Solid waste management (SWM) is an increasingly complex task, absorbing a huge amount of resources and having a major environmental impact. Computerized systems based on operations research techniques can help decision makers to achieve remarkable cost savings as well as to improve waste recovery. Nevertheless, the literature is quite scattered and disorganized. The objective of this paper is to present an updated survey of the most relevant operations research literature on SWM, mainly focusing on strategic and tactical issues. In addition to providing an extensive bibliographic coverage, we describe the relationships between the various problems, and outline future research. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.