The European waste management principles are laid down in EU documents. They also include specific targets that Member States have to fulfil within a certain period of time. The three most important documents in this field are the Waste Framework Directive, the Landfill Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. The provisions for municipal waste are defined in the Waste Framework Directive that sets the tasks to be completed by 2020. The comparison of performance indicators of Member States shows that there are significant differences. Having examined the relevant statistics, it is visible that the Central European countries (Visegrad4 countries) have similar performance. Their indexes are considerably below the top performers' ones. Therefore, it is useful to compare the public service waste management system of two groups above (top performers and V4 countries), because the municipal solid waste produces the most significant quantity and the most complex waste stream. The national waste management systems must conform to EU legislation; however there is a possibility for a free choice in the detailed rules. Through the comparison of the respective waste management systems the similarities and differences are analyzed in this paper.