Construction and recycling glossary




Small pieces of rock intended for the realization of civil works and building.


Fibrous minerals known for their excellent fire resistance.


Road surfacing material made with petroleum pitch and broken gravel.



Biochemical oxygen demand. The amount of dissolved oxygen required for the bacterial decomposition of organic residual materials in water, often measured over a five-day period.


Action (or its result) to bring granular materials to make an eve or fill a cavity.


A mineral compound which causes the hardening of a mortar. Binders (eg lime and plaster) are used for the chemical treatment of hazardous household waste.


Substance or product designed to be decomposed by living micro-organisms.


Gas produced by the decomposition of organic material in a space deprived of oxygen. The biogas is composed of methane and carbon dioxide, with traces of other organic compounds (sulfur dioxide).


Biomass consists of plant- or animal-based organic materials such as forests, marine and aquatic environment, parks and gardens, animal waste, construction wood debris, organic waste, wastewater, etc. Biomass is used primarily to produce renewable energy like electricity, heat, or biofuel. Biomass is a zero carbon energy source, an energy source that does not produce carbon.

Bulky items

Category of goods including furniture (tables, chairs, miscellaneous furniture), major household appliances (televisions, washers, dryers, stoves) as well as construction or demolition debris.

Bulky waste

Residues which, because of their large size, can not be disposed of with household waste. This category includes appliances, furniture, etc.



Pulverulent material, based on silicate and lime aluminate, obtained by cooking and which, when mixed with a liquid, forms a binding paste, hardening in contact with air or water.


Chemical oxygen demand. Amount of oxygen necessary for the chemical degradation of the organic matter contained in a liquid medium.


Bacteria as indicators of pollution or microbiological contamination.


Putrescible residues decomposed by micro-organisms, in the presence of oxygen, to reach a more or less advanced stabilization. The compost has the appearance and smell of a potting soil.


A biological process which consists in causing the fermentation of various organic residual materials in order to obtain a mixture rich in minerals and organic materials called compost.


Construction material made of mortar and crushed stone.


Box of standard dimensions for transporting furniture and goods.


Solid, liquid or gaseous material that may impair the quality of a product or material. A contaminant will break the homogeneity of a residue and make it more difficult to reuse or recycle.


Oily liquid, transparent or yellow, extracted from various tar. Creosote contains naphthalene, phenol and is mainly used for wood preservation.


The different phases of crushing are carried out in crushers which make it possible to reduce, in a successive manner, the size of the elements.



Management of residues by final disposal or incineration, with or without energy recovery.

Disposal site

Place of final disposal or treatment of residual materials.

DIY construction

For a person, means to build without the help of professionals. For example, building their own house or building their own wind turbine.

Drop-off centre

Place of deposit mainly focused on recovery. It is distinguished from the recovery center by receiving not only the recoverable materials as is generally understood in the selective collection, but also all residues of domestic origin not collected during regular collection, including domestic hazardous residual materials , Bulky items (appliances, tires, etc.), dry materials and others.

Dry materials

Crushed or shredded residues that are not susceptible to fermentation and that do not contain hazardous residues, wood, trash, rubble and concrete, concrete and masonry, and paving.

Dry materials deposit sites

Final disposal site for dry materials and excavation materials.



An Ecocentre is a waste disposal center and a container park that organizes the collection and recovery of waste. It is a center for reprocessing waste and industrial residues.


A Eco-neighborhood is an urban neighborhood that has been built according to sustainable development and energy conservation objectives. This type of urbanism responds to modern ecological characteristics by controlling the necessary resources and the waste produced.


Eco-habitat, also known as ecological habitat, is a bioclimatic habitat that respects the environment and sustainable development. An Eco-Habitat meets low energy consumption standards.

Ecological footprint

The ecological footprint is an indicator and measure of human pressure on nature, specifically on natural resources and “ecological services” provided by nature.

