The term Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is generally used to describe most of the non-hazardous solid waste from a city, town or village that requires routine collection and transport to a processing or disposal site. Sources of MSW include private homes, commercial establishments and institutions, as well as industrial facilities, excluding waste from industrial processes. Typically, MSW consists of

  • plastics (bottles, containers, cups, packaging material)
  • wood-based materials (paper, cardboard, packaging material)
  • organic matter (food scraps, yard trimmings)
  • glass (bottles, glassware)
  • metals (cans, foil, tins)

and a mixed group of other material, such as textiles, leather, e-waste- appliances and ash typically accounting for only a few per cent of the total waste stream.

A waste classification “Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Waste (ICI)” does exist, but due to the very heterogenous nature of this class, it makes more sense to include commercial and institutional waste in MSW and discuss Industrial Waste (IW) separately. MSW does not include wastes from industrial processes, construction and demolition debris, sewage sludge, mining waste or agricultural wastes. Naturally, also municipal wastewater sludge is excluded from this class. It belongs together with IW MSW is synonymous to domestic waste, or trash and garbage in urban lingo. Altogether, over two billion tons of MSW is generated worldwide every year, and the generation rate is growing steadily close to 10% annually.

MSW is the typical raw material in the production of engineered waste fuels, such as REF (Refuse-Engineered Fuel), RDF (Refuse-Derived Fuel) or SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel). Their production process includes three key functions

  • removing the non-combustible and abrasive materials to protect the boiler
  • removing excess organic matter to improve the calorific value and lower the moisture content
  • crushing the remaining waste into uniform particle size for better combustion

These engineered waste fuels are used in waste-to-energy power plants, co-combustion power plants and cement kilns typically replacing fossil fuels, such as coal or peat, in power generation.

MSW and its derivatives (RDF, REF, SRF) are also the most commonly used fuels in the wasteWOIMA® waste-to-energy power plant. MSW is abundantly available practically everywhere and societies are only too keen to get rid of it. In most cases, MSW can be used as is, although either source sorting or waste segregation at the facility are preferred for improved plant efficiency and availability. The wasteWOIMA® power plant can utilize several different types of waste feedstocks, or their combinations, and transform them into energy commodities for local demand. Its robust and simple structure makes it the perfect choice for all waste streams under any environmental conditions.

WOIMA Ecosystem improves the MSW utilization further. It increases recycling to replace virgin raw materials and extracts the maximum amount of energy out of each waste stream. It also diversifies the energy commodity offering.


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WOIMA Corporation is a Finnish supplier of best-in-class waste-to-value products, projects and services worldwide. We have developed solutions that enable us, and the customer, to transform and recycle virtually any waste stream into raw materials and energy.  At WOIMA we combine Finnish engineering know-how in waste management with power generation design expertise. These solutions are used in Finland every day. They support the circular economy ideology and ensure that less than 1% of Finland’s waste ends up in landfills.

Our mission is to improve quality of life both locally and globally, as well as empower people to utilize waste as a commodity. Our decades of international project management experience ensure an on-time, in-budget and high-quality WOIMA solution delivery across the globe.


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