Garbage disposal a heavy load for the authorities

Posted on November 1, 2010. Filed under: Waste |

-The Star-

KUALA LUMPUR: Residents here produce 2,100 tonnes of garbage per day, 63,000 tonnes per month and 756,000 tonnes per year. The waste is sent to the Bukit Tagar landfill about 50km from the city.

Many do not know the amount of work and money that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Housing and Local Government Ministry puts into disposing the garbage.

The “journey” begins at 7am for Alam Flora Sdn Bhd workers as they collect waste from houses and designated bin points. It is then taken to the Taman Beringin transfer station in Kepong at about 11am.

At the station, the garbage is placed into huge trailers and taken to the Bukit Tagar landfill.

The landfill began operations in 2005 and is expected to last another 35 years. It has a capacity of 120 million tonnes of air space and occupies 1,700 acres. It was built after the closure of the Taman Beringin landfill.

Solid Waste Management Depart-ment director-general Datuk Dr Nadzri Yahya said RM35 per tonne is paid to the Taman Beringin transfer station and RM28.80 per tonne at the Bukit Tagar landfill.

“Collection and public cleansing by Alam Flora costs RM9.4mil for domestic and commercial wastes and the collection alone works up to RM5.3mil a month,” he added.

The task of maintaining a landfill is not easy.

At the end of each day, the waste has to be covered by soil while the gas produced has to be collected to produce electricity or flares.

The department is mulling other types of waste treatment facilities like the thermal treatment plant, which uses heat to treat waste.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said that if incinerators and modern technology on the management of solid waste were in place, the lifespan of the landfills could be extended by more than 20 years,”

“Sixteen of the 292 landfields in the country had been closed because they were full.”

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