Ecological niche

“An Ecological Niche is a place occupied by a species in an ecosystem, the habitat of the species as well as the role it plays on the trophic level (diet). The space occupied by a species that includes not only physical space but also the functional role played by the species.”


Action to dig into the ground or the result of this action.


Milling residues.


Flooring Floor covering

A floor covering is a natural or manufactured construction material intended to cover all or part of a floor.


Aldehyde formic, colorless and irritant gas, used in solution as disinfectant and in organic synthesis.



Hard magmatic rock, consisting of crystals of feldspar, quartz and mica or amphibole.

Green Building

“Green Building” is the English translation of Ecological Construction.

Green construction

Green Construction, known as Ecological Construction, is a construction that has little impact on the environment and takes into account ecological criteria, such as energy saving, durability, non-toxicity and even aesthetics. The Green Construction also takes into account local environmental conditions and adapts to the way of life of the inhabitants.


A generic term for waters below the surface of the ground. They account for the bulk of freshwater supplies.


Heavy metals

Metal whose organic or inorganic compounds are often toxic. The main heavy metals are cadmium, mercury and lead.



Removal of residual materials by combustion in equipment primarily for this purpose.


Land clearing

To make a land suitable for cultivation by destroying spontaneous vegetation. Dumping site: Any disposal site where open-pit debris is deposited on the ground and does not comply with the standards laid down.


Under the terms of the proposed Landfill and Waste Incineration Regulations, any site that would be used for the final disposal of residues on or in the soil.

Landfill in a northern environment
Summary Elimination Infrastructure where very few measures are required to limit environmental contamination.

Landfill site

A landfill site is a place where solid domestic and industrial wastes are discharged and then stored. In landfills, the waste is compacted, spread into thin layers and then covered with soil.


Landscaping consists of the harmonious arrangement of an outdoor space, mostly gardens. Landscaping is also mentioned.


Liquid which has percolated through a mass of materials or residues and has leached out certain leaching elements.


Heavy metal. Lead has significant pollutant potential. It is found in automobile batteries, ceramics, batteries and glass. Lead salts are dangerous to animal and human life because their assimilation is faster than their elimination. Children are particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead.


LEED designates the term Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a North American system of standardization of buildings with high environmental quality issued by the Sustainable Building Council of Canada. The objective of LEED certification is to encourage entrepreneurs to adopt more sustainable construction and development practices.



Colorless, odorless and flammable gas released from rotting materials by anaerobic decomposition. This gas can form an explosive mixture with air at a concentration of 5-15%.

Milling machine

A machine tool used to break up the already existing pavement for recycling.


A mixture of sand, water, a binder and an adjuvant for bonding building elements.


Paving Pavement

Coating of a floor, consisting of cobblestones, pebbles or stones, mosaic, etc. To make it hard and smooth.


Molecule with fungicidal properties, very active against lignivorous fungi. It has given rise to a very wide use in the protection of wood: furniture, woodwork, timber, railway sleepers, telephone poles, etc.


Abbreviation for hydrogen potential. Coefficient of measurement of the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a solution or soil.


Substance used in the production of glues and plastics. Phenol is used as an antiseptic in pharmacies. Highly toxic, it can cause severe damage to the liver, skin and kidneys, and may cause paralysis of nerve centers.


A pipe installed in the soil used for sampling water and measuring the hydrogeological characteristics of the soil.

Plaster board Gypsum board

Materials in the form of gypsum board cast between two sheets of cardboard, which serves as a coating, as insulation.


Who can rot and decompose.



The collector carries out the sorting of the materials. It separates them into categories and usually puts them in bundles, which are routed, as appropriate, to a recycler or directly to a user. It can also collect material at source. However, before being used in the manufacture of a product, some materials must undergo pretreatment. The processes of densification of the material (filling of fibers, manufacture of metal briquettes, grinding of glass, etc.) are not considered as recycling activities but rather of recovery.

