What Is Municipal Solid Waste and How Is It Dealt With

Did you know that 292 Million Tons of municipal solid waste get disposed of each year in the USA? That’s a staggering statistic that puts a huge burden on resources all over the country.

But what is municipal solid waste? And how can understanding the process help us reduce wastage? Let’s take a look at the basics of municipal solid waste and how it’s dealt with.

What Is Municipal Solid Waste?

Municipal solid waste by definition is a term used to describe trash produced by people living in cities. The majority of municipal solid waste comes from homes.

But it can also come from offices, schools, restaurants, and other businesses. Municipal solid waste examples include food, furniture, electrics, metals, and glass.

When municipal solid waste gets left out in the open, it attracts pests and animals. These pests and animals then feed off of the waste.

They do so until it has decomposed enough to be safe for the environment. If the waste is not disposed of correctly, it can cause health problems.

How Is Municipal Solid Waste Disposed Of?

To dispose of municipal solid waste, residents should contact their local government. These will usually provide a collection schedule. Residents can also hire a municipal waste solutions company to collect their waste.

The most common way to deal with waste is through landfills or incineration plants. Municipal solid waste landfills are large areas where garbage lies under layers of soil.

Incinerators burn the waste into ash which is then released back into the air. Both methods have many disadvantages including pollution, odor, noise, and cost:


Landfilling is one of the oldest ways to handle municipal solid waste. Yet, this method creates methane gas when organic material decomposes underground. This gas is harmful because it contains carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gases.

When burned, these gases create smog and acid rain. Additionally, landfill sites often leak toxic chemicals into groundwater supplies.


Incineration is another option for dealing with municipal solid waste. During incineration, the waste heats up so much that all materials become destroyed. After combustion, the remaining residue becomes ash.

Ash consists of calcium oxide and silicon dioxide. Because ash does not contain any hazardous substances, it’s used in construction projects.


Another alternative disposal method involves recycling. Recycling waste services reduces the number of raw materials needed to produce new products.

For example, recycling aluminum cans instead of sending them to landfills. By doing this, we would save energy and reduce greenhouse emissions.

To recycle more, municipalities must make sure they educate citizens about recycling.

They need to teach them what’s recyclable and how to separate materials. Citizens should also know what kinds of containers are acceptable and why.

The Need to Reduce Municipal Solid Waste Is Significant

What is municipal solid waste? Municipal solid waste management is an important issue facing our society today. We cannot continue to pollute our environment without consequences.

As long as we keep producing trash, we will never solve the problem. Thus, we must find better solutions than burying everything in landfills.

Keep reading for more informative content about today’s society!