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Municipal Solid Waste-Chapter 3

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-075067507-9/50004-8
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Medicine


Publisher Summary Municipal solid waste (MSW) is solid waste generated by households and apartments, commercial establishments, industries, and institutions. The composition of MSW is broad and contains both organic and inorganic components. Some portion of MSW may be considered hazardous and poses potential threats to public health. Waste-management strategies that have proven to be cost effective in industrial settings heavily favor prevention technologies. MSW power plants, also called waste-to-energy (WTE) plants, are designed to dispose of MSW and to produce electricity as a by-product of the incinerator operation. On the hierarchy of waste-management practices, resource recovery and recycling and waste-to-energy are more readily adaptable to MSW management. There are several types of mass-burn combustion systems, which include refractory, modular, and waterwall furnaces. Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) facilities process MSW prior to direct combustion. Burning MSW can generate energy while reducing the volume of waste by up to 90%, which is a major environmental benefit. The chapter highlights that one of the major challenges of waste management/resource recovery is to focus on the development of universal strategies and infrastructure for the collection, sorting, transport, and beneficiation of materials designed for reuse/recycling. There will be fewer economic constraints on the technical potential for widespread recycling.

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