Municipal waste – MSW – may be generated from numerous sources and that its composition is highly heterogeneous formed by a number of different fractions:
- Paper and cardboard;
- Packaging (plastic, tetrapak, cans, etc.);
- Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE);
- Batteries and accumulators;
- Edible oils;
- Bulky waste; and
Only recently, specific EU targets for MSW have been set under the Waste Framework Directive, which establishes not only a minimum rate for recycling of MSW, but also number of obligations in relation to separate collection of several waste fractions included within this complex waste streams, namely:
- Recyclables (i.e. paper and cardboard, metal, plastic and glass);
- Textiles; and
- Hazardous waste streams generated by households, such as WEEE, batteries or medicines.
On the other hand, the Landfill Directive 1999/31/EC also requires the diversion of MSW from landfills as a measure to reduce land use impacts.