With all of the garbage collecting in landfills, using MSW as an energy source may end up being the answer to the current energy problems being faced. Sooner or later the earth will no longer have an abundance of oil and natural gas available for recovery, and this may happen sooner than many people think, with many third world countries developing and facing an increasing need for energy. MSW as an alternative energy source can prevent a world-wide oil and gas crisis in the future by making renewable energy available that reduces the need for fossil fuels, now. It may seem like something from a science fiction magazine, but when you put your garbage out you may be providing an alternative energy source in the form of MSW.

Municipal Solid Waste
Municipal solid waste, also called MSW, can be a great energy source that can help supply the energy you need for your home. This process means that the garbage you throw out can be converted into energy and then sent back to your home in the form of electricity. How does this work? When you set your garbage out by the curb, it is collected along with all the other garbage that's set out in your area. This garbage is MSW. These items usually do not include waste from medical centers and hospitals, or waste items that can be recycled. MSW can include plastics and also tires, as well as some other items that are made from fossil fuel products. Once the MSW is collected, it is sent to a facility that processes it into energy.

Processing MSW into energy can be done in two different ways. The first method involves burning the waste and using the energy released to create electricity. The second method of converting MSW into energy involves putting the waste into a landfill that captures the methane gas released when the garbage breaks down. These landfills utilize the methane gas created as an alternative energy source, and this gas can be used for heat or electricity. Methane gas must be treated so that impurities are removed before it can be used in homes. Methane gas has no color and cannot be seen. It is also odorless. Because this gas can be dangerous when it builds up, specifically related to health concerns, landfills must collect and dispose of the gas when it accumulates. Some landfills will burn off the methane gas instead of collecting and treating it, but more and more landfills are using methods to capture, treat, and use the methane gas as an energy source instead of just burning it off to prevent risks. There are hundreds of landfills that have methane recovery systems in place. In Kentucky, for example, methane gas collected from landfills is used to power thousands of homes each year.

Both methods used to convert MSW into energy can be very effective. With the abundance of trash in landfills, something must be done to get rid of trash without polluting the environment even more. Converting MSW into an energy source is the perfect solution to the garbage problem and crowded landfills. Whether the waste is burned to release energy or is put into special landfills to decompose and create methane gas that is collected and used as a source of energy, the result is a renewable energy source that is environmentally friendly and reduces dependence on fossil fuels and traditional energy sources.

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27 Responses to “Path of Municipal Solid Waste: from Waste to Electricity”

  1. 1
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  11. 11
    بوكر Says:


  12. 12
    Alex Mitei Malakwen Says:

    AM interested with the idea that solid waste can be used to generate power.
    There is a dump site nearby that can be used as a source of this energy.
    Please sent me more about this issue.
    For it to be viable, how much of the waste is needed per day?
    Alex Mitei

  13. 13
    hans raj Says:

    I want to know that how much waste required for generate 1 Megawalt electricity,which company instal this plant.is it envirionment frindly or not because of i want to commisioned this type of plant to generate the electicity near about 50 mw capacity and is it legal.
    please mail me as early as possible

  14. 14
    praveen raj urs Says:

    Dear sir/madam

    current status of power generation from solid waste in India and around world. when was first power plant (from solid waste) was installed and where.

    waiting for you reply

    praveen raje urs

  15. 15
    yshunovi Says:

    please mail me the desirable physico chemical characteristics of municipal solid waste for getting maximum energy / recovery of heat

  16. 16
    Haroen Karamat Says:

    Where we can find a feasebility about calculating the costprice for waste to energy ?

  17. 17
    pratik p sangave Says:

    respected sir/madam,
    sir can you give me detail information for production of biogas from msw.
    i am wating your reply.

  18. 18
    naveen saxena Says:

    sir/ mam
    please let me know the process to convert waste & garbage in to electricity (process steps & set up)

  19. 19
    Ricardo Poco Says:

    sir, i want to Know if is possible to generate energy form landfill gas in a city with 180.000 h

  20. 20
    m.chandra shekar Says:

    sir i want give paper presentation on solid waste management

  21. 21
    Abhijeet Says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am an engineering student i want a project on solid waste management in citis

  22. 22
    Mahamud Prince Says:


    I want to know that how much waste required for generate 1 Megawalt electricity, and is it legal.
    please mail me as early as possible.

    Thank You.

  23. 23
    Haresh Says:

    Dear Sir,
    I want to know that how much waste is required to produce power generation? What should be waste quality?please mail me thanks

  24. 24
    S.Khanna Says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    In my opinion, combustion of Indian Municipal Solid Waste to produce power is not feasible.For this, the waste needs to be sagregated so that inerts, moisture and biodegradable material are removed.The left over material is called as RDF[RefuseDerivedFuel].This is the combustible part of Municipal SolidWaste.This should be used for Power generation.The biodegradeable part may be used for Methane generation, utilising the gas for power generation and balance material as compost.The inerts can be dumped in land fill.



  25. 25
    Azimullah Niazi Says:

    Dear Sir,
    We like to know more about your waste proceesing to electricity and fuel.
    Kindly reply for further communication.


    Azimullah Niazi

  26. 26
    Joseph Reddy Says:

    Sir/mam, i am from Warangal,Andhrapradesh, intrested in wastemanagement into Power, basically my background is Agriculture few days back i read a article regarding Agriculture wastage converting into power, will you give me details to establish plant in our area

  27. 27
    vishwanath s Says:

    sir/mam, right now we are preparing vermicompost in my landfill site, beside production of this i want to produce a biogas which is very economic and also easiest, so i reside in belgaum district of karnataka, india i would be happy to receive a mail from about this function and if preapred near by our city would like to visit it and do the same in my landfillsite

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