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Municipal Solid Waste Management in Malaysia: Current Practices, Challenges and Prospects

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Over the past decade, generation of municipal solid wastes (MSW) in Malaysia has increased more than 91%. However, MSW management in Malaysia can be considered relatively poor and disorganised. The most preferred of MSW disposal method in Malaysia is through landfilling due to several factors. This method is not sustainable and brings a lot of problems. This paper reviews the characteristics of Malaysian MSW, reports the current practices of MSW management, and provides some suggestions to improve MSW management system in Malaysia.
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62:1 (2013) 95101 | www.jurnalteknologi.utm.my | eISSN 21803722 | ISSN 01279696
Full paper
Jurnal
Teknologi
Municipal Solid Waste Management in Malaysia: Current Practices,
Challenges and Prospect
Mohd Dinie Muhaimin Samsudina, Mashitah Mat Dona*
aSchool of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang
*Corresponding author: chmashitah@eng.usm.my
Article history
Received :21 November 2012
Received in revised form :
14 March 2013
Accepted :15 April 2013
Graphical abstract
Year
Kuala Lumpur
Population
Solid Waste
Generated
(tons/day)
1998
1 446 803
2257
2000
1 787 000
3070
2005
2 150 000
3478
Abstract
Over the past decade, generation of municipal solid wastes (MSW) in Malaysia has increased more than
91%. However, MSW management in Malaysia can be considered relatively poor and disorganised. The
most preferred of MSW disposal method in Malaysia is through landfilling due to several factors. This
method is not sustainable and brings a lot of problems. This paper reviews the characteristics of Malaysian
MSW, reports the current practices of MSW management, and provides some suggestions to improve
MSW management system in Malaysia.
Keywords: Municipal solid wastes (MSW); MSW management; waste to energy; renewable energy
Abstrak
Beberapa dekad yang lepas, penghasilan sisa pepejal awam di Malaysia telah meningkat lebih dari 91%.
Bagaimanapun, pengurusan sisa pepejal awam di Malaysia boleh dianggap buruk dan tidak teratur secara
umumnya. Langkah bagi pelupusan sisa pepejal awam yang paling mendapat pilihan adalah melalui tapak
pelupusan sampah disebabkan beberapa faktor. Kertas ini menyemak ciri-ciri sisa pepejal di Malaysia,
melaporkan praktik semasa dalam pengurusan sisa pepejal, dan memberi beberapa cadangan bagi
memperbaiki sistem pengurusan sisa pepejal awam di Malaysia.
Kata kunci: Sisa pepejal awam; pengurusan sisa pepejal awam; sisa ke tenaga; tenaga boleh diperbaharui
© 2013 Penerbit UTM Press. All rights reserved.
1.0 INTRODUCTION
Municipal solid waste management (MSW) becomes a great
challenge in development plans throughout the world, especially
in rapidly growing cities. Malaysia is one of the most successful
countries in transition. Steady economic growth and low
unemployment rates driven by stable political conditions and
plenty of resources making Malaysia on a par as developed
country [1]. Malaysia is experiencing rapid industrialisation and
urbanisation giving the adverse effects on the environment from
the increasing of waste generated [2]. Similar to many other
countries, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation also have
changed the characteristics of Malaysian solid waste generated
[3]. Besides, waste generation rates also increase due to the
demand of Malaysian for quality of life increases.
The main purpose of waste management is to reduce the
amount of waste being produced, and as consequence reducing
the disposal costs, the impact on the environment [4], and the
impact on human health [5]. The typical solid waste
management system practiced in developing country brings
many problems [3]: (i) low collection coverage and irregular
collection services; (ii) crude open dumping and burning
without air and water pollution control; and (iii) the breeding of
vermin and flies.
This paper attempts to review the situation of MSW
management in Malaysia. With this aim, this paper seeks to: (i)
identify generation, composition, sources, and types of MSW in
Malaysia, (ii) the current practices of MSW management in
Malaysia, as well as studies problems and challenges that arise,
and (iii) identify the future prospects and potentials for
development of sustainable MSW management system in
Malaysia.
