Invited Session: Resource Management and Waste Diversion
Waste Management in Malaysia: Towards a Holistic Approach (0.5 CEU)
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
9:00 – 9:30
Moderator: Christof Delatter, Coördinator Interafval, VVSG, Belgium
Inadequate solid waste management has become a significant public health, economic and environmental concern around the world. In 2016, Malaysia produced an average of 38,000 tonnes of solid waste daily, which include 15,000 tonnes of food waste. Therefore, the Malaysian government is committed to improve the quality solid waste management over the last decade.
In 2007, the Government passed the Solid Waste Management Act, shifting executive authority on solid waste management and public cleansing in Peninsular Malaysia from the local authorities to the federal government. The Act sets Malaysia on the path towards a sustainable waste-management model with the comprehensive reuse, reduce, and recycle (3R) approach. The household waste separation has been enforced under the Act which contributed to the increased of Malaysia’s recycling rate in 2016 to 17.49 percent compared to 10.5 percent in 2012 and minimising the amount of solid waste for final disposal.
It earmarks waste as an economic value, diverting it from traditional landfill sites to other streams as resources and a potential energy resource. At the same time well-engineered intermediate treatment and disposal has been introduced to increase recovery and environmental protection. However, the success of the best practices implementation in solid waste management depends on the mind-set and behaviour transformation of all stakeholders in the value chain. Thus, the government has taken numerous initiatives to drive awareness of the sustainable waste-management model.
Among the initiatives are recycling and environmental clubs at thousands of schools across the country to educate students on the importance and long-term ramifications of the 3R programme. In addition to that, the government also support and facilitate public private partnership in the solid waste management industry, such as partnership to build an integrated waste management facility.
Through sustainable consumption, wastage can be minimised, thus reducing waste management cost and building a stronger economy within the local community. The transition of an effective solid waste management policy and legislation documented in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (2016–2020) has shown that Malaysia is on the right path towards sustainable solid waste management.