Istanbul, with a population of around 13 million people, is located between Europe and Asia and is the biggest city in Turkey. Metropolitan Istanbul produces about 14,000 tons of solid waste per day. The aim of this study was to assess the situation of municipal solid-waste (MSW) management in Istanbul. This was achieved by reviewing the quantity and composition of waste produced in Istanbul. Current requirements and challenges in relation to the optimization of Istanbul's MSW collection and management system are also discussed, and several suggestions for solving the problems identified are presented. The recovery of solid waste from the landfills, as well as the amounts of landfill-generated biogas and electricity, were evaluated. In recent years, MSW management in Istanbul has improved because of strong governance and institutional involvement. However, efforts directed toward applied research are still required to enable better waste management. These efforts will greatly support decision making on the part of municipal authorities. There remains a great need to reduce the volume of MSW in Istanbul. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.