2.0 MALAYSIAN MSW GENERATION AND
CHARACTERISTICS
At present, poor solid waste management become the prime
environmental problem in Malaysia [6]. In all aspect of solid
waste management system, the fundamental aspect that needs to
be considered is the characteristics of solid wastes generated [3].
In characterizing solid waste stream, solid waste should be
described by generation rates, composition, sources, and types
of waste produced [7]. These information is necessary in order
96 Mohd Dinie & Mashitah Mat Don / Jurnal Teknologi (Sciences & Engineering) 62:1 (2013), 95101
to monitor and control waste management systems as well as to
make decisions regarding regulatory, financial, and institutional
actions.
Over the past 10 years, generation of Malaysia MSW has
increased more than 91% [8]. In 2001, estimated 5.475 million
tons of solid waste generated which is about 0.81 kg/capita/day
[9] while in main cities, the figure escalated to 1.7 kg/capita/day
[10]. The highest average generation rate per capita of MSW
was reported in Penang at 1.1 kg/capita/day [11]. A report found
that about 7.34 million tons of solid wastes were generated in
Penang on 2006, enough to fill up 42 buildings [6].
The main waste generator is the urban population which is
constitutes more than 65% of the total population [8]. In 1980,
Malaysia population was 13,136,109, increasing to 17,563,420
in 1991, 22,198,276 in 2000, and 27,565,821 in 2010 [12]. In
the Capital City of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, waste generation
rate is growing every year due to uncontrollable consumption as
the population increases, attitude towards spending and high
living standard [6]. MSW generation rate in Kuala Lumpur for
1998-2005 and relationship between population and generation
rate of MSW is shown Table 1. It is undoubtedly shows that
MSW generation rate is proportional to the number of
population.
Table 1 MSW generated in Kuala Lumpur for 1998-2005 [6]
Year
Kuala Lumpur
Population
Solid Waste Generated
(tons/day)
1998
1 446 803
2257
2000
1 787 000
3070
2005
2 150 000
3478
Foods, papers and plastics found to be the major
components of Malaysia MSW where it covers 80% of overall
weight. These characteristics reflect the nature and lifestyle of
Malaysian. As economy and urbanization of a country growing,
waste composition changes. Significant increase in paper and
plastic composition is the most obvious change [7]. The
composition of waste (percentage of wet weight) in Malaysia for
1975-2005 is tabulated in Table 2.
Table 2 The composition of waste (percentage of wet weight) in
Malaysia for 1975-2005 [6]
Waste
Composition
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
Organic
63.7
54.4
48.3
48.4
45.7
43.2
44.8
Paper
7.0
8.0
23.6
8.9
9.0
23.7
16.0
Plastic
2.5
0.4
9.4
3.0
3.9
11.2
15.0
Glass
2.5
0.4
4.0
3.0
3.9
3.2
3.0
Metal
6.4
2.2
5.9
4.6
5.1
4.2
3.3
Textiles
1.3
2.2
NA
NA
2.1
1.5
2.8
Wood
6.5
1.8
NA
NA
NA
0.7
6.7
Others
0.9
0.3
8.8
32.1
4.3
12.3
8.4
Waste composition also influenced by other several
external factors including geographical location, the standard of
living, energy sources and weather [7,9]. The correlation of
waste generation rate and Malaysian lifestyle was reported by
Yusof et al. [13] as follows:
W = 1.120 0.125(DO) + 0.191(FS)
where
W : total daily residential waste
(kg/household/day)
DO : frequency of dining out
FS : family size
The sources of MSW in Malaysia vary for each local
authority area depending on city size and economic standards. In
central and southern regions of Malaysia, 36.73% of wastes are
household waste, 28.34% industrial and construction wastes,
and 34.93% of waste comes from other sources [2]. The
percentage of wastes generated by various sectors in Kuala
Lumpur in 2003 is shown in Table 3.
