of energy; manufacturing processes themselves (cement manufacture, for example); transportation of materials, products, waste and employees; use of mobile combustion sources, such as trucks and cars but not those owned and operated by another entity; and fugitive emissions which are intentional or unintentional greenhouse gas releases (such as methane emissions from coal mines).

Disaster risk management

The systematic management of administrative decisions, organization, operational skills and capacities to implement policies, strategies and coping capacities of the society and communities to lessen the impacts of natural hazards and related environmental and technological disasters. This comprises all forms of activities, including structural and non-structural measures to avoid (prevention) or to limit (mitigation and preparedness) adverse effects of hazards.


A release of untreated wastewater to surface water, ground water, storm sewer or land, and the run-off from land used for disposal of wastewater sludge, spray irrigation, or other wastes.


It is Placement of solid waste in a dump or engineered landfill, or incineration.


in chemistry, mixture in which fine particles of one substance are scattered throughout another substance. Dispersion is classed as a suspension, colloid, or solution.


It is the result of irreversible processes that take place in inhomogeneous thermodynamic systems


To change the course of action or process, often in the context of removing substances from specified waste streams. For example, solid waste is diverted from landfill when it is recycled into a useable product.

Due diligence

The reasonable standard of care for the environment and for the health and safety of others that individual shall exercise in the course of their actions and duties.


A land disposal site where there is little or no control over the disposal of wastes.

Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

Amount of oxygen dissolved (and hence available to sustain marine life) in a body of water such as a lake, river, or stream. DO is the most important indicator of the health of a water body and its capacity to support a balanced aquatic ecosystem of plants and animals. Wastewater containing organic (oxygen consuming) pollutants depletes the dissolved oxygen and may lead to the death of marine organisms.

Dosing Tank

A tank into which raw or partly treated wastewater is accumulated and held for subsequent discharge and treatment at a constant rate.

Environmental assessment (EA)

A process whose breadth, depth, and type of analysis depend on the proposed project. EA evaluates a project’s potential environmental risks and impacts in its area of influence and identifies ways of improving project design and implementation by preventing, minimizing, mitigating, or compensating for adverse environmental impacts and by enhancing positive impacts.

Environmental Audit

1.An independent assessment of the current status of a party’s compliance with applicable environmental requirements. 2.An independent evaluation of a party’s environmental compliance policies, practices, and controls.


The relationship of living things to one another and their environment, or the study of such relationships.


The interacting system of a biological community and its nonliving environmental Surroundings.


It is the practice of reusing, or distributing for reuse, electronic equipment and components rather than discarding them at the end of their life cycle. Often, even non-functioning devices can be refurbished and resold or donated. Organizations such as Students Recycling Used Technology (StRUT), the National Cristina Foundation, and the Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) collect and refurbish donated computer equipment for redistribution to schools and charities around the world.


It is a management philosophy that encourages business to search for environmental improvements that yield parallel economic benefits. It focuses on business opportunities and allows companies to become more environmentally responsible and more profitable. It is a key business contribution to sustainable societies. Eco-efficiency is achieved by the delivery of competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life, while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource intensity throughout the life-cycle to a level at least in line with the earth’s estimated carrying capacity.


A way of calculating the cost of a business decision that includes all its good and bad effects on, for example, the environment and people’s health, as well as the direct costs


Eco Innovation is defined as “the introduction of any new or significantly improved product (good or service), process, organizational change or marketing solution that reduces the use of natural resources (including materials, energy, water and land) and decreases the release of harmful substances across the whole life-cycle”.

Ecological footprint

An accounting tool for sustainability which measures of the amount of productive land and water area that is required to indefinitely satisfy the existing resource consumption of a given human population using prevailing technology.


A complex set of relationships of living organisms functioning as a unit and interacting with their physical environment.


Eco-efficiency is all about reducing ecological damage to a minimum while at the same time maximizing efficiency. Specifically, maximizing the efficiency of a company’s production process. It is a management philosophy that many companies across the world have adopted. Eco-efficient companies use less water, material, and energy while recycling more.

Eco-industrial park

eco-industrial park (EIP) is an industrial park in which businesses cooperate with each other and with the local community in an attempt to reduce waste and pollution, efficiently share resources (such as information, materials, water, energy, infrastructure, and natural resources), and help achieve sustainable development, with the intention of increasing economic gains and improving environmental quality. An EIP may also be planned, designed, and built in such a way that it makes it easier for businesses to co-operate, and that results in a more financially sound, environmentally friendly project for the developer. Wastewater (treated or untreated) that flows out of a treatment plant, sewer, or industrial facility. Generally refers to wastes discharged into surface waters.


Liquid waste or sewage discharged into a river or the sea.

Effluent treatment plant

A process to convert wastewater - which is water no longer needed or suitable for its most recent use - into an effluent that can be either returned to the water cycle with minimal environmental issues or reused. see industrial wastewater treatment. Electrolytic Tin Plate, a tinning process.

Environmental audit

A way of calculating the cost of a business decision that includes all its good and bad effects on, for example, the environment and people’s health, as well as the direct costs

Environmental accounting

An assessment of the extent to which an organization is observing practices which minimize harm to the environment.

Employee awareness

The process of informing, training and involving employees in any specific issue important to an organization, whether it be health and safety, waste reduction or climate change.

Electrochemical corrosion

Corrosion brought about by electrode reactions.


