The Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) has increased the target for recycling rate in the seven states under its supervision to 40 per cent by 2025.
SWCorp director (Research and Technology Division) Ir Zulkifli Tamby Chik is confident of achieving the target following the positive development with the increase in the collection of recycled goods, apart from having reached the target of 30 percent this year.
“Based on our data, there has been a significant increase in recycling collection in 2020 compared with 2019.
Zulkifli said the positive trend was also significant during implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) since last March, attributing it to better awareness on recycling among the public , hence reducing the amount of solid waste that was sent to landfills.
“Despite the closure of other services (such as recycling centres) during the MCO, there has been an increase in the items for recycling, and the driving force for the increase is the public’s role,” he added.
The positive development also helped to reduce solid waste generation by 40 per cent during MCO, which was 582,585 tonnes, to 343,061 tonnes after the MCO.
“During the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period, the solid waste generation dropped to 209,207 tonnes and during the Recovery MCO (RMCO), it further dropped to 166,058 tonnes (as of June 30),” he added.
He also attributed the drop to the closure of the commercial and industrial sectors since the MCO was enforced.
Asked whether SWCorp expects the amount of solid waste generation to drop after RMCO, Zulkifli said that would depend on the public’s attitude in maintaining the positive practices.
“The government spends almost RM1.9 billion a year to collect, manage and clean solid waste. If the positive trend (reduction of solid waste generation) is maintained, it can also save the country’s expenses, as well as contribute to environmental sustainability,” he added.
Meanwhile, Zulkifli said SWCorp would also expand and enhance the use of solid waste management technology and public cleansing in ensuring high quality service and cost effective management.
“We cannot rely on landfills because there are already too many and saturated landfills in Malaysia, so we need to have a strategy and comprehensive action plan by having facilities to convert solid waste to energy, as well as treatment of building waste and food waste,” he added.
There are currently four landfills with mini incinerators , namely Langkawi, Pangkor, Cameron Highlands and Tioman Island, he added.
“SWCorp also intends to explore development in the field of food waste treatment using the Anaerobic Digester technology as it is the largest composition of solid waste in Malaysia, at 44.5 percent,” he said.
SWCorp is responsible for regulating solid waste management and public cleansing in the seven states that adopt the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act 2007 (Act 672), namely Kedah, Perlis, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor .
It also regulates the disposal of solid waste at the Tertak Batu Landfill in Terengganu. — BERNAMA