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Environmental Education

Resources for the Blue Planet


At Republic Services, we believe in the power of education. Many environmental challenges can be addressed with a better understanding of the issues, costs and implications of various solutions.

We have compiled environmental education resources to assist students, educators and concerned customers in understanding how small choices can make a huge difference in protecting the planet.

Get Environmentally Savvy

with our Educational Resources:

  • Positively impact the planet through environmental innovations and stewardship
  • Access resources to learn about environmental awareness and safety
  • Discover how recycling centers, landfills and renewable energy initiatives help protect our blue planet

Make A Difference!

Environmental Education Resources


Garbage Glossary

  • A
    Automated Side Loader (ASL)

    A collection vehicle that uses a robotic arm on its side to pick up a trash container, empty its contents into the vehicle and place it back on the ground.

  • B

    Balers are used to compact waste and recyclables (such as cans, plastics, paper and cardboard) into blocks that can be stacked at a landfill or recycling center. These waste blocks vary in size and weight, depending on the size of the baler.

  • C
    CNG: Compressed Natural Gas

    This alternative fuel offers many environmental benefits: it reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide emissions, reduces non-methane organic gas as well as nitrogen oxides and produces less carbon dioxide per mile. It’s primarily used in short-haul vehicles such as waste collection trucks. Republic has been adding CNG collection vehicles to its fleet each year.

  • D

    The final handling of solid waste, following collection and processing. Disposal most often means placement of wastes in a landfill.

  • E
    Environmental Sustainability

    Managing resources, energy and waste in a responsible way for people and the planet.

  • F
    Flow control

    Typically, a local ordinance or municipal law requiring that solid waste produced in a specific geographic area is delivered to the government-owned processing or disposal facility.

  • H
    Household Hazardous Waste

    Items used for household maintenance—such as paint, pesticides and pool chemicals—that residential customers should not place in their garbage.

  • L

    A regulated, highly engineered facility designed and operated to contain wastes. Modern landfills have liner systems and other safeguards to prevent pollution.

  • M
    MRF: Materials Recovery Facility

    A recycling center where materials are sorted into their various commodities (types of paper, metal, plastics, etc.) for marketing to end-users and manufacturers.

  • N
    NGV: Natural Gas Vehicle

    A natural gas vehicle or NGV is an alternative fuel vehicle that uses compressed natural gas (CNG) or, less commonly, liquefied natural gas (LNG), as its fuel source.

  • O

    Material derived from plant or animal matter. These materials include anything that is or was living, made from something living, or excreted from something living (i.e. cotton).

  • P

    Preparing waste and recycling materials for subsequent use or management, using processes such as sorting, baling, magnetic separation, crushing and shredding.

  • R
    RCRA: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976

    A federal law that regulates the transport, storage, handling and disposal of solid waste.

  • S

    Discarded needles, lancets and syringes. Medical waste is typically generated at hospitals, medical facilities and households. Often considered hazardous waste, it must be handled in a legally regulated manner such as Republic Services Residential Sharps Mail-Back program.

  • T
    Transfer stations

    Facilities where trash is unloaded from collection vehicles and later reloaded onto larger, long-distance transport vehicles for shipment to landfills or other treatment or disposal facilities.

  • U
    U.S. EPA: The United States Environmental Protection Agency

    An agency of the federal government charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress.

  • Z
    Zero Waste

    The concept of minimizing the amount of waste that one produces. To consumers, it means maximizing recycling efforts and wasting less. To waste collection and recycling service providers, it means finding and using the most cost effective and environmentally sound methods for collecting, processing, marketing and disposing of society's wastes.

Improving recycling, every step of the way

  • We make it easy to waste less by recycling materials like paper, plastic, glass, metal, wood and even construction materials.

  • Automated refuse collection vehicles and our network of more than 75 recycling centers allow us to efficiently sort and process more than 3.3 million tons of recyclables each year.

  • We help turn tons of discarded materials into thousands of useful new items through more than 100 partner mills and manufacturers worldwide.


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