Green Industry : Glossary

There are 76 documents in this section.

  • Hazardous waste

    9 August 2001

    A class of waste materials that poses immediate or long-term risks to human health or the environment and requires special handling for detoxification or safe disposal. Both industrial and household wastes include hazardous materials.

  • Heavy metals

    9 August 2001

    Elements such as copper, lead, cadmium, mercury, and other toxic metals used in industrial processes and often released as both air and water pollutants. They may accumulate to hazardous concentrations in sediments and sludge.

  • Hydrocarbons

    9 August 2001

    Air pollutants that are important precursors of smog. These chemical compounds are generally released as unburned or incompletely burned residue when carbon-containing fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are burned in car or truck engines.

  • Incentive

    9 August 2001

    Any benefit (economic, regulatory, policy, etc.) which influences or encourages a desired action or behaviour.

  • Accounting systems

    8 August 2001

    The economic performance of a nation or province generally given as the gross domestic product (GDP). Present accounting procedures are limited and do not include the value or state of natural and environmental resources upon which future economic activity is based. The resources are generally regarded as "free goods" and not assets of the nation or province which are needed for sustained economic development or activity.

  • Acid deposition

    8 August 2001

    The airborne transport and descent to earth of acids and acid-forming chemicals, particularly those released by power plants, industry, and vehicles.

  • Bio-gas

    8 August 2001

    A combustible gas (composed primarily of methane) produced when sewage or manure is fermented in the absence of oxygen. The solid material that remains in the digester after fermentation can be used as an organic fertilizer.

  • Bio-indicators

    8 August 2001

    Fish and other freshwater organisms from polluted waterways, for example, whose death or unusual behaviour may indicate the presence of hazardous pollutants that have escaped other detection methods.

  • Catalytic converter

    8 August 2001

    A device connected to the exhaust system of automobiles to control emissions of air pollutants, particularly those that contribute to photo-chemical smog such as hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide.

  • Chlorinated hydrocarbon

    8 August 2001

    A class of synthetic chemicals first produced in the 1930s, including potent pesticides such as DDT and other compounds that do not break down in the environment and can be concentrated to poisonous levels in the fatty tissues of fish, birds, and mammals.