A waste water treatment process where a direct current is used to precipitate heavy metals with ferrous hydroxides as metal hydroxides.

Electrodeionization (EDI)

A water treatment process combining an electrodialysis membrane process with an ion exchange resin process to produce high purity, demineralized water.

Electronic Waste / E-Waste / Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

E-waste is a generic term encompassing various forms of electrical and electronic equipment that are old, end-of-life appliances and have ceased to be of any value to their owners. A practical definition of e-waste is “any electrically powered appliance that fails to satisfy the current owner for its originally intended purpose.


The passage of electric current through an electrolyte resulting in chemical changes caused by migration of positive ions toward the cathode and negative ions toward the anode.


The production and discharge of something, especially gas or radiation.

Emissions Trading

Emissions trading or cap and trade is a government-mandated, market-based approach to controlling pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants

EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool)

EPEAT is a ranking system that helps purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebooks and monitors based on their environmental attributes.


Implementation of techniques that remove contaminants from a waste stream as a last stage of a process before the waste stream is disposed of or delivered. Scrubbers on smokestacks are one example of an end-of-pipe treatment.

Energy Audit

A systematic gathering and analysis of energy use information that can be used to determine energy efficiency improvements.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency (EE) encompasses all changes that result in a reduction in the energy used for a given energy service (heating, lighting...) or level of activity. This reduction in energy consumption is not necessarily associated with technical changes, since it can also result from a better organization and management or improved economic efficiency in the sector (e.g. overall gains of productivity)

Energy efficiency retrofits

Modifications to lighting, heating, water heating, ventilating, air conditioning systems and auxiliary equipment, or modifications to building envelopes to reduce energy consumption and costs. They include capital investments and modifications to building operation and maintenance practices (this includes a lighting retrofit).

Energy Star

The international symbol which allows consumers to identify products that are among the most energy-efficient on the market.

Environmental degradation

The reduction of the capacity of the environment to meet social objectives and needs. Potential effects are varied and may contribute to an increase in vulnerability and the frequency and intensity of natural hazards.
Some examples: land degradation, deforestation, desertification, wild land fires, loss of biodiversity, land, water and air pollution, climate change, sea level rise and ozone depletion.

Environmental Emergency Plan

A plan that documents ways to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from environmental emergencies caused by toxic or other hazardous substances. The complexity of an environmental emergency (E2) plan may vary depending on the circumstances.

Environmental Impact assessment (EIA)

Study undertaken in order to assess the effect on a specified environment of the introduction of any new factor, which may upset the current ecological balance.
EIA is a policy making tool that serves to provide evidence and analysis of environmental impacts of activities from conception to decision-making. It is utilized extensively in national programming and for international development assistance projects. An EIA must include a detailed risk assessment and provide alternatives solutions or options.

Environmental Management System

An environmental management system (EMS) is part of an organization’s management system used to develop and implement its environmental policy and manages its interactions with the environment. A management system is a set of interrelated requirements used to establish policy and objectives, and to achieve those objectives it includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources.

Environmental Performance Agreement

An agreement with core design criteria negotiated among parties to achieve specified environmental results. Environment Canada may negotiate a performance agreement with a single company, multiple companies, regional industry associations, a sector association or a number of sector associations. Other government agencies (federal, provincial, territorial or municipal) and third parties (non-government organizations) may also be parties to such agreements.

Environmentally responsible procurement

The purchase of products or services that are less-toxic and harmful to our health and environment than other available products or services on the market.

Environmentally Sound Technologies

Technologies that protect the environment are less polluting, use resources in a more sustainable manner, recycle more of their wastes and products, and handle residual wastes in a more acceptable manner than other technologies. In the context of pollution, they are “process and product technologies” that generate low or no waste, for the prevention of pollution. They also cover “end of the pipe” technologies for treatment of pollution after it has been generated. They are total systems which include knowhow, procedures, goods and services, and equipment as well as organizational and managerial procedures

Equipment modification

is to improve the existing equipment so less material is wasted. Equipment modification can be to adjust the speed of an engine, to optimize the size of a storage tank, to insulate hot and cold surfaces, or to improve the design of a crucial part of the equipment.

Extended Producer Responsibility

An environmental policy approach in which a producer's responsibility, physical and/or financial, for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product's life cycle.


The wearing a way of land surface by wind or water, intensified by land-clearing practices related to farming, residential or industrial development, road building or logging.

Flue gas desulfurization

A technology that uses a sorbent, usually lime or limestone, to remove sulfur dioxide from the gases produced by burning fossil fuels. Flue gas desulfurization is currently the state-of-the-art technology in use by major sulfur dioxide emitters such as power plants.

Fecal Coliform bacteria

Bacteria found in the intestinal tracts of mammals. Their presence in water or sludge is an indicator of pollution and possible contamination by pathogens.


Materials such as nitrogen and phosphorus that provide nutrients for plants. Commercially sold fertilizers may contain other chemicals or may be in the form of processed sewage sludge.


A treatment process, under the control of qualified operators, for removing solid (particulate) matter from water by passing the water through porous media such as sand or a manmade filter. The process is often used to remove particles that contain pathogenic organisms.

Facultative bacteria

Microbes with the ability to survive with or without the presence of oxygen.

