Basing on the new developed direct shear testing instrument and the tri-axial test instrument with large scale specimen, the shear strength parameters of municipal solid waste has been studied. The municipal solid waste is divided into three parts: the material that is easy to be biodegraded, reinforced material that is difficult to be biodegraded and the incompressible solid waste material. The proportions of these three parts are selected as 80%, 5% and 15%, respectively. A series of laboratory tests have been performed for different initial void ratios, different vertical pressures and different confining pressures applied on the test specimen. Testing results show that the initial void ratio is the main influence factor for the shear strength parameters of the municipal solid waste, the relationship between the shear stress and the shear strain is a strain hardening curve, the shear stress increases gradually with the shear strain. Besides, the principle effective stress increases with the axial strain and the confining pressure in a hardening increasing trend, and the principle effective stress decreases with the increase of the initial void ratio of the municipal solid waste. The shear strength shows a linear relationship to the vertical pressure applied on the test specimen, and it is in accordance with the law of coulomb. According to the testing results of the direct shear test and the tri-axial test, the shear strength parameters are obtained. The cohesion varies from 4.7 to 12.2kPa, and the internal friction angle varies from 14.5 to 28.2 degree.