This paper focuses on waste management and waste to energy (WTE) for district heating in S. Korea. The chemical formula for the materials disposed of in volume base waste fee (VBWF) bags that are processed in WTE plants was calculated as: C 6 H 9.9 O 2.3 , with a heat of formation of 27.6 MJ/kg. The average heating value for the 35 WTE plants was 9.7 MJ/kg, and the average amount of energy recovered was calculated at 1.5 MWh/ton waste processed. 22 of the 35 WTE plants comply with the limits of the R1 formula for energy recovery plants (R1 > 0.61), as introduced by the EU. It was estimated that 8% of the district heating demand is provided by WTE in S. Korea. WTE plants can contribute to about 0.6% to the total electricity demand of S. Korea and aid the efforts of the nation to phase out the dependence on fossil fuels. The average dioxin emissions of all WTE plants were 0.005 ng TEQ/Nm 3 (limit:0.1 ng TEQ/Nm 3), and most of the other pollutants examined indicated a tenfold to hundred-fold lower emissions than the national and the EU standards. S. Korea indicated an improved performance in sustainable waste management, with combined recycling/ composting and WTE rates of about 80%, as compared to the average of the EU-28 with 65%, and the US with 36.5%, even if the EU and the US had higher GDP/capita (PPP) than S. Korea.