Aerobic composting

Aerobic composting is the controlled biological decomposition of organic materials under aerobic conditions, accomplished in open windrows or open static piles. Composting involves the action of thermophilic ("heat loving") micro-organisms that thrive under increased temperature conditions and if correctly managed, this can allow for the destruction of disease-causing organisms.


Australian Greenhouse Office

Anaerobic digestion

Anaerobic digestion or anaerobic composting is the break down of organic materials in the absence of oxygen. The carbon content of the material is released as methane or biogas (also known as landfill gas), rather than carbon dioxide.


Australian Taxation Office


AusInfo is an electronic records management system

Biological resource recovery processes

Biological resource recovery processes cover a range of technologies, most of which are similar to what happens in a backyard compost bin. For all these technologies, there is first a 'pre-treatment' stage where mechanical processes are used to screen out metals and sometimes plastics and the organic material is conditioned, shredded and separated to make it ready for composting (see definition for composting below).


Business Improvement Team


Business Management System


Cities for Climate Protection


Chief Executive Officer


Chief Executive Officers' Advisory Committee


Combustion or incineration as it is commonly referred is the conversion of organic material and reduction of the volume of solid wastes by the use of an enclosed device using controlled flame combustion.


Compost is the material that results from the composting process and is a dark, moist soil-like substance that enriches the nutrient content of soil and helps soil structure.


Composting is the controlled breakdown or decomposition of organic materials under aerobic (i.e. with air) or anaerobic (i.e. without air) conditions. Composting allows the good 'bugs' to wipe out the 'bad' bacteria. The scale of composting ranges from small backyard composters to large-scale centralised facilities, which can compost materials from many hundreds of households.


Country Shire Councils' Association


Country Urban Councils' Association


Comprehensive Waste Education Strategy


Department of Environmental Protection - now referred to as the DOE


Department of Environment


Department of Local Government


Environmental Data Management System


Equal Employment Opportunity


Eastern Hills Catchment Management Program


Eastern Metropolitan Local Authorities Group

Energy recovery

Energy recovery occurs when the energy that is released from a resource recovery process (i.e. pyrolysis/gasification) is used for another purpose such as to generate steam, fuel or electricity generation.


Environmental Policy Implementation Group


Fringe Benefits Tax


Freedom of Information

Food waste

Food waste is waste that comes from the preparation of food and consists of fruit/vegetable scraps, dairy, meats and breads and other starchy foods. Food waste is generated from households and restaurants, hotels and other commercial premises that prepare food.


For Your Information


Gasification is the breakdown of waste materials using a combination of high heat (i.e. gasification) and combustion where the organic waste is combination of these two processes whereby pyrolysis, as the 'front end' process, is the thermal decomposition of organic material either in the absence of air or with a very small amount of air. Pyrolysis generates three main products; char, oil (pyrolysis oil') and gas. These products vary depending on the composition of the waste materials fed into the pyrolysis reactor and process conditions (e.g. amount of oxygen). Gasification is the process whereby most of the char, tar and volatile gas resulting from pyrolysis are converted into a steam and a combustible gas (syngas) by a reaction with steam, with or without air.

Green waste

Green waste includes the yard trimmings, leaves, shrubs, plants, grass, street trees, or tree trunks, park trees or tree trunks etc. that arise from households, Council parks and garden maintenance, and commercial premises.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste comprises of those materials that pose a threat or risk to public health, safety or to the environment (e.g. batteries, paints, solvents, engine oils and fluids, cleaners etc.).


International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives


Image Identity Review Committee


Incineration means reducing the volume of solid wastes by the use of an enclosed device using controlled flame combustion. Strictly speaking, only the organic materials are combusted, but the non-combusted materials can also undergo a transformation under the influence of the heat released (e.g. glass melts into slag, and chlorine can react with organic material to form micro-pollutants).


A liquid solution that forms as water percolates through waste, such as refuse in a landfill or old mining tailings. It may contain any chemicals that can be dissolved, particles, and even live micro-organisms.


Local Government Manager's Association

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is a centre that receives and separates recyclable materials such as glass, plastic, steel, aluminium and paper that are collected from household recycling bins and recyclable materials from commercial premises. Recyclable materials at a MRF are separated and sent away to be processed into new products.


Multi-store Dangerous Goods Unit


Municipal Insurance Broking Services of WA


Memorandum of Understanding

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is household waste that is set aside for kerbside collection or delivered to a waste facility through a drop-off program. MSW also includes other types of waste such as bulky household waste (e.g. appliances, furniture and residential garden waste), household hazardous waste or waste generated from local Council operations (e.g. waste from street sweeping, litter bins and parks).


