In the new legislation framework enacted by new member countries of the European Union (EU), the characterization of municipal solid waste (MSW) represents an important instrument for local governments and sanitation operators in setting and achieving targets for waste recycling and recovery. This paper presents the results of a study conducted in accordance with the Romanian methodology for domestic wastes characterization ROMECOM, aiming to provide a proper basis for developing clear and realistic forecasts in current municipal waste management, based on MSW composition and generation rate. The analyzed MSW came both from areas where the waste is collected in mixed and separate ways, in urban and rural areas. The MSW composition by fraction is detailed for dense urban areas, urban areas, rural and touristic areas from Romania. Based on these results, the MSW composition was determined for the eight development regions in Romania, and a generation rate of 0.9·kgMSW inhabitant−1
for the urban region and 0.4·kgMSW inh−1
for the rural region was established. The calorific values of urban and rural areas were determined as 6801 kJ·kg−1
and 5613 kJ·kg−1
, respectively. In the perspective of sustainable development in this technical area, based on the obtained results and on the prognosis made for the following years, two proposals for urban and rural areas were developed for MSW treating options improvement. The two systems are characterized by selective collection (different efficiencies for urban and rural areas) with subsequent recovery of the separated materials and energy recovery of the residual waste in a large-scale waste to energy (WTE) plant.
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