The paper discusses ways to implement in Ukraine one of the important tasks of the sustainable development strategy - minimization and rational use of waste. The concept of a circular economy is analyzed in terms of using the material and energy potential of waste on the example of countries with high Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (Finland) and countries with lower middle GNI per capita (Ukraine). The features of the municipal solid waste management optimization in Finland and Ukraine are highlighted. It is noted that the concerns about the municipal solid waste management have reached the state level and are provided with targeted national programs and action plans. The dynamics of generation and treatment of solid municipal waste in Finland in 2009–2018 and Ukraine in 2013–2019 is analyzed. The main attention in Ukraine is paid to the implementation of the European system of municipal waste management. The paper emphasizes that an important condition for the implementation of state and municipal programs for waste recycling is the study of the socioeconomic potential of the population and the contribution fractions of waste for the organization of the separate collection of waste components and creation an appropriate infrastructure. Under current situation, sensitization work with the population to increase the level of their environmental awareness and promote active participation in the implementation of municipal waste management programs is shown to be of great importance for Ukraine.