Natural Resource Management

Organic waste

Organic waste is the term used to describe those wastes that are readily biodegradable, or easily breakdown with the assistance of mirco-organisms. Organic wastes consist of materials that contain molecules based on carbon. This includes food waste, green waste, putrescible waste and also wastes arising from grease traps. Organic waste however, does not include for example, plastic or mineral oil products.


Pay As you Go (income tax)

Putrescible waste

Putrescible waste includes household food waste; green waste and certain wastes arising from commercial and industrial sources. This kind of waste will easily decompose and breakdown.


Recyclables are in general, those materials that can be recycled into the same or new products. Currently these include glass, metals, paper, cardboard and some plastics. Recyclables are often referred to as those materials that are placed in household recycling bins and collected through Council collections. Recyclables can also be collected from public place recycling bins and recycling bins used by commercial premises.


Recycling is the process where recyclable materials (e.g. paper, plastic, glass, metal, aluminium, steel etc.) are converted into new products, which are suitable to replace the same or new products made from virgin materials (e.g. waste paper into office paper and cardboard, aluminium soft drink cans into new cans, plastic bottles into plastic utensils etc.).

Refuse-Derived-Fuel (RDF)

Refuse-Derived-Fuel (RDF) is a fuel made from (municipal) solid waste. Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) typically consists of pelletised or fluff MSW that is the by-product of a material recovery operation whereby the majority of the non-combustible materials such as rocks, glass, and metals are removed, and the remaining combustible portion of the solid waste is chopped or shredded. The resulting material is then sold as RDF. Both the RDF processing facility and the RDF Incineration facility are usually located near each other, if not on the same site.


Regional Environmental Strategy

Residual Waste

Residual Waste is the material in people's rubbish bins after they 'do the right thing' through reducing, re-using, recycling, home composting and/or garden waste collections.

Resource recovery

Resource recovery means recovering resources from waste. There is a range of different resource recovery technologies that can change waste materials into resources, through thermal or biological means. Resource recovery technologies result in many useful products such as fuel, soil conditioner, compost, energy and chemicals for manufacturing new products (often referred to as Secondary Resource Recovery (SRR), or secondary waste treatment).


Resources can be materials, products or waste that has potential value and can be used to process new useful products.


Regional Identity Committee


Resource Recovery Committee


Resource Recovery Facility


Resource Recovery Park


The relative proportion of salt in a solution


Swan-Canning Cleanup Program


Swan-Mundaring Community Catchment Project


Small to Medium Sized Enterprises


Secondary Resource Recovery Education Program


Strategic & Secondary Waste Treatment Committee


Swan Valley Air Quality Committee


Syngas is the gas product resulting from gasification processes and can be used as a fuel to drive power generation or a feedstock for chemical synthesis.


Technical Advisory Committee

Thermal resource recovery processes

Thermal resource recovery processes are those resource recovery technologies that recover resources from waste using heat.

Transfer stations

Transfer stations are facilities where collection vehicles deposit waste and/or recyclables collected from elsewhere. Waste or recyclables taken to a transfer station are then put into larger transfer vehicles for transport to a landfill site or resource recovery facility. Transfer stations may be used by both persons and vehicles and also may include recycling facilities, and facilities for compacting and baling waste and recyclable materials.


Vermicomposting is the breakdown of organic material that, in contrast to composting, involves the joint action of earthworms and micro-organisms and does not involve the generation of high heat as is with composting. The worms consume organic wastes such as food waste, animal waste and sewage sludge; and turn and fragment the waste, which produces a soil conditioner.


Western Australian Local Government Association


Waste is unwanted materials or products, which are considered to be no longer useful. Wastes can be disposed of in a rubbish bin and/or a landfill site but many such ‘wastes’ have value and can become resources to be used to generate many different useful products such as energy or compost.

Waste Melting

Waste Melting uses high temperatures to oxidise or reduce waste and melt the residual or left over material. The outputs are heat and fuel gas, which can be used to produce energy for input into the power grid. A further product is recyclable metal.

Waste minimisation

Waste minimisation includes those activities that aim to reduce the amount of waste that is generated and the amount of waste that is disposed of or land filled. Waste minimisation includes avoiding and/or reducing the generation of waste in the first place, reusing waste, recycling waste and recovering waste through resource recovery.

Waste stream

Waste stream is the flow or movement of wastes from the point of generation (i.e. household or commercial premises) to final disposal (i.e. landfill). A waste stream may reduce significantly over time as valuable items are separated for recycling and are recovered through resource recovery.

Waste to Energy (WTE)

Waste to Energy (WTE) is a range of processes usually associated with municipal waste (but also used for industrial waste) where the waste is burned, gasified or digested at a high temperature. Heat energy is recovered from these processes (usually in the form of heat) and is reclaimed to produce steam and/or generate electricity.


Waste Management Community Reference Group


Western Metropolitan Regional Council


Water Sensitive Urban Design