FC4S:- Financial Centres for Sustainability

The FC4S Network is structured as a partnership between financial centres and the United Nations Environment Programme, which acts as its Convenor and Secretariat. The objective of the network is to exchange experience and take common action on shared priorities to accelerate the expansion of green and sustainable finance. The long-term vision of the FC4S Network is rapid global growth of green and sustainable finance across the world’s financial centres, supported by strengthened international connectivity, and a framework for common approaches.

Facultative lagoon

A lagoon or pond in which stabilization of wastewater occurs as a result of aerobic, anaerobic, and facultative bacteria.

Ferrous Metals

Magnetic metals derived from iron or steel; products made from ferrous metals include appliances, furniture, containers, and packaging like steel drums and barrels. Recycled products include processing tin/steel cans, strapping, and metals from appliances into new products.


Gentle stirring or agitation to accelerate the agglomeration of particles to enhance sedimentation or flotation.


A device used to enhance the formation of floc through gentle stirring or mixing.

Fluorescent Lamps

(a.k.a. fluorescent light bulb) An electric lamp that produces light through fluorescence. In most fluorescent lamps, a mixture of argon and mercury gas contained in a glass bulb is stimulated by an electric current, producing ultraviolet rays. These rays strike a fluorescent phosphor coating on the interior surface of the bulb, causing it to emit visible light. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent lamps because very little energy is lost as heat.

Fly Ash

Non-combustible residual particles expelled by flue gas.

Fossil fuels

Oil, gas, coal, and other fuels that were formed under the Earth's surface from the fossilized remains of plants and tiny animals that lived millions of years ago.


Low-growing and evergreen vegetation found only in the South Western Cape. Fynbos is known for its rich biodiversity.


Gasification is a process that converts organic or fossil fuel based carbonaceous materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This is achieved by reacting the material at high temperatures (>700 °C), without combustion, with a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam.

Gas chromatography (GC)

An analytical technique used to determine the molecular composition and concentrations of various chemicals in water and soil samples.

Geological hazard

Natural earth processes or phenomena that may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.
Geological hazard includes internal earth processes or tectonic origin, such as earthquakes, geological fault activity, tsunamis, volcanic activity and emissions as well as external processes such as mass movements: landslides, rockslides, rock falls or avalanches, surfaces collapses, expansive soils and debris or mud flows. Geological hazards can be single, sequential or combined in their origin and effects.

Geographic information systems (GIS)

Analysis that combine relational databases with spatial interpretation and outputs often in form of maps. A more elaborate definition is that of computer programmes for capturing, storing, checking, integrating, analysing and displaying data about the earth that is spatially referenced.
Geographical information systems are increasingly being utilised for hazard and vulnerability mapping and analysis, as well as for the application of disaster risk management measures.

Global RECPnet

The establishment of the global network for Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECPnet) was endorsed by the participants of the first global UNIDO-UNEP RECP programme meeting, hosted by the Government of Switzerland in Luzern in October 2009. UNIDO and UNEP, as the patron agencies of RECP-Net, provide support for the network through their joint RECP Programme.

Green Building

A green building focuses on ecological aspects. It is designed, specified and constructed with energy and water efficiency in mind, and minimizing any adverse impact of the building on its inhabitants as well as the environment.

Greenhouse effect

The effect of CO2 and other gases on the earth’s atmosphere that is analogous to greenhouse glass as it restricts the outflow of radiative energy which results in the warming of the lower atmosphere.

Greenhouse gas (GHG)

A gas, such as water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), that absorbs and re-emits infrared radiation, warming the earth's surface and contributing to climate change (UNEP, 1998).

Green audit

An examination of what a company is doing to prevent its business activities from harming the environment.

Green growth

Green growth is a term to describe a path of economic growth that uses natural resources in a sustainable manner. It is used globally to provide an alternative concept to typical industrial economic growth. See also green economy.

Good Housekeeping

is the simplest type of the cleaner production options. Good housekeeping requires no investments and can be implemented as soon as the options are identified. Good housekeeping is e.g. to repair all leaks and avoid losses by closing water taps and turning off equipment when not needed.


A potentially damaging physical event, phenomenon and/or human activity that may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.
Hazards can include latent conditions that may represent future threats and can have different origins: natural (geological, hydro meteorological and biological) and/or induced by human processes (environmental degradation and technological hazards). Hazards can be single, sequential or combined in their origin and effects. Each hazard is characterized by its location, intensity, frequency and probability.

Hazard analysis

Identification, studies and monitoring of any hazard to determine its potential, origin, characteristics and behaviour.

Hazardous material

A solid, liquid, or gaseous material that is detrimental to human health.

Hazardous waste

Any waste or combination of wastes which pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or living organisms because they are nondegradable, persistent in nature, or may otherwise cause detrimental cumulative effects.


a branch of physics that deals with the motion of fluids and the forces acting on solid bodies immersed in fluids and in motion relative to them — compare hydrostatics.

Hydrodynamic devices

Hydrodynamic devices are chambers that allow sediment to settle out of the water column. The devices often enhance the rate of sediment settling through the circular motion of storm water within the chamber

Hydrogen Peroxide

The hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) offered by us is a pale blue liquid; this appears colorless in a dilute solution, slightly more viscous than water. It is a weak acid which is widely used in the textile industry. Its strong oxidizing properties make its perfect as a powerful bleaching agent. This is mostly used for bleaching paper, but has also found use as a disinfectant, as an oxidizer, as an antiseptic, and in rocketry (particularly in high concentrations as high-test peroxide (HTP)) as a monopropellant, and in bipropellant systems.

