Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Malaysians churn out 12,000 tonnes of refuse daily

Malaysians discard an estimated 12,000 tonnes of refuse a day, and that amount is expected to keep on increasing if people do not start recycling, according to the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation.

Chief Executive Officer Datuk Zaini Md Nor said the waste generated daily could reach 30,000 tonnes by 2020.

"Landfills are shrinking while waste is increasing by the day. If not managed well, the situation would give rise to pollution and spread of diseases," he told reporters after handing over bank account books for the Recycle Bank Programme at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan St Paul here today.

He said the breakdown of refuse composition showed food waste as being the highest at 45 per cent, followed by plastic, paper, metal and glass.

About 75 per cent of refuse was collected by private companies or concessionaires while 25 per cent was disposed of in other ways, including illegally into rivers or certain sites.

Zaini said that over the next three years, the corporation aimed to educate the public on the importance of taking care of the environment and improving the cleaning of drains.

The one-year Recycle Bank Programme, organised for schools in Negeri Sembilan with the cooperation of the state education department, SWM Environment Sdn Bhd and Maybank Berhad, would involve 341 primary and 127 secondary schools in the Seremban area alone.

SMK St Paul Seremban was the pioneer of the programme, which uses the principles of 3R (recycle, reuse and reduce), to encourage students to separate waste.

The programme involves students collecting recyclable waste. Proceeds of the sale would be deposited into their bank accounts as an incentive to recycle.

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