To embark on this food waste composting business plan, it will be useful to define what is meant by “organic materials”, “organics”, and “food waste”. There is confusion with the term organic, as it holds different meanings in different applications. For the purpose of discussing integrated waste management practices, organic(s)/organic materials will be defined as materials derived from living origins--in other words, if it once grew or was derived from something which grew. Fruits and vegetables, leaves, grass and yard debris are all “organics”, as well as paper items (derived from trees), pasta and breads (derived from grains), egg shells and other by-products from food processing facilities, seafood and shells, and animals. This also includes items manufactured from organics, such as bags, utensils, plates, cups and bowls made from corn and potato starch, bagasse, and PLA. Therefore, for the purpose of this plan, “Food Waste”, will refer to all pre- and post-consumer foods and food by-products, as well as organic items which may accompany food--such as manufactured organics and soiled paper products (napkins, paper cups, cardboard, etc.)

Anaerobic digestion occurs when bacteria break down (or "digest") organic materials in the absence of oxygen.

Biodegradable products will degrade due to naturally occurring microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi over a period of time. There is the possibility of a toxic residue as a result of the degrading process because of the materials used in manufacturing the original product. Biocompostable products degrade in the same way however, there cannot be any toxic residue as a result.

Commercial Waste is waste that is generated by businesses. It can include discarded materials from offices, stores, warehouses, restaurants, institutions (e.g., colleges) and non-hazardous industrial waste.

Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. It is the product of a controlled process of decomposing organic material. Naturally occurring soil organisms recycle nitrogen, potash, phosphorus, and other plant nutrients as they convert the material into humus.

Compostable products must: 1) be degradable in a compost system resulting in H2O, Carbon dioxide, inorganic compounds, and biomass. 2) disintegrate a composted product must break into small enough pieces that it is indistinguishable from the soil. 3) The resulting products from decomposition must leave behind no Eco-toxicity. 4) Result in soil that can support plant growth.

Contamination is any material that will not decompose in the composting process. Principal contaminates include Glass, Metal, Plastic, and Styrofoam. Additionally anything that will result in a toxic residue or impede plant growth in finished product would be considered a contaminate.

Degradable products will break into smaller pieces until they cannot be distinguished from soil. These products can be broken down by sunlight , temperature, or water. There is no requirement that they can be consumed by microorganisms. There is no requirement that the result of this degradation be free of toxic residue.

Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste means the waste building materials and rubble resulting from the construction, remodeling, repair or demolition of buildings, pavements, roads or other structures. Construction and demolition waste includes but is not limited to, concrete, bricks, lumber, masonry, road paving materials, rebar and plaster.

Digestion is the biological decomposition of material in a container

Disposal means the final dumping, landfilling or placement of solid waste into or on any land or water or the incineration of solid waste.

Emission means the discharge of an air contaminant into the ambient air.

Farm Waste is made up of manure, animal bedding, spoiled feed, and crop residuals.

Food Processing Wasteis generally the result of food product manufacturing. It is characterized by large volumes of mostly homogenous waste. Usually high in moisture content.

Food Wasteis made up of food and food preparation waste. Typically this waste will have food as well as some compostable food packaging.

Gasification is a chemical process that converts carbon-containing material, such as coal, petroleum coke, or MSW into a synthesis gas that can be used for energy production or as a building block for other chemical manufacturing process.

Haulers are private businesses that pick up solid waste from residents and businesses, and take it to a recycling facility, transfer station or disposal facility.

Landfill means a facility or part of a facility established in accordance with a valid site assignment for the disposal of solid waste into or on land.

Leachate is water (usually from rain) that percolates through waste material in a landfill. As the water moves through the waste, it picks up contaminants from the waste material, and it must be collected and properly disposed of, to avoid transferring the contaminants to groundwater.

Material Recovery Facility (MRF) is a facility that sorts and bales paper, glass, plastic and metal containers before selling them to industries which use the recyclables as feedstock in their manufacturing process.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) means trash that is discarded by residents, businesses, institutions, and municipalities. It does not include hazardous waste or industrial by-products.

Municipal Waste Combustors (MWCs) are facilities that burn municipal solid waste (commonly known as trash or garbage) at a very high temperature (approximately 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit) to generate electricity or steam power. These facilities are also known as "waste to energy" plants and as "incinerators" (although traditionally, "incinerators" just burn trash and do not generate electricity or steam.

"Pay As You Throw" (PAYT) is a way of funding municipal solid waste collection by charging residents for each bag or barrel of trash they discard and not charging to collect recyclable material.

Processing means the use of a method, technique or process to reduce the volume or alter the physical characteristics of solid waste or of recyclable or compostable materials by separating, baling, shredding, crushing or reworking. Processing prepares materials so they can be used in manufacturing new products or otherwise re-used.

Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of organic materials into gases, oils, and char.

Recyclables are discarded materials that can be recycled.

Recycle means to recover materials or by-products which are reused; used as an ingredient or a feedstock in an industrial or manufacturing process to make a marketable product; or used in a particular function or application as an effective substitute for a commercial product or commodity. "Recycle" does not mean to recover energy from the combustion of a material.

Recovery means the use, but not the disposal, of a separated material for energy production or other uses (except use at a solid waste disposal facility)

Site Assignment is a municipal approval of the use of a specific property for a solid waste management facility.

Sludge is the solid material that is suspended in wastewater, and remains after wastewater has been disposed.

Source-Separated Organic Waste (S.S.O.W.) is food or other organic waste that is sorted to remove contamination and recyclables at the location where waste is generated.

Transfer Stations are facilities that receive, temporarily store, and ship loads of recyclables and solid wastes for transport to a Material Recovery Facility, recycling processor or final disposal site

Waste Bans are prohibition on the disposal of specific materials. The bans cover materials that can be recycled, and preserve capacity at disposal facilities for materials that cannot be recycled.

Yard Waste is plant material that has been collected including brush, tree wood, lawn clippings, leaves, and any other vegetation.


[1]Source: http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/swterms.htm