Hazard and operability study

Hazard and operability study (HAZOP) is a structured and systematic examination of a planned or existing process or operation in order to identify and evaluate problems that may represent risks to personnel or equipment, or prevent efficient operation

Hydrometeorological hazards

Natural processes or phenomena of atmospheric, hydrological or oceanographic nature, which may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.
Examples of hydro meteorological hazards are: floods, debris and mud floods; tropical cyclones, storm surges, thunder/hailstorms, rain and wind storms, blizzards and other severe storms; drought, desertification, wildland fires, temperature extremes, sand or dust storms; permafrost and snow or ice avalanches. Hydro meteorological hazards can be single, sequential or combined in their origin and effects.


A chemical substance which is unintentionally present with another chemical substance or mixture

Incidental recharge

Groundwater recharge occurring as a result of human activities such as irrigation which are unrelated to a recharge project.

ISO 14000

ISO 14000 is a series of environmental management standards developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization ( ISO ) for organizations. The ISO 14000 standards provide a guideline or framework for organizations that need to systematize and improve their environmental management efforts.


1. Burning of certain types of solid, liquid, or gaseous materials. 2. A treatment technology involving destruction of waste by controlled burning at high temperatures, e.g., burning sludge to remove the water and reduce the remaining residues to a safe, nonburnable ash that can be disposed of safely on land, in some waters, or in underground locations.

Indirect discharge

Introduction of pollutants from a non domestic source into a publicly owned waste treatment system. Indirect dischargers can be commercial or industrial facilities whose waste go into the local sewers.

Industrial Ecology

Industrial ecology is a science researching the shifting of traditional waste-producing industrial processes to closed-loop systems, where wastes become inputs for new processes. Industrial Ecology researches more effective use of internal resources, or clustering with other industrial processes. It studies the redesign of manufacturing processes and business relationships to use less energy, reject less waste, and substitute non-polluting catalysts and enzymes instead of using more traditional chemical processes. Industrial ecology covers the network of all industrial processes as they may interact and live off each other, not only in the economic sense, but also in the sense of direct use of each other’s material and energy wastes. It recognises that there is a constant flow of energy and recycling of matter. There is in reality no such thing as waste – one industry’s by-product becomes the raw material for another. The premise of industrial ecology is that the industrial economy should, as far as possible, imitate the cycling of materials and energy as it occurs in a natural ecosystem

Industrial waste

Waste generated by manufacturing or industrial practices that is not a hazardous waste regulated under Subtitle C of RCRA.

Industrial wastewater

Liquid wastes resulting from industrial practices or processes.


Incineration is a waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials. Incineration and other high-temperature waste treatment systems are described as "thermal treatment". Incineration of waste materials converts the waste into ash, flue gas and heat.


The fluid entering a system, process, tank, etc. An effluent from one process can be an influent to another process.

Jaw Crusher

A rock-crushing device comprising one fixed inclined jaw and one movable inclined jaw. It is used to reduce rock to specific sizes.

Kyoto Protocol

An international agreement that aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the presence of greenhouse gases. Countries that ratify the Kyoto Protocol are assigned maximum carbon emission levels and can participate in carbon credit trading. Emitting more than the assigned limit will result in a penalty for the violating country in the form of a lower emission limit in the following period.


1.A shallow pond in which sunlight, bacterial action, and oxygen work to purify wastewater; also used for storage of wastewaters or spent nuclear fuel rods. 2. A shallow body of water, often separated from the sea by coral reefs or sandbars.


Any parcel of land upon, into, in or through which waste is deposited, disposed of, handled, stored, transferred, treated or processed.

Landfill Site

A landfill site (also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump or dumping ground and historically as a midden) is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and the oldest form of waste treatment (although the burial part is modern; historically, refuse was just left in piles or thrown into pits). Historically, landfills have been the most common method of organized waste disposal and remain so in many places around the world.


is a widely used term in the environmental sciences where it has the specific meaning of a liquid that has dissolved or entrained environmentally harmful substances which may then enter the environment. It is most commonly used in the context of land-filling of putrescible or industrial waste.


Lead is a chemical element in the carbon group with symbol Pb (from Latin: plumbum) and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft and malleable metal, which is regarded as a heavy metal and another. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed to air. Lead has a shiny chrome-silver luster when it is melted into a liquid. It is also the heaviest non-radioactive element. Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, weights, as part of solders, pewters, fusible alloys, and as a radiation shield.

Lean manufacturing

Lean manufacturing or lean production, often simply "lean", is a systematic method for the elimination of waste ("Muda") within a manufacturing system. Lean also takes into account waste created through overburden ("Muri") and waste created through unevenness in workloads ("Mura").

Life-Cycle Analysis

Analysis of the environmental impact of a product during the entirety of its life-cycle, from resource extraction to post-consumer waste disposal. It is a comprehensive approach to examining the environmental impacts of a product or package.

Life-Cycle Assessment

A specific method for systematically identifying, quantifying and assessing inputs and outputs (i.e. sources of environmental impact) throughout a product's life cycle.

Life Cycle Management (LCM)

Life cycle management (LCM) is a product management system aimed at minimizing the environmental and socio-economic burdens associated with an organisation’s product or product portfolio during its entire life cycle and value chain. LCM supports the business assimilation of product policies adopted by governments. This is done by making life cycle approaches operational and through the continuous improvement of product systems.


