Glossary of terms

We’ve created a handy list of terms common in the waste management industry. 

These terms give a short summary of some of the services we offer and related equipment.

Aggregate recycling 


Aggregate recycling refers to the process of reusing and repurposing construction and demolition waste materials, such as concrete, asphalt, and other aggregates. Instead of disposing of these materials in landfills, they are crushed, screened, and processed to create recycled aggregates that can be used in new construction projects. 


The goal of aggregate recycling is to reduce the demand for natural resources, minimise environmental impact, and promote sustainable construction practices. Recycled aggregates can be employed in various applications, including road construction, building foundations, and as a base material for new structures. This practice contributes to the conservation of resources and helps mitigate the environmental footprint associated with traditional construction methods.


CCTV Drainage Survey

A CCTV drainage survey, also known as closed-circuit television drainage survey, is a diagnostic technique used to inspect and assess the condition of underground drainage and sewer systems. 


In this process, a specialised CCTV camera is inserted into the drainage or sewer pipes, capturing real-time video footage of the interior. The camera is remotely operated and can navigate through the pipe network, providing a comprehensive view of the system’s condition.


This survey is particularly useful for identifying issues such as blockages, cracks, leaks, or structural defects within the drainage infrastructure.  CCTV drainage surveys are instrumental in proactive maintenance, helping to prevent potential failures and addressing problems before they escalate. Additionally, the survey findings can guide the development of appropriate maintenance or repair plans for the drainage system. 



Desilting is a process aimed at removing accumulated silt, sediment, or debris from water bodies such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and drainage systems. Silt is fine particles of soil and organic matter that settle at the bottom of water bodies, gradually reducing their depth and capacity. Desilting is essential for maintaining the functionality and ecological balance of these water systems.


Our cutting-edge desilting processes are not only quicker and more environmentally efficient than older methods, but they provide considerable cost savings for water cleansing and waste disposal. The Sweeptech method can be described as silt pumping, using suction pumps to remove the silt and filter it through our mobile de-watering equipment. It’s a much safer solution for aquatic life compared to silt dredging a river, lake or pond using heavy machinery and digging up the silt and placing it in heavy trucks.


Dewatering tanker

Sweeptech has dewatering tankers that process waste onsite, meaning a vast reduction in carbon emissions from unnecessary LGV journeys. 

A dewatering tanker is a specialised vehicle designed for the removal and transportation of excess water or liquid from various locations. Commonly used in construction, mining, and environmental remediation projects, a dewatering tanker typically features a tank or container and a pump system. The primary function of a dewatering tanker is to extract water or slurry from construction sites, excavation areas, or flooded locations. The pump system allows for the efficient removal of liquids, enabling the tanker to transport the dewatered material to a designated disposal site or a location where the water can be safely discharged.

Dewatering tankers play a crucial role in maintaining a dry and stable working environment in construction projects, preventing water-related complications such as soil instability or flooding. They are an essential tool for managing water levels during various industrial processes and ensuring the proper handling of excess liquids in a controlled and environmentally responsible manner.

Glycol recovery

Glycol recovery refers to the process of reclaiming and reusing glycol, a type of chemical solution commonly used in various industrial applications. In aviation -for which Sweeptech has vast experience on contracts in Glycol Recovery – Glycol serves as a deicing fluid sprayed onto aircraft to eliminate frost, snow, and ice from their wings. This application helps safeguard the aircraft from refreezing before takeoff.

The recovery of glycol involves separating it from the solution in which it has been used, purifying it, and making it suitable for reuse. This can be achieved through processes like distillation or filtration, which remove impurities and contaminants. Glycol recovery is valued for its economic and environmental benefits. By reclaiming and reusing glycol, industries can reduce the need for new glycol production, minimising costs and decreasing the environmental impact associated with the manufacturing process.

Gully waste

Gully waste refers to accumulated debris, sediment and other forms of waste that collect in gullies or roadside drainage channels. Gullies are designed to channel rainwater away from road surfaces and prevent flooding. Over time, these channels can accumulate various types of waste, including leaves, litter, soil, and other pollutants.

The management of gully waste is essential for maintaining effective drainage systems and preventing blockages that could lead to localised flooding or compromised water flow. Regular cleaning and removal of gully waste involves the use of vacuum tankers to extract the accumulated material from the gullies. Proper disposal and recycling practices are then employed for the extracted waste to minimise environmental impact.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste refers to discarded materials that possess properties that make them potentially harmful to human health, the environment, or both. These materials often contain substances that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, or reactive. Due to their hazardous nature, these wastes require special handling, storage, and disposal procedures to minimise the risk of harm.


Hazardous waste can originate from various sources, including industrial processes, manufacturing activities, healthcare facilities, and households. Examples of hazardous waste include certain chemicals, solvents, pesticides, electronic waste, and biomedical waste.


Proper management of hazardous waste involves adherence to regulatory guidelines to ensure safe handling, transportation, treatment, and disposal. Recycling and treatment methods may be employed to reduce the environmental impact of hazardous waste, and strict regulations govern its generation and disposal to protect human health and the ecosystem.


