Waste Management in Malaysia

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Waste Management in Malaysia


The production of waste in Malaysia has augmented significantly. Organic materials are a major portion of solid that is produced in the country. As a consequence of positive population growth and emission of waste, the land area will be more demanding and this will lead to the increased cost of the management of solid waste. Waste separation and organic composition can make up a good solution for the reduction of waste disposal. Public awareness is important in efforts to improve solid waste disposal. Malaysia is a tropical country that is made up of 329,843km2 (Noor, Yusuf, & Abba, 2015, p. 54).The population of Malaysia by 2012 was approximately 28 million and 80% of the population was living in Peninsula Malaysia while 20% of the total population resides in the Eastern part of the country. The daily municipal waste generation stands at 330,000 tons and this precedes the projected generation. As a result of the latter, the country dispossesses a total of 28,000 tons a day in the landfills. There is, therefore, need for vital landfills that are sustainable so as to avoid unwanted effects on human health.

The Ministry of construction has reported that the government has so far built 290 landfills and that 175 of them are still operational while 115 have been closed down as a result of insufficient space. The landfills then operate the environment at different degrees such as air pollution, water pollution, and sanitary challenges (Manaf , Samah, & Zukki, 2017, p. 56). Research shows that 50% of the generated waste is organic. Organic waste disposal is likely going to cause the anaerobic process to the environment, production of ethane and gas and all this would occur during the process of anaerobic digestion. ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

In the last 10 years, the management of municipal solid waste has been a challenge in the advancement plans all over the world. Malaysia is a good example of the few successful countries in this transition. The country is facing rapid industrialization and urbanization and this has resulted in adverse effects in the environment. Rapid industrialization has made Malaysia change its characteristics in management of waste. The solid waste has also been increased by the demand for improved quality of lifestyles (Fauziah & Simon, 2017, p. 23). The main objective of solid waste controlling is to lessen the quantity of waste that is created and consequently reduce the effects to the environment. The solid waste management that is practiced in the LDCs comes along with several adverse effects including low collection coverage, crude open dumping, and burning.

In the last decade, the creation of MSW amplified to more than 90%. In 2002, estimates show that 5.5 million tons of waste was produced while in capital cities the quantity amounted to 1.7kg per capita per day (Tan , Ho , & Hashim, 2016). The main point of waste generation is the main cities which contribute more than 65% of the total population. In the Kuala Lumpur, there is a high rate of waste generation which comes as a result of uncontainable consumption due to the huge population and attitudes towards expenditure and high living standards. Plastics, papers, and foods are the major gears of the solid waste in Malaysia whereby they cover about 80% of the total waste. The most obvious change in the composition of waste is the increase in the volume of plastics and paper (Kathirvale & Yunus, 2015, p. 45). Waste composition is also influenced by other factors like the geographical location, weather and the standards of living.

Characteristics of MSW Generation

In the meantime, poor management is a major challenge in Malaysia. In all aspects of solid waste administration, the important feature that should be considered is the characteristic of the waste that is generated.in describing the characteristics of the waste generated, we should consider the solid waste stream, composition and the types of waste produced (Johari, Ahmed, & Hashim, 2017). ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

Public Awareness

The way in which human beings respond to waste management is greatly influenced by their level of education. Public education is, therefore, an important factor as far as waste management is concerned. Environmental awareness in Malaysia is not adequate. The government of Malaysia has introduced a recycling campaign in the last 10 years. However, the campaigns have not been yielding so many fruits. Professionalism in solid waste management in Malaysia is also so weak and not adequately represented (Kadir & Yin, 2014, p. 54). There is a need to improve skills among practitioners in human waste management. The country is not in a position to hire professionals in waste management plan since the personnel required is not adequate. Lack of adequate skilled personnel in recent years has led to poor management of facilities in the country.

The Ongoing Waste Management Process

Most cities in South East Asia are not able to exercise improved waste supervision due to the shortcomings of several matters including technical and established facts and public contribution (Mohamed & Lee, 2014, p. 54). Residential waste produces only 30% of the total waste but the planners give so much weight to this type of waste and therefore forget the other sources of waste such as industries and institutional wastes.