A colorless, nonpoisonous, flammable gas created by anaerobic decomposition of organic compounds.

Mechanical aeration

Use of mechanical energy to inject air into water, causing a waste stream to absorb oxygen.

Mass balance

An organized accounting of all inputs and outputs to an arbitrary but defined system. Stated in other terms, the rate of mass accumulation within a system is equal to the rate of mass input less the rate of mass output plus the rate of mass generation within the system.

Material Substitution

Material Substitution is to Purchase higher Quality materials that give a higher efficiency. Often there is a direct relation between the quality of the raw materials and the amount and quality of the products.


The process of deriving methane from any source, including livestock manure, landfills, coal mines, etc.


Structural and non-structural measures undertaken to limit the adverse impact of natural hazards, environmental degradation and technological hazards.

Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids (MLSS)

The total suspended solids concentration in the activated sludge tank.

Mixed liquor volatile suspended solids (MLVSS)

The volatile suspended solids concentration in the activated sludge tank

Natural hazards

Natural processes or phenomena occurring in the biosphere that may constitute a damaging event. Natural hazards can be classified by origin namely: geological, hydro meteorological or biological.

Nitrogen Cycle

The series of processes by which nitrogen in the atmosphere is changed into nitrogen compounds in soil from and taken in by plants. These compounds spread into the atmosphere when the plants decay or are eaten by animals and are passed from their bodies as waste. They are then changed back into nitrogen in the atmosphere.

Nitrogen Oxide

NOx (often written NOx) refers to NO and NO2. They are produced during combustion, especially at high temperature. These two chemicals are important trace species in Earth's atmosphere.

New Process Technology

New Process Technology is to install modern and more efficient equipment, e.g. highly efficient equipment, e.g. a highly efficient boiler or a jet-dyeing machine with a low liquor ratio.

Non Point Source Pollution (NPSP)

Any pollution from a source which cannot be attributed to a particular discharge point, e.g. from agricultural crops, city streets, construction sites, etc.

Non-Renewable Energy

Energy can generally be classified as non-renewable and renewable. Over 85% of the energy used in the world is from non-renewable supplies. Most developed nations are dependent on nonrenewable energy sources such as fossil fuels (coal and oil) and nuclear power. These sources are called non-renewable because they cannot be renewed or regenerated quickly enough to keep pace with their use. Oil, gas and coal are the most commonly used types of non-renewable energy.


In chemistry, neutralization or neutralization is a chemical reaction in which an acid and a base react quantitatively with each other. In a reaction in water, neutralization results in there being no excess of hydrogen or hydroxide ions present in the solution.


: 1.Referring to or derived from living organisms. 2. In chemistry, any compound containing Carbon.

Organic chemicals/compounds

Animal- or plant-produced substances containing mainly carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.


Pesticide chemicals that contain phosphorus; used to control insects. They are short-lived, but some can be toxic when first applied.


The place where an effluent is discharged into receiving waters.


The rock and soil cleared away before mining.

Off – Site Recovery and reuse

is to collect “waste” and reuse by others or beyond premises.

Ozone Depletion

Destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer which shields the earth from ultraviolet radiation harmful to life. This destruction of ozone is caused by the breakdown of certain chlorine and/or bromine containing compounds (chlorofluorocarbons or halons), which break down when they reach the stratosphere and then catalytically destroy ozone molecules.

Paradigm shift

A paradigm shift, a concept identified by the American physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn, is a fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline.


Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are man-made compounds containing just fluorine and carbon. They are generally colourless, odourless non-flammable gases at environmental temperatures and for the most part chemically un-reactive. Usage of PFCs is mainly in the electronics sector in semiconductor manufacture; however there is also significant usage as refrigerants (mainly in blends with HFCs and HCFCs).

Polluter Pays Principle

(PPP) The principle that producers of pollution should in some way compensate others for the effects of their pollution.


Removal of solids from liquid waste so that the hazardous solid portion can be disposed of safely; removal of particles from air-borne emissions.

Primary treatment

Treatment which includes all operation prior to and including primary treatment, e.g., bar screening, grit removal, comminution, and primary sedimentation.


Activities to provide outright avoidance of the adverse impact of hazards and means to minimize related environmental, technological and biological disasters.
Depending on social and technical feasibility and cost/benefit considerations, investing in preventive measures is justified in areas frequently affected by disasters. In the context of public awareness and education, related to disaster risk reduction changing attitudes and behavior contribute to promoting a "culture of prevention".

Process Change

includes four types of options: Change in raw material, Better Process Control, Equipment Modification and Technology change.

Product modification

is Improving the products so they pollute less is also a fundamental idea of cleaner production.

Production Efficiency

Through optimization of productive use of natural resources (materials, energy, and water) at all stages of the production cycle.

Pollution Prevention

Pollution Prevention (P2) is any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at source. P2, also known as “source reduction”, it is the ounce of prevention approach to waste management. Reducing the amount of pollution produce means less waste to control, treat, or dispose of.

Qualitative Analysis

refers to analyses in which substances are identified or classified on the basis of their chemical or physical properties, such as chemical reactivity, solubility, molecular weight, melting point, radiative properties (emission, absorption), mass spectra, nuclear half-life, etc.

Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC)

A system of procedures, checks, audits, and corrective actions to ensure that all research design and performance, environmental monitoring and sampling, and other technical and reporting activities achieve the program’s desired data quality objectives (DQOs).

