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The Heap

No Waste of Words

Our language is dynamic, and the latest dictionary additions show that waste and recycling are part of what’s trending now.

The newly released 11th edition of the Merriman-Webster Collegiate Dictionary has added some words that have become popular of late, such as “selfie,” “spoiler alert” and “hashtag.”

But several waste and recycling words made it into our standard word reference and vault as well. “E-waste” arrived, reflecting our growing pile of discarded electronics. “Fracking,” shorthand for the practice of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas mining that generates waste, debuts as well.

“Cap and trade,” the bartering system companies can use to control carbon emissions to cut down on greenhouse gases, now is in the book.

And so is a lesser-known phrase: “freegan,” someone who scours for free food in stores and restaurant waste bins to reduce consumption of resources.

Waste diversion by any other name…

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