Solid Wastes Management in Malaysia
It was reported in one of the local dailies that about 1 billion are being spent annually in Solid Waste
Management in Malaysia.
The following are highlighted:-
- About 30% to 80% of Local Authority’s Revenues are being used for Solid Waste Management, compared with
about 20% to 50% globally in other countries.
- The Solid Wastes generated daily in Malaysia was recorded at 17,000 tons in 2002, 19,000 tons in 2005, and
estimated to be 30,000 tons in 2020.
- That the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Act 2007 is to be implemented in 2011, and by 2013, Local
Authorities' Solid Wastes will be taken over by the National Solid Waste Management.
Solid Wastes collection and disposal is a big business the world over. If in 2010 it costs 1
billion then in 2020, it would cost about 1.5 billion, and rising!!
Solid Wastes Collection & Disposal, Treatment of Leachate & Gas, Covered up, Operation and Long
term Maintenance are just way too expensive. Isn't there a better and cheaper solution to solve
our rubbish problems, which is draining 1 billion of our money every year and rising.
Maintenance of a Covered MSW Sanitary Landfill is like forever? The Gas and the Leachate are the problems. Say a
Landfill can be used for 20 years, then after covering up, the operation and maintenance of leachate plant last
forever until the whole rubbish rots to nothing in the next 50 to 100 years. It is said that leachate will
stop flowing after covering up, but this is doubtful especially with tropical weather, and the quality of
The problem with us is we always assume western technology and systems are the best, so our engineers just
need to look to overseas technology to find the "best" solution to our problems. Never in our mind would we
dare to venture and design our own "oxidation pond", primitive, cheap but workable. Our climate and environment is
different and our land database huge, our primary root is agriculture. We dare not look beyond what others had
done, little knowing that we could come up with a better and cheaper solution if only our engineers and executive
managers are more creative and dare to test alternative methods of treatment.
It is just difficult to comprehend why we should spend 1 billion a year on things we throw out from our
house every day? Maybe we should be creative, and instead pay the house owner not to produce so much
garbage, make it a yearly tax deductable item, surely we will throw less and less. So instead of putting 1 billion
into the earth, put 50% back to our own pockets instead.
Sounds good or just rubbish talk ??
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Authur- Philip Goh (B.Sc, MIEM, P.Eng. MICE,
MEC Engineers, Civil & Structural Engineer