Quantitative Analysis

refers to analyses in which the amount or concentration of an analyte may be determined (estimated) and expressed as a numerical value in appropriate units.

Rotterdam Convention

The Rotterdam Convention (formally, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade) is a multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals.

Rain water harvesting

Rain water harvesting is a technique of collection and storage of rainwater into natural reservoirs or tanks, or the infiltration of surface water into subsurface aquifers (before it is lost as surface runoff). One method of rainwater harvesting is rooftop harvesting.

Raw Sewage

Untreated wastewater

Raw Material Change

Options includes the use of less hazardous materials or raw materials of higher quality aimed at reducing the quantity/toxicity of waste generated from the process. Existing raw materials could be substituted with less polluting ones.

Raw material

Basic substance in its natural, modified, or semi-processed state, used as an input to a production process for subsequent modification or transformation into a finished good.


is the on-site recovery and reuse of wasted materials and energy. The recovered materials may either be reused in the same process or used for another purpose, for example in producing useful by- products, like creation of lingo sulphates from black liquor or lignin recovery from black liquor for use as soil conditioner.


elements of the discarded item are used again. Initiatives include Hand-Me-Downs, Garage Sales, Quilting, and Composting(nutrients). Includes the terms Repair, Regift and Upcycle.


to buy less and use less. Incorporates common sense ideas like turning off the lights, rain barrels, and taking shorter showers, but also plays a part in Composting/ Grasscycling (transportation energy is reduced), low-flow toilets, and programmable thermostats. Includes the term Re- think, Precycle, Carpool, Efficient, and Environmental Footprint/ Foodprint.


is to convert waste into resources (such as electricity, heat, compost & fuel) through thermal & biological means. Resource Recovery occurs after reduce, reuse and recycle have been attempted.

Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)

A fuel derived from the combustible portion of municipal solid waste. The fuel is often processed into small briquettes, similar in size to charcoal.

Renewable Energy

Energy sources that are, within a short time frame relative to the earth’s natural cycles, sustainable, and include non-carbon technologies such as solar energy, hydropower, and wind, as well as carbon-neutral technologies such as biomass


(waste) changing the physical structure and properties of a waste material that would otherwise have been sent to landfill, in order to add financial value to the processed material, this may involve a range of technologies including composting, anaerobic digestion and energy from waste technologies such as pyrolysis, gasification and incineration.


Amount of a pollutant remaining in the environment after a natural or technological process has taken place, e.g, the sludge remaining after initial wastewater treatment , or particulates remaining in air after the passes through a scrubbing or other pollutant removal process.


The naturally occurring assets that provide use benefits through the provision of raw materials and energy used in economic activity (or that may provide such benefits one day) and that are subject primarily to quantitative depletion through human use. They are subdivided into four categories: mineral and energy resources, soil resources, water resources and biological resources.

Resource Efficiency

Resource efficiency is about ensuring that natural resources are produced, processed, and consumed in a more sustainable way, reducing the environmental impact from the consumption and production of products over their full life cycles. By producing more wellbeing with less material consumption, resource efficiency enhances the means to meet human needs while respecting the ecological carrying capacity of the earth

Resource recovery

The process of obtaining matter or energy from materials formerly discarded.

Risk assessment/analysis

A process to determine the nature and extent of risk by analyzing potential hazards and evaluating existing conditions of vulnerability that could pose a potential threat or harm to people, property, livelihoods and the environment on which they depend.
The process of conducting a risk assessment is based on a review of both the technical features of hazards such as their location, intensity, frequency and probability; and also the analysis of the physical, social, economic and environmental dimensions of vulnerability, while taking particular account of the coping capabilities pertinent to the risk scenarios.


The water that flows overland to lakes or streams during and shortly after a precipitation event

Sanitary sewer

sanitary sewer (also called a foul sewer) is a separate underground carriage system specifically for transporting sewage from houses and commercial buildings to treatment or disposal. Sanitary sewers serving industrial areas also carry industrial wastewater. The 'system of sewers' is called sewerage.

Secondary Treatment

In wastewater treatment, the conversion of the suspended, colloidal and dissolved organics remaining after primary treatment into a microbial mass with is then removed in a second sedimentation process. Secondary treatment included both the biological process and the associated sedimentation process.

Secured landfill

A landfill which has containment measures such as liners and a leachate collection system so that materials placed in the landfill will not migrate into the surrounding soil, air and water.


Letting solids settle out of wastewater by gravity during wastewater treatment.


The waste and wastewater produced by residential and commercial establishments and discharged into sewers.

Sewage sludge

Sludge produced at a municipal treatment works.

Site remediation

The process of cleaning up a hazardous waste disposal site that has either been abandoned or that those responsible either refuse to cleanup or are financially unable to cleanup.


Obtaining government (federal, state, and local) permission to construct an environmental processing, treatment, or disposal facility at a given site.


A semisolid residue from any of a number of air or water treatment processes. Sludge can be a hazardous waste.

Sodium Silicate

Sodium silicate is the common name for compounds with the formula Na2(SiO2)nO. A well known member of this series is sodium metasilicate, Na2SiO3. Also known as water glass or liquid glass, these materials are available in aqueous solution and in solid form. The pure compositions are colourless or white, but commercial samples are often greenish or blue owing to the presence of iron-containing impurities.