The primary challenge in MSW management in the developing countries is disposal through the traditional filling of land. Landfilling fee is relatively low and there are also difficulties in the circulation and attraction in landfills (Fauziah & Simon, 2017, p. 52). Malaysia prefers to do waste management through the use of the landfill process. Most of the dumping sites in the country are an open area. Open dumping is the most preferred proves since it is the cheapest method and most common method of treating solid waste that possesses a high percentage of solid waste that has large amounts of the organic component (Manaf , Samah, & Zukki, 2017, p. 132). Open dumping gives the environment severe impacts such as contamination of surface and underground water, contamination of soil through direct contact with waste, bad smell in the dumping sites and the uncontrolled emission of methane by the decomposing solid waste. The practice of landfilling by a large extends affects the river water to the risk of contamination unless there is proper management of waste carried out. Up to date, there is very limited information concerning the effect of leachate from the controlled and uncontrolled landfills in rivers in Malaysia (Mohamed & Lee, 2014, p. 113).

Waste collection covers most communities in Malaysia but only an approximate of 66% of the rural areas are covered.  As a consequence, there is waste being dumped in the streets and this affects the community members (Noor, Yusuf, & Abba, 2015, p. 154). The situation also causes serious environmental and social threats which include flooding, breeding habitats for insects and also the spread of diseases/the table shown below shows the percentage of wastes treatment in Malaysia.

Currently, the country is managing 176 landfills and has in the recent past closed 115 of the landfills. With the increase in towns, the number of landfills is needed and the government is finding it hard to locate sites where they can ump the wastes because the neighboring communities are not in for the idea of the operation of new landfills in their midst (Noor, Yusuf, & Abba, 2015, p. 178).

The Malaysian government is only left with an option of mandatory recycling and imposition of fines for any incompliance .programs that disseminated recycling bins and hoped for the best have been commenced and halted in 2007..the government policies have been met with shock and ignorance hence making ending up to be a total failure. The government has however not given up but has continued to rally up once more (Tan , Ho , & Hashim, 2016, p. 178). The state is very serious on the matter of recycling waste. The most recent iteration of municipal solid waste management has been taken with a lot of seriousness and has been fully implemented in almost all areas. The mandatory waste separation program and the legal Act emphasize educating the Malaysians on how to separate recyclables from garbage and the rest of the work is left to the garbage collectors.

Generally, the authorities are responsible for solid waste management and precisely the local government. The responsibilities of the local authorities in waste management include the collection of the solid waste, treatment, and disposal of the waste, cleanliness of the local environment, landscaping, planning, licensing and enforcement of bylaws (Mohamed & Lee, 2014, p. 25).

There are also other authorities that are involved in solid waste management either directly or indirectly. For instance, the department of environment enforces the standards for discharges and emissions that the firms are supposed to make to the environment. Through the department of rural environment and sanitation, the ministry of health aids the implementation of solid waste management in some remote areas that are not currently serviced (Kathirvale & Yunus, 2015, p. 154). The economic planning which is under the department of prime minister is involved in the management of the solid waste throughout the state. In addition to the latter, these bodies have a major role in solid waste management like controlling the solid waste generators on the amount of waste that they are supposed to produce, the solid waste manufacturers, in this case, includes the factories and public. The most important group for solid waste management is the stakeholders, industries and businesses currently, the participation of waste generators in the solid waste management is not significant as there is no definite role for the stakeholders to participate.

Manufacturers also play a role that is not significant in the management of solid waste since are no definite policies or incentives for the reduction of waste products, recycling of the wastes or even reusing them. However, with the pressure from the government to keep up with the standards set by ISO 1400 and mostly for the agencies and individuals involved in the exportation of manufactured food (Kadir & Yin, 2014, p. 212).

There are some participants who are involved in recycling and reprocessing of the waste materials including paper, plastics, and aluminum among other materials. Many of these firms undertake these activities because of the returns they have on investment. However, there are no incentives clearly defined for recycling activities (Kadir & Yin, 2014, p. 132). The roles played by the public and other public interest groups are also not significant in solid waste management. Public awareness concerning solid waste management is at a very early stage. There is increased dumping of waste in townships, squatter areas and also the rural localities. The table below sows the percentage of waste treatment in Asia.

(Mohamed & Lee, 2014, p. 44).

Future Prospects for Solid Waste Management in Malaysia

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