Landfills worst choice, not incinerators

kepong-incineratorBy Sharifah Danisah Syed Ibrahim

The Kepong incinerator project has been hyped for a long time, but I feel fear is more central to the issue than common sense.

This is of course, helped by politicians always looking for more ways to become more famous in the eyes of the rakyat. We have to be careful.

Cities will have waste, Kuala Lumpur is just another city. It has millions of people, including foreigners, and people will produce waste.

So much discussion has taken place over the incinerator that those anti-this and anti-that people forget that without an incinerator we will have a bigger headache.

This article, woke me up “Clearing the air about waste-to-energy plants”.

My house is next to the Jalan Ipoh roundabout, so this is a paramount issue for me.

I have been following the anti-Kepong incinerator group, but I notice they have gotten quiet of late.

Even the very interested Serdang MP, Ong Kian Ming, has gone quiet. I am not surprised. Maybe he realises that the incinerator will be opened, with or without his support.

I am very surprised that a MP from a place outside Kuala Lumpur, like Serdang, has strong views about something not connected to him.

I have also read that there is a difference between incinerators and the more modern waste-to-energy plants. There are many such plants in France, Singapore and other developed countries, so it is not a new thing.

The problem with a landfill, which is what they will use if there is no incinerator, is that there will be more environmental damage.

Landfills produce toxin, leachates and methane. It is better to have an industrialised approach to waste rather than a backward solution like landfills. This will be bad for residents in Kepong and all the areas nearby.

The anti-incinerator team keeps harping on the dangers of incinerators but they are very silent about how landfills will increase and eventually take up too much space. That is not the only problem with landfills, as mentioned already, they harm the environment.

We are asked to hate incinerators so we can show our love for the environment, but landfills are against the environment too.

Of course, the anti-incinerator team will talk about the 3R (Recycling, Reusing and Reducing) but it is all talk only.

There is a very weak recycling culture in Malaysia, and the rich urban people are the minority in the city.

There are so many people and they will keep producing waste, and before it becomes too late with landfills, we have to show maturity and understanding by picking the better choice for the problem.

The politicians and the activists are always trying to get more attention, so they can become famous.

They are using this situation for themselves and not thinking from the perspective of the residents.

They are counting on the people just accepting their version of environment science knowledge without understanding that we are now going to accept landfills and still ruin the environment.

Sharifah Danisah Syed Ibrahim is an FMT reader.

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