Recyclable materials

Substances which may be reintroduced into the production process from which they are derived or in a similar process using the same type of materials.


Use in a manufacturing process of a secondary material in place of raw material. Surface Recycling: this involves treating the surface of the coating to a depth of less than 75 mm using a hot or cold glider. This operation is generally continuous, by single or multiple stages, and may involve the addition of new materials such as aggregates, adjuvants or binders.

Recycling in plant

This involves scarifying and excavating the materials used in the surfacing and part of the foundations and transporting them to an asphalt plant where they are crushed and generally treated with a binder. The materials to be treated in a plant can also be obtained by spraying the coating and part of the foundations in the field. Once the materials have been treated in a plant, they are transported back to the site to be used, reprofiled and compacted.

Recycling of surface and foundations
This involves spraying the surface and decoating the foundations. Generally, this operation is followed by shaping and recompacting. It may or may not include the addition of a binder.

Reinforced concrete

Reinforced concrete cast in iron sheeting

Renewable energy

A renewable energy, RR for short, consists of a source of energy whose natural renewal is fast enough so that they can be considered inexhaustible on the scale of human time. Thus, renewable energy is a source of energy that builds up or rebuilds itself faster than it has been used.


Repeated use of a product or packaging, without altering its appearance or properties.


Debris from demolition.



Separation of certain products or materials from residual materials for reuse, recycling or recovery. Recovery at source: the process by which recoverable materials are collected at the place where they are produced or used.


Sedimentary rock formed of numerous small elements united by a cement of variable nature.

Sanitary landfill

Final disposal site where the residual materials are discharged and compacted in predetermined successive layers. The residue is then covered daily with granular or other materials.

Screening Grain sifting

Passing through a sieve, an instrument formed by a more or less tight network or a surface with small holes, and a frame for holding the substance to be screened and separating the elements of a mixture according to Dimension of the particles.

Selective collection

Collection of waste, such as recyclable, dry and fermentable waste previously separated by the producers for a valorization or a specific treatment.
Selective collection applies to both domestic and industrial waste.

Selective collection by substitution
Way of dividing collection that replaces the traditional garbage collection. This method of collection reduces the frequency of access to the service for the users and in creases the duration and therefore the volume of waste stored in the bins provided.

Sorting centre

Place where the sorting, conditioning marketing of materials recovered by the selective collection take place.


All the rules of use or technical requirements relating to the characteristics of a product or a method, laid down for the purpose of standardizing and guaranteeing the modes of operation and safety and avoiding nuisance and pollution.


Temporary deposition of residues or residual materials outside or inside.

Sulfuric acid

Sulfur-based oxygenate, corrosive, violent. These mechanisms are at the root of the phenomenon of acid rain.

Sustainable city Ecocity

A green city, rather called a sustainable city, means a city that respects the principles of sustainable development and ecological planning.


To recycle

The recycler uses secondary materials from the generator, recuperator or recovery and sorting center. It transforms these materials directly usable for the manufacture of finished or semi-finished products. Recycling processes vary depending on the type of material.



Development of residual material by means other than reuse and recycling. There are two types of valuation. First, energy recovery, a technology that addresses the fuel fraction of tailings. Secondly, biological recovery, the most popular valorisation process for the organic fraction of residual materials.



Residues, materials, substances or debris released as a result of a process of production, manufacture, use or consumption.

Waste reduction at the source

Any action to reduce the amount of residues generated as a result of the manufacture, distribution and use of a product.

Waste sorting and recovery center

This area is suitable for temporary and selective reception of residues which cannot be or are not to be presented at traditional collections, or which require special treatment. The materials thus recovered are then destined for re-use, recycling, recovery or safe disposal. Landfill site: Landfill site for waste disposal.


Wood debris come mostly from structural timber, plywood sheet, particleboard, saw dust, wood chips, furniture, cabinets, branches, etc.