Municipal Solid Waste

Municipal solid waste is the garbage generated by communities and collected by their sanitation departments or waste management contractors. MSW consists of everyday items like product packaging, newspapers, food scraps, yard wastes, plastics, bottles, paint and batteries.

According to Biocycle Magazine, America generated an estimated 509 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2004, 28.5% of which was recycled and composted, 7.4% was combusted in waste-to-energy plants and 64.1% was placed in landfills. Theoretically, just from the post-recycled MSW that is now being placed in landfills, the BRI process could annually co-produce more than 9,000 MW of electric power and 18 billion gallons of ethanol, enough to achieve more than 10% ethanol blending with gasoline on a nationwide basis.