‘Explore long and viable solution to reduce waste’

PETALING JAYA: Authorities should consider other options besides incinerators as a long-term solution to dispose waste in a cheaper, safer and cleaner manner, says a waste management expert.

Prof Dr P. Agamuthu from the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University said a long-term viable solution must be looked into to reduce the per capita waste generation.

“Maybe, it is time we considered the mechanical biological treatment (MBT) system first which is more suitable for Malaysian waste and climate, ” he said.

He argued that the MBT system, which is designed to process mixed household waste as well as commercial and industrial wastes, would be less costly compared to incinerators.

Persatuan Tindakan Alam Sekitar Kuala Langat secretary Pua Lay Peng said in order to reduce domestic waste, authorities should be firm and ban single-use plastics across the country.

“For domestic waste such as food, they can be recycled.

“However, for industrial waste, we have seen imports of solid waste which will become a problem and a burden to our environment.

“We also need strict action and enforcement on illegal dumping especially in hotspot areas such as Kuala Langat, ” she said.

Consumers’ Association of Penang president Mohideen Abdul Kader said it had been the group’s emphasis to minimise waste generation, through mindful consumption, whether it was things that we use or the food we consume.

“During the pandemic, we observed that online takeaways and single-use products or disposables had increased, contributing to the increased volume of waste generated, ” he said.

He reminded the public to prevent the use of unnecessary and avoidable products.

Greenpeace Malaysia Public Engagement Campaigner Nur Sakeenah Omar said the waste increase was most likely due to a spike in demand during holiday seasons.

Expert Cited