Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is defined to include refuse from households, non-hazardous solid waste from industrial, commercial and institutional establishments (including hospitals), market waste, yard waste and street sweepings.
Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) encompasses the functions of collection, transfer, treatment, recycling, resource recovery and disposal of municipal solid waste. MSWM is a major responsibility of local governments, typically consuming between 20% and 50% of municipal budgets in most countries. It is a complex task which depends as much upon organization and cooperation between households, communities, private enterprises and municipal authorities as it does upon the selection and application of appropriate technical solutions for waste collection, transfer, recycling and treatment or disposal.
MSW consists of organic and inorganic constituents which may or may not be biodegradable. On one hand, the recyclable components of solid waste could be useful as secondary resource for production processes. On the other hand, some of its toxic and harmful constituents may pose a danger if not handled properly.
Source reduction, recycling and composting, waste-to-energy conversion facilities, and landfilling are the four basic approaches to waste management.
SWLS covers all aspects of MSWM and is probably the only entity worldwide that provides a zero-landfill-no-chimney-solution.