RE Definitions: Bargain jargon

Photo of dictionary definition of wasteThe English language is a mish mash of many languages and one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn. It is also great fun to twist and contort for your own purposes. Here are some terms and phrases that spring from the rebounding values of reuse, recycling and waste reduction.

Waste stream
The flow of waste material from source to disposal

Using low-value or ordinary objects to make something extraordinary

Transforming an item from its original purpose into something different

Green Demolition / Deconstruction
A set of techniques that dismantle existing buildings with the purpose of reusing as much of the material as is possible (up to 50 percent or more in some cases). In deconstruction, remaining materials are recycled for reprocessing into new materials (drywall, chip board, mulch, metal, etc). As little as 1-2 percent of a building ends up in the trash. Visit our website’s Green Demolition Deconstruction Services page for links to case studies, photo galleries, and more information about deconstruction.

Any item, found or obtained for free

Closed loop
Waste or byproducts of one process or product is used in making another product. Also known as cradle-to-cradle

Adaptive re-use
A method of preservation where a building retains its signature visual elements, but the structure is used for a purpose other than originally intended

Life cycle costing
An evaluation technique which determines the total cost of acquisition, operation, maintenance, and disposal of items being acquired

Product take-back
A form of extended producer responsibility that requires companies to take back their products after the consumer is ready to replace them or throw them away (Note – this is becoming a prevailing way of doing business with items like appliances, automobiles, etc in European countries.)

Trashion or trash fashion
Utilizing cast-off materials to create clothing and accessory designs. Visit our website’s photo gallery of Trash Fashion highlights from our annual show.

What terms or definitions can you add to our list of reuse and salvage?