Table 3 Waste generated by various sectors in Kuala Lumpur in 2003
[10]
Sectors
Waste Generation
(ton/day)
Percentage (%)
Residential
647.1
33.6
Industry
253.4
13.2
Commercial
244.1
12.7
Office
68.9
3.6
Market
67.8
3.5
Hospital
17.5
0.9
Wood Waste Road
143.9
7.5
Wood Waste Park
23.7
1.2
Wood Waste
Fallen Tree
71.5
3.7
Others
386.2
20.1
Total
1924.0
100.0
3.0 PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES
3.1 Public Awareness, Environmental Education, and
Technical Skills
The way humans respond and co-operate on waste management
issues is influenced by their education [5], therefore, the
public’s education is an essential element of the success of any
waste management program [14]. In Malaysia, environmental
awareness among the public generally is still not adequate. In
1988, The Government of Malaysia had introduced the Action
Plan for a Beautiful and Clean (ABC) Malaysia, followed by a
recycling campaign in consecutive years. However, the
campaigns do not lead to a positive result due to minimal
responses from the public [8]. In 2001, a recycle campaign has
been launched in Penang State with the aim to encourage
Penang residents to recycle at least 1% of their daily waste
generated. However, the campaign with the motto of
“Kembalikan Sinar kepada Pulau Mutiara” (Restore the Shine to
the Pearl of the Orient) had not made a positive impact on
Penang’s waste management problem. The recycle bins had
been misused where about 40-60% of the contents were found to
be non-recycle items [11]. Generally, Malaysian still have very
low awareness on the importance of involvement in recycling
programs.
On the other hand, professionalism in Malaysia solid waste
industry is relatively weak and poorly represented. Skills and
knowledge among practitioner in solid waste management at all
levels still need to be improved. Malaysia is still not capable to
planning, designing, constructing and managing of solid waste
management facilities and services due to insufficient number of
personnel and technical capabilities. As the result, the lack of
solid waste planning and financial investment in recent years
has led to inadequate and poorly operated facilities [15].
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3.2 Current Solid Waste Management
Many cities in Southeast Asia unable to practice good waste
management due to shortcoming of several matter including
institutional, financial, technical, regulatory, knowledge, and
public participation [9]. Despite residential waste represents
only about 30% of overall MSW, solid waste planners tend to
give more attention on this type of waste [7]. A good MSW
management should cover waste generated from other sources
such as commercial, industrial, institutional, and municipal
services as well.
The main challenges in MSW management in developing
country are [16]: (i) disposal via traditional landfilling is
preferable (mainly due to financial, social, and technical
factors); (ii) landfill tipping fees is relatively low; (iii) technical
challenge; and (iv) difficulties with leachate recirculation and
gas attraction in landfills. In Malaysia, the preferred method
practiced for the disposal of MSW is through landfill [3,17] and
most of the sites are open dumping areas [3]. Open dumping
landfill is preferable due to it is the cheapest cost and most
common method to treat solid waste with high percentage of
organic components [9]. Open dumping gives a lot of severe
impacts on environment such as [9]: (i) surface and groundwater
contamination through leachate, (ii) soil contamination through
direct waste contact or leachate, (iii) air pollution through
burning of wastes, (iv) spreading of diseases by different vectors
like birds, insects and rodents, (v) odour in landfills, and (vi)
uncontrolled release of methane by anaerobic decomposition of
waste. Practicing landfill for disposal greatly exposed river
water to the risk of contamination from leachate unless proper
leachate management is carried out. To date, very limited data
on the impact of leachate from controlled and uncontrolled
landfills on river in Malaysia is accessible [17].
Besides, waste collection almost covers all communities in
urban areas, but only about 66% of the populations in rural areas
of Malaysia are covered [1]. As consequences, in rural areas,
wastes being dumped on the streets and drains. This situation
brings serious environmental and social threats like flooding,
breeding of insects and rodent vectors and the spread of diseases
[18]. Table 4 shows the percentage of waste treatment method
applied in Malaysia.