Inert liquid waste

Inert liquid waste refers to a type of liquid waste that lacks reactive, corrosive, or hazardous properties, making it relatively non-reactive with other substances and posing minimal environmental or health risks. This category of liquid waste typically includes materials that do not undergo significant chemical or physical changes and does not exhibit harmful characteristics.

Common examples of inert liquid waste may include non-toxic water-based solutions, certain types of diluted chemicals, or benign liquids from industrial processes that pose minimal environmental impact. Unlike hazardous waste, inert liquid waste can often be managed and disposed of with less stringent regulatory requirements.

Jet Vac Tanker

A jet vac tanker is a specialised vehicle equipped with a combination of high-pressure jetting and vacuum technologies. Primarily used in sanitation, maintenance, and cleaning applications, a jet vac tanker is versatile in its ability to address various challenges.


The high-pressure jetting component employs powerful water jets to dislodge and break up stubborn deposits, such as sludge, grease, or debris, from surfaces like sewer lines or drainage systems. The vacuum system then efficiently removes the loosened materials, storing them in a sealed tank for transport and disposal.




Sweeptech operates on a 100% Landfill Avoidance basis. 


A landfill is a designated area for the disposal of waste materials, where solid waste is deposited, compacted, and covered with layers of soil. This method of waste management involves burying the waste in a controlled manner to minimise environmental impact. Landfills are engineered sites with features such as liners to prevent the leaching of contaminants into the soil and groundwater.


There are different types of landfills, including municipal solid waste landfills for household rubbish, hazardous waste landfills for the disposal of dangerous materials, and construction and demolition landfills for debris from building activities. 


f you don’t choose to work with a sustainable waste management company like Sweeptech, you will find that landfills are a common waste disposal method, but their environmental impact and space limitations have led to increased emphasis on waste reduction, recycling, and alternative waste management practices. Proper landfill management involves monitoring and controlling factors such as gas emissions, leachate production, and long-term environmental impact to ensure the safe containment and disposal of waste.




Leachate is a liquid that results from the percolation of water through waste materials in landfills or other disposal sites. As water moves through the waste, it picks up various dissolved and suspended contaminants, creating a liquid often characterised by a high level of pollutants. Leachate may contain substances such as organic matter, heavy metals, and hazardous chemicals derived from decomposing waste.


Proper management of leachate is essential to prevent environmental contamination. Landfills typically have systems in place, such as liners and collection systems, to capture and treat leachate. Treatment processes can include physical, chemical, or biological methods to reduce the concentration of pollutants before discharge or safe disposal. Controlling and treating leachate can help mitigate the environmental impact of landfill operations to some extent and protects soil and groundwater from potential contamination.


Road Sweeper


A road sweeper is a specialised vehicle designed for the cleaning and maintenance of roads and public spaces. Equipped with brushes, suction systems, and sometimes water sprayers, a road sweeper effectively removes debris, litter, dust, and other pollutants from road surfaces. The brushes sweep the material into a collection hopper, while the suction system helps capture finer particles and dust.


Road sweepers play a vital role in urban and event cleanliness, preventing the accumulation of debris that could pose safety hazards or negatively impact the environment. They are commonly used by authorities and cleaning services to keep streets, car parks and public areas free of litter and contaminants. Road sweepers contribute to a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing urban environment while also supporting overall public health and safety.


While inert liquid waste may not pose immediate threats, it’s essential to adhere to proper disposal methods and regulatory guidelines to ensure environmentally responsible practices and prevent any potential long-term impacts on ecosystems.


Septic waste 


Septic waste refers to the combination of liquid and solid waste materials that accumulate in a septic system, a decentralised wastewater treatment system commonly used in areas without access to a main sewage system. The waste primarily comes from household activities such as toilets, sinks, showers, and washing machines. In a septic system, the waste undergoes a natural decomposition process within a septic tank, where solids settle and are partially broken down by bacteria. The resulting effluent, a liquid byproduct, is then discharged into a drain field for further filtration and absorption into the soil.


Regular maintenance, including periodic pumping of the septic tank, is necessary to prevent system failure and environmental contamination. Proper management of septic waste is crucial for protecting groundwater quality and public health in areas relying on septic systems for wastewater treatment.


Vacuum tanker


A vacuum tanker is a specialised vehicle equipped with a vacuum pump system designed to suction and transport various liquids, sludges, or slurries. Commonly used in industrial, environmental, and municipal applications, a vacuum tanker is versatile in handling different types of fluids.


The key feature of a vacuum tanker is its ability to create a vacuum within a sealed tank, allowing it to draw in liquids through a suction hose. These tankers are often employed in tasks such as cleaning and maintaining septic tanks, removing industrial waste, cleaning sewer lines and responding to environmental spills.


Typically, the collected liquids are stored in the tanker’s sealed tank for transportation to appropriate treatment or disposal facilities. However, Sweeptech’s cutting-edge on-vehicle technologies have the capability to filter and treat a wide range of liquid waste directly at your location. This process effectively reduces the amount of waste that requires transportation for external processing, encompassing liquids associated with oils and solvents.


Vacuum tankers are crucial in managing liquid waste efficiently, providing a practical solution for the cleanup and maintenance of various systems and environments while minimising the risk of spills or contamination.

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