© 2022 ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.This paper explores the economic, social, and technical dynamics affecting municipal solid waste (MSW) per capita in organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD) countries from 2003 to 2018. Static and dynamic panel data methods are followed for empirical analysis. According to the estimation results, there is an inverted-U-shaped relationship between economic growth and MSW. The turning point income level, where technological and structural effects occur, is calculated in the range of $20,000–$34,000. Human development and energy efficiency have mitigating effects on MSW. Energy efficiency and human development are critical for sustainable MSW management. Credit expansion has an increasing effect on MSW generation. Financial development draws attention as a negative indicator in sustainable waste management targets. All models confirm that income inequality has an increasing effect on MSW generation. In addition, poverty reduction is associated with an increase in MSW generation. Thus, income inequality and poverty reduction are a major constraint for sustainable MSW management. After all, the empirical findings of this paper can guide authorities in designing waste management policies.