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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

COVID-19 and municipal solid waste (MSW) management: a review

Das, Atanu Kumar; Islam, Md. Nazrul; Billah, Md. Morsaline; Sarker, Asim


Municipal solid waste (MSW) represents an inevitable by-product of human activity and a major crisis for communities across the globe. In recent times, the recycling of MSW has drawn attention as the process can add value through resources from the recovered waste materials and facilitates the process of circular economy. However, during the unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the risk of infection with the highly contagious virus has proven detrimental to the continuation of MSW as a valuable resource. The volume of waste, especially household waste, is higher; face masks, PPE (personal protective equipment), and hazardous materials such as batteries and empty chlorine bottles are examples of extra waste that have arisen during the pandemic. Various countries have set up initiatives for MSW management, including safety measurements for employees in the MSW management sector. The use of disinfectant prior to sorting waste, as well as storing waste for 9 days, may help to inactivate the COVID-19 virus, ensuring an appropriate safety level for MSW management. This work aimed at studying different MSW management strategies, specific challenges, and possible solutions for better understanding for those involved in waste management, in addition to providing a possible management strategy during and post-COVID-19 pandemic.


Municipal solid waste (MSW); COVID-19 pandemic; MSW management strategy and challenges; Occupational health

Published in

Environmental Science and Pollution Research
2021, volume: 28, number: 13, pages: 28993-29008

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Islam, Md. Nazrul
Khulna University
Billah, Md. Morsaline
Khulna University
Sarker, Asim
Umea University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)