Reduce, reuse and recycle to save resources and boost the lifespan of landfills

Posted on November 4, 2010. Filed under: Waste |

-The Star-
SARAWAKIANS have been urged to practise the 3R concept of reduce, reuse and recycle to overcome the generation of voluminous amounts of waste in the state.

Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said the waste generated per Sarawakian per day had increased tremendously.

He said that urban dwellers generated 0.6kg to 0.98kg of waste per person per day compared to rural folks who generated less than 0.5kg.

Outstanding: Awang Tengah presenting an award to Telaga Tiga manager Nur Khatizah Abdullah at the event in Kuching.

In Kuching (600,000 population), about 500 tonnes of waste was generated per day, he noted.

Speaking at the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Environmental Award presentation ceremony in Kuching on Tuesday, Wong said the figure was based on waste disposed at the Kuching Integrated Waste Management Park in Mambong by the Padawan Municipal Council, Kuching City South Council and Kuching City North Commission.

The minister said the waste consisted of 40% to 50% kitchen waste, 20% plastics and 30% mixed waste of other composition.

He said the increasing waste would shorten the life span of landfills.

“The state cannot afford to establish new landfills due to financial constraints in managing and treating the huge volume,” he said.

Wong said that reducing waste by composting kitchen waste could save 40% to 50% of space in landfills. By not disposing plastic bags in landfills, up to 20% of its space could be saved, he added.

Reusing items could save another 5% to 10% of the space while recycling could save a further 10%, he added.

“This will leave only 10% of waste for the landfills,” he said.

Wong said the 3Rs not only saved space but also prolonged the lifespan of landfills and saved huge amounts of resources for the state.

He urged all relevant authorities and local councils to promote composting in the public.

“Introduce the Takakura home composting method which had been implemented successfully in the Philippines and Indonesia to address chronic household waste problems,” he said.

On electronic waste or e-waste, he said that one of the best options was recycling.

“It has been reported that e-waste management is worth RM2bil annually in Malaysia and that 350 grammes of gold can be extracted from one tonne of e-waste.

“I would like to encourage industry players in Sarawak to venture into e-waste management,” he said.


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