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Green Resources

Recycled (green)

All products with the green recycle logo are manufactured from material containing recycled content.

  Recyclable (blue)

All products with the blue recycle logo are recyclable products

Recycling Bins & Leaf

Recycling Programs

Andersen Recycling Program

Recylcing Terms Glossary





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Air pollution – contaminants or substances in the air that interfere with human health or produce other harmful environmental effects.
Alternative energy – usually environmentally friendly, this is energy from uncommon sources such as wind power or solar energy, not fossil fuels. 
Alternative fuels – similar to above. Not petrol or diesel but different transportation fuels like natural gas, methanol, bio fuels and electricity.


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Biodegradable – something when left alone break down and be absorbed into the eco-system. For something to be biodegradable it has to be an organic substance that can be broken down by microorganisms, a great example being a leaf. In the case of biodegradable plastic, which is usually made from petrochemical compounds, they often use a substance called Mirel which is a corn-based product to allow that plastic to be broken down.


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Carbon dioxide – CO2 is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. However the amount of it increases when we burn fossil fuels, leading to global warming.
Carbon footprint – a measure of the your impact on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. 
Carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless and highly toxic gas commonly created during combustion.
Carbon rationing – limiting the amount of carbon you use each year. Carbon rationing action groups (crags) help you reduce your carbon footprint. 
Carbon sink – carbon dioxide is naturally absorbed by things such as oceans, forests and peat bogs. These are called carbon sinks.
Carbon tax – a charge on fossil fuels based on their carbon content. Effectively a tax on the carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. Thus, carbon tax is shorthand for carbon dioxide tax or CO2 tax.
Chlorofluorocarbons – CFCs are man-made chemical compounds containing carbon, chlorine, fluorine and sometimes hydrogen. Often used in older fridges and air conditions, the chlorine in CFCs damage the ozone layer. 
Conservation – preserving and renewing, when possible, human and natural resources.


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Eco-assessment – an evaluation of your home or workplace with the aim of cutting your energy and water usage. 
Emissions cap – a limit placed on companies regarding the amount of greenhouse gases it can emit. 
Environmentally preferable – products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on the environment.
Environmental sustainability – A process/development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  To be environmentally sustainable is to make conscious decisions on product use, development and how we reuse or recycle that product in the most environmentally safe and effective way.
Energy efficiency – ways and technology that can reduce the amount of electricity or fuel used to do the same work. Such as keeping a house warm using less energy. 
Energy saving grant – money awarded to you to help improve the efficiency of your home and use less energy.


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Fossil fuel – coal, oil and natural gas. A fuel that’s been made by the decomposition of fossilised plants and animals. 
Fuel cell – a technology that uses an electrochemical process to convert energy into electrical power. Often powered by natural gas, fuel cell power is cleaner than grid-connected power sources. In addition, hot water is produced as a by-product.


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Geothermal energy – heat that comes from the earth. 
Glass recycling – Glass bottles and jars can be recycled endlessly. That means that unlike some other recycled products, a recycled bottle can be recycled into another glass bottle. And another, and so on forever. 
Global warming – an increase in the average temperature of the earth, attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.
Green Building Council - The U.S. Green Building Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation.   This organization developed LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is an internationally-recognized green building certification system.  See LEED in glossary below.  For more information click on The U.S. Green Building Council click this link on our Green resources home page. 
Green design – a design, usually architectural, conforming to environmentally sound principles of building, material and energy use. A green building, for example, might make use of solar panels, skylights, and recycled building materials. 
Greenguard Environmental Institute– The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) was founded in 2001 with the mission of improving human health and quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. In keeping with that mission, GEI certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a free resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments by brand and manufacturer name.  For more information click the link on our green resources home page for 
Greenhouse effect – explains global warming. It’s the process that raises the temperature of air in the lower atmosphere due to heat trapped by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone. 
Greywater – waste water that does not contain sewage or fecal contamination (such as from the shower) and can be reused for irrigation after filtration.


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Hydroelectric energy – electric energy produced by moving water. 
Hydrofluorocarbons – used as solvents and cleaners in the semiconductor industry, among others; experts say that they possess global warming potentials that are thousands of times greater than CO2.


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IPCC – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a UN-commissioned international working group formed in 1988. It assesses climate change and its human causes.


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Kilowatt-hours (kWH) – used to measure electricity and natural gas usage.


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Landfill – area where waste is dumped and eventually covered with dirt and topsoil.
Life cycle assessment – methodology developed to assess a product’s full environmental costs, from raw material to final disposal. 
Lead – harmful to the environment used in a lot of paints. It’s also toxic to humans.
LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design  is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in March 2000.  LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.  LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.  For more information click on the link on our Green resources home page.


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Non-renewable resources – Resources that are in limited supply, such as oil, coal, and natural gas.


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Offsetting – the process of reducing carbon emissions by ‘offsetting’ it. An example is by taking a flight and in compensation paying a company to plant trees to equal the carbon use out. 
Oil – fossil fuel used to produce petrol etc and other materials such as plastics. 
Ozone layer – in the upper atmosphere about 15 miles above sea level it forms a protective layer which shields the earth from excessive ultraviolet radiation and occurs naturally.


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PET Plastic – Polyethylene Terephthalate – made from recycled drink bottles and or oven ready meal trays.
Photovoltaic panels – solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity. Power is produced when sunlight strikes the semiconductor material and creates an electrical current. 
Plastic – man-made durable and flexible synthetic-based product. Composed mainly of petroleum.
Plastic recycling – there are seven different categories of plastics that can be recycled.

Polyethylene Chart 1-7

Post Consumer – products/materials collected after the consumer has used and disposed of them.  Items that can be recycled and manufactured into post consumer new recycled product.  
Post Industrial – scrap/waste materials left over in a manufacturers product creation process.  This scrap/waste materials can be reused and recycled into new recycled product.


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Recycle symbol – the chasing arrow symbol used to show that a product or package can be recycled. The three arrows on the symbol represent different components of the recycling process. The top arrow represents the collection of recyclable materials. The second arrow (bottom right) represents the recyclables being processed into recycled products and the third arrow on the bottom left represents when the consumer actually buys a product with recycled content. 
Recycling – the process of collecting, sorting, and reprocessing old material into usable raw materials.
Renewable energy – alternative energy sources such as wind power or solar energy that can keep producing energy indefinitely without being used up. 
Renewable resources – Like renewable energy, resources such as wind, sunlight and trees that regenerate. 
Reuse – before throwing away or recycling, a product that can be reused until its time to recycle.


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Solar energy – energy from the sun.
Solar heating – heat from the sun is absorbed by collectors and transferred by pumps or fans to a storage unit for later use or to the house interior directly. Controls regulating the operation are needed. Or the heat can be transferred to water pumps for hot water. 
Sulfur dioxide – SO2 is a heavy, smelly gas which can be condensed into a clear liquid. It’s used to make sulfuric acid, bleaching agents, preservatives and refrigerants and a major source of air pollution.


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WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, your broken or not wanted electronic gadgets like mobile phones or computers.
Windpower – energy derived from the wind.

More Information:

Wastes- Resource Conservation- Tools for Local Government Recycling Programs

GSA link to their needed requirements for green products

US Green Building Council Home page

Greenguard Environmental Institute home page