They are used in cements, passive fire protection, textile and lumber processing, refractories, and automobiles. Sodium carbonate and silicon dioxide react when molten to form sodium silicate and carbon dioxide. The largest application of sodium silicate solutions is a cement for producing cardboard.

Sodium Sulphide

Sodium sulphide is used as oxygen scavenger agent in water treatment process to protect developer solutions from oxidation in photographic industry. These are also used as bleaching, desulfurizing, dechlorinating agents in textile industry. Due to accurate composition, our range finds application in ore flotation, oil recovery, food preservative, making dyes and detergent.

Solid waste

non-hazardous, non-prescribed solid waste materials ranging from municipal garbage to industrial waste, generally: domestic and municipal; commercial and industrial; construction and demolition; other.

Solid waste disposal

The final placement of refuse that is not salvaged or recycled.

Solid waste management

Supervised handling of waste materials from their source through recovery processes to disposal.

Source reduction

The elimination or reduction of the waste at the source by modification of the actual process which produces the waste.

Sound management

Sound management is a program of production designed to obtain the greatest net return from the land consistent with its conservation and long-term improvement.


A stockpile is a pile or storage location for bulk materials, forming part of the bulk material handling process. Stockpiles are used in many different areas, such as in a port, refinery or manufacturing facility. The stockpile is normally created by a stacker. A reclaimer is used to recover the material.

Sulphur Hexafluoride

Sulfur hexafluoride is an inorganic, colorless, odorless, non-flammable, extremely potent greenhouse gas which is an excellent electrical insulator. SF6 has an octahedral geometry, consisting of six fluorine atoms attached to a central sulfur atom. It is a hypervalent molecule. Typical for a nonpolar gas, it is poorly soluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents. It is generally transported as a liquefied compressed gas. It is used in the electrical industry as a gaseous dielectric medium for high-voltage circuit breakers, switchgear, and other electrical equipment, often replacing oil filled circuit breakers (OCBs) that can contain harmful PCBs.

Sulphuric acid

Sulfuric acid (alternative spelling sulphuric acid) is a highly corrosive strong mineral with the molecular formula H2SO4. It is a pungent-ethereal, colorless to slightly yellow viscous liquid which is soluble in water at concentrations. Sometimes, it is dyed dark brown during production to alert people to its hazards. The historical name of this acid is oil of vitriol. It is also a central substance in the chemical industry. Principal uses include mineral, fertilizer manufacturing, oil refining, wastewater processing, and chemical synthesis.

Suspended solid

Small particles of solid pollutants that float on the surface of or are suspended in sewage or other liquids. They resist removal by conventional means.

Stockholm Convention

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, better known as the POPs treaty, is a legally binding international agreement to protect human health and the environment from some of the most dangerous chemicals on earth. POPs are defined by their persistence in the environment, their bioaccumulation in nature and in people, and the harm they pose often far from the source. Countries that ratify the treaty are known as Parties commit to abide by its provisions. The POPs treaty calls on Parties to take action to eliminate the production of POPs, minimize unintentional sources, and clean-up and safely manage remaining stockpiles and wastes.

Sustainable Development

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: the concept of "needs", in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and the future needs. (Brundtland Commission, 1987).

Sustainable chemistry

Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is an area of chemistry and chemical engineering focused on the designing of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances.

Trickling filter

A coarse biological treatment system in which wastewater trickles over a bed of stones or other material covered with bacterial growth. The bacteria break down the organic waste in the sewage and produce clean water.

Tertiary wastewater treatment

Advanced cleaning of wastewater that goes beyond the secondary or biological stage to remove nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen and most biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solids. See also Primary wastewater treatment; Secondary wastewater treatment.


A ‘mode of thought which recognizes environmental problems but believes either unrestrainedly that man will always solve them through technology and achieve unlimited growth ... or, more cautiously, that by careful economic and environmental management they can be negotiated .... In either case considerable faith is placed in the ability and usefulness of classical science, technology, conventional economic reasoning. There is little desire for genuine public participation in decision-making, in favour of leaving decisions to politicians advised by technical élites ('experts').

Technological change (TC)

is a term that is used to describe the overall process of invention, innovation and diffusion of technology or processes. The term is synonymous with technological development, technological achievement, and technological progress. In essence TC is the invention of a technology (or a process), the continuous process of improving a technology (in which it often becomes cheaper) and its diffusion throughout industry or society. In short, technological change is based on both better and more technology.

The green economy

The green economy is defined as an economy that aims at reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities, and that aims for sustainable development without degrading the environment. It is closely related with ecological economics, but has a more politically applied focus.

Thermal hydraulics (also called thermo hydraulics)

it is the study of hydraulic flow in thermal systems.

Threshold limit value (TLV)

of a chemical substance is a level to which it is believed a worker can be exposed day after day for a working lifetime without adverse health effects. Strictly speaking, TLV is a reserved term of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). However, it is sometimes loosely used to refer to other similar concepts used in occupational health and toxicology.

Thermal Pollution

Thermal pollution is the degradation of water quality by any process that changes ambient water temperature.


In organic chemistry, transesterification is the process of exchanging the alkoxy group of an ester compound by another alcohol. These reactions are often catalyzed by the addition of an acid or base - Source. ... The main reaction for converting oil to biodiesel is called transesterification.


