Sustainable Waste Management Considerations

  • Properties of materials in municipal solid waste (MSW) (soft, hard, compostable, combustible).

  • Economic and environmental costs of action and non-action.

  • Short- and long-term effects on soil, water, and the atmosphere.

The means for SWM, in order of preference:

  • Recovery of materials for recycling by separation at the source or my mechanical processing.

  • Compost and biogas recovery by aerobic composting or anaerobic digestion (AD).

  • Energy, metals, and minerals recovery by controlled combustion or gasification.

  • Controlled landfilling (“sanitary”) of solids that are not recyclable or combustible. Regrettably, waste dumps are still used for over 50% of the global MSW.