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Municipal Solid Waste Dispose Practices


MSW, called municipal solid waste, waste or garbage,  includes everyday items such as product packaging, grass cuttings, furniture, clothes, bottles, food waste, newspapers, electrical appliances and batteries from families, schools, hospitals and businesses. Does not include materials that can also be treated in landfills but are not normally considered municipal solid waste, such as construction and demolition (C&D) materials, municipal wastewater treatment sludge, and non-hazardous industrial wastes.

 

A reasonable estimate of municipal solid waste generated is that 30% is recycled or composted, 10% goes to waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities and 60% ends up in landfills.

 

Source waste reduction occurs when reducing the amount of municipal solid waste or materials are reused rather than discarded, which means materials never enter the waste stream. The second component of the waste management system is recycling, including off-site (or community) composting. Materials such as glass, metal, plastic and paper can be collected and separated at material Recovery Facilities (MRF) and sent to facilities where they can be processed into new materials or products. After recycling or composting, energy can be recovered from waste and converted into usable heat, electricity or fuel through a variety of processes, including combustion, gasification, pyrolization, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas (LFG) recovery. These process options are commonly referred to as waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies. Finally, the least desirable option for dealing with MSW is to dispose of MSW in landfills without collecting any type of methane.

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