East coast states lack proper waste management, says Zuraida

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin during the visit to the Bukit Tagar Sanitary Landfill, managed by the Berjaya Group.

HULU SELANGOR: Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin is discussing with the Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang state governments to upgrade their solid waste management systems.

She said the menteris besar have voiced their concern as these states don’t have a proper and systematic solid waste disposal system to meet standards set by the Department of Environment.

Zuraida noted that several states have not signed an agreement with the federal government under the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672).

These were Kelantan, Terengganu, Selangor, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Perak and Perlis.

Act 672 is only enforced in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Kedah and Perlis.

This act regulates the proper management of solid waste.

“Even though they have not signed to come under this act, it is the ministry’s responsibility to ensure the country is clean and that an effective solid waste management system is in place in all states.”

Zuraida said that it would be up to the states to find their own concessionaires to collect the rubbish, so long as the waste management is effective.

She was speaking to reporters after a site-visit to the Bukit Tagar Sanitary Landfill (BTSL), managed by the Berjaya Group.

She said the BTSL can be a model for better solid waste management in the country.

She said this 688ha sanitary landfill has been identified as a possible centre to manage solid waste for the whole of Malaysia.

She said the landfill can accommodate 600 million tonnes of solid waste. It is capable of managing the 5,000 tonnes of daily waste produced in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor for 65 years.

The BTSL also has a 500-metre buffer zone from nearby developments.

It has proper leachate collection and treatment facilities, together with a landfill gas management system that also generates renewable energy.

The electricity produced is supplied to the national grid by Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

However, Zuraida said there was still a need to look into effective disposal of other solid waste such as scrap metal, clothing materials, electronic appliances and used cars.

“Different technologies are needed to handle the different types of waste. We need to study how we can benefit from this large area that has been identified as a centre to manage solid waste in the country.”

She added that the ministry will form a committee in the next two weeks to look into fully utilising the BTSL for this purpose.