Transpiration is the process where plants absorb water through the roots and then give off water vapor through pores in their leaves. An example of transpiration is when a plant absorbs water in its roots.

Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

A measure of the suspended solids in wastewater, effluent or water bodies


is the degree to which a substance can damage an organism. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on a substructure of the organism, such as a cell (cytotoxicity) or an organ such as the liver (hepatotoxicity). By extension, the word may be metaphorically used to describe toxic effects on larger and more complex groups, such as the family unit or society at large.

Toxic substance

A toxic substance is a substance that can be poisonous or cause health effects. People are generally concerned about chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin which can be found at some hazardous waste sites.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

A treaty signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that calls for the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." The treaty includes a non-binding call for developed countries to return their emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. The treaty took effect in March 1994 upon ratification by more than 50 countries.


Unsustainable farming methods, industries etc damage the environment because they use up more energy, wood, coal etc than can be replaced naturally.

Ultimate Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BODu)

The total amount of oxygen required to oxidize any organic matter present in a water, i.e. after an extended period, such as 20 or 30 days.

Ultimate disposal

The process of returning residuals back to the environment in a form which will have the minimal or reduced negative environmental impacts.


The term can also refer to the set of services provided by the organizations consumed by the public: electricity, natural gas, water, and sewage. Telephony may occasionally be included within the definition

Vinyl chloride

A chemical compound, used in producing some plastics, that is believed to be carcinogenic.


1. An organism, often an insect or rodent, that carries disease. 2. An object (e.g., plasmids, viruses, or other bacteria) used to transport genes into a host cell. A gene is placed in the vector; the vector then “infects” the bacterium.


The gaseous phase of substances that are Liquid or solid at atmospheric temperature and Pressure, e.g., steam.

Vapor Capture System

Any combination of hoods and ventilation system that captures or contains organic vapors so that they may be directed to an abatement or recovery device.


A set of conditions and processes resulting from physical, social, economic, and environmental factors, which increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of hazards.
Positive factors, which increase the ability of people and the society they live in, to cope effectively with hazards and can reduce their susceptibility, are often designated as capacities.


Of,relating to, or being water that is located in the Zone of Aeration in the earth's crust above the ground water level.

Volcanic eruption

A volcanic eruption occurs when hot materials are thrown out of a volcano. Lava, rocks, dust, ash and gas compounds are some of the materials. Eruptions can come from side branches or from the top of the volcano. Some eruptions are terrible explosions that throw out huge amounts of rock and ash and kill many people. Some are quiet outflows of hot lava. Several more complex types of volcanic eruptions have been described by volcanologists. These are often named after famous volcanoes where that type of eruption has been seen. Some volcanoes may show only one type of eruption during a period of activity, while others may show a range of types in a series.

Wastewater operations and maintenance

Actions taken after construction to ensure that facilities constructed to treat wastewater will be properly operated, maintained, and managed to achieve efficiency levels and prescribed effluent levels in an optimum manner.

Water-in-water emulsion

Water-in-water emulsion is a system that consists of droplets of water-solvated molecules in another continuous aqueous solution; both the droplet and continuous phases contain different molecules that are entirely water-soluble.


Any material (liquid, solid or gaseous) that is produced by domestic households and commercial, institutional, municipal or industrial organizations, and which cannot be collected and recycled in any way for further use. For solid wastes, this involves materials that currently go to landfills, even though some of the material is potentially recyclable.

Waste minimization

Techniques to keep waste generation at a minimum level in order to divert materials from landfill and thereby reduce the requirement for waste collection, handling and disposal to landfill; recycling and other efforts made to reduce the amount of waste going into the waste stream.

Waste reduction

Measures to reduce the amount of waste generated by an individual, household or organization.

Water conservation

Water conservation refers to the preservation, control and development of water resources, both surface and groundwater, and prevention of pollution. Water resource management Emissions trading or cap and trade is a government-mandated, market-based approach to controlling pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants

Waste stream

Waste materials that are either of a particular type (e.g. 'timber waste stream') or produced a particular source (e.g. 'C&I waste stream').

Waste treatment

Where some additional processing is undertaken of a particular waste. This may be done to reduce its toxicity, or increase its degradability or compostability.


Used water; generally not suitable for drinking.

Water Quality Index (WQI)

A Water Quality Index (WQI) is a means by which water quality data is summarized for reporting to the public in a consistent manner. It is similar to the UV index or an air quality index, and it tells us, in simple terms, what the quality of drinking water is from a drinking water supply.

win–win strategy

In conflict resolution, a win–win strategy is a conflict resolution process that aims to accommodate all disputants.


is a chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54. It is a colorless, heavy, odorless noble gas, that occurs in the Earth's atmosphere in trace amounts


Any biological substance, displaced from its normal habitat; a chemical foreign to a biological system.


is a chemical element with symbol Y and atomic number 39. It is a silvery-metallic transition metal chemically similar to the lanthanides and it has often been classified as a "rare earth element"


is a long continuous length of interlocked fibers, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, and rope making. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine.

Zero Waste

Zero Waste is a goal that is both pragmatic and visionary, to guide people to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to reduce the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that may be a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.

Zero liquid discharge facility

(ZLD), is an industrial plant without discharge of waste waters. Target ZLD is normally reached by: 1. Waste water strong recovery, 2. Separation by evaporation or boiling of water part of waste water not reusable, in evaporators, crystallizers and condensate recovery. ZLD plants produce solid waste.