Table 4 Waste treatment methods practiced in Malaysia [8]
Treatment Methods
Percentage (%)
2002
2006
Target 2020
Recycling
5.0
5.5
22.0
Composting
0.0
1.0
8.0
Incineration
0.0
0.0
16.8
Inert landfill
0.0
3.2
9.1
Sanitary landfill
5.0
30.9
44.1
Other disposal sites
90.0
59.4
0.0
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
Currently, 176 landfills are in operation, while 114 have
been closed [19]. The number of solid waste disposal sites in all
state in Malaysia is tabulated in Table 5. As urban areas expand,
new appropriate landfill sites are becoming more difficult to be
located because communities are not willing to accept operation
of new landfill site near their residence [9].
Table 5 Number of solid waste disposal sites in Malaysia [19]
States
Landfills In
Operation
Landfills Have
Been Closed
Johor
15
21
Kedah
10
5
Kelantan
13
4
Melaka
2
5
Negeri Sembilan
8
10
Pahang
19
13
Perak
18
11
Perlis
1
1
Pulau Pinang
2
1
Sabah
21
1
Sarawak
49
12
Selangor
8
12
Terengganu
9
11
Federal Territories
1
7
Total
176
114
290
4.0 FUTURE PROSPECT AND POTENTIAL ON MSW
MANAGEMENT IN MALAYSIA
When designing a waste management system, Malaysian’s need
must be recognised. Their needs may be vary for different
housing types and different areas [20]. Generally, sustainable
waste management is influenced by six factors [5,21]: (i) public
health; (ii) environmental protection; (iii) resource value of
waste; (iv) closing the loop; (v) institutional and responsibility
issues; and (vi) public awareness. The Selangor State
Government became a pioneer in preparing the first sustainable
development strategy at the sub-national level in 2000 [22].
Typically, the conventional waste management approach,
waste generation, collection and disposal systems are planned
separately whereas the three operations are very closely inter-
linked and can influence each other. Duly, a balance between
the subsystem of manufacturing, transport system, land use
patterns, urban growth and development, and public health
should be considered when planning these operations [23].
In order to achieve genuine progress towards sustainability,
it is necessary to propose and develop targets of a sustainable
environment [24]. The targets can be an impetus for MSW
management and improvement provided that they are
achievable, reasonable and desirable [24,25]. Otherwise, they
can give negative effects and jeopardise the waste management.
Therefore, the targets proposed should have clear vision and
objectives, devoid of any political agenda or interference [24].
However, from time to time, environmental knowledge and
waste management changing, therefore, the targets as well as
standards need to be modified accordingly [24].
4.1 Improve Public Behaviour, Awareness, and Education
In minimizing MSW, understanding public behaviour is critical.
Lack of knowledge among the society and social norms often
the significant obstacles that negatively affect solid waste
practices [26]. The public’s willingness to cooperate and
participate in waste management relies on their awareness and
attitude [18]. Socio-economic status and housing characteristics
of the population not only affect the MSW characteristics, but
also their behaviour on solid waste management [20]. Age,
ethnicity, education and knowledge, attitude, skills, aspirations,
and ability to change behaviour are the factors influencing
Malaysian environmental behavior [11,20]. A study found that
the Malaysian teenage girls are more likely to display stronger
concern on environmental issues than boys and Chinese
98 Mohd Dinie & Mashitah Mat Don / Jurnal Teknologi (Sciences & Engineering) 62:1 (2013), 95101
teenagers were found to have better environmental awareness
compared to Malay and Indians. However, in general, the
overall level of knowledge of Malaysian teenagers is low,
especially those studying in the arts stream compared to those
studying in the sciences stream [27].
Improving Malaysian awareness should be given the
highest priority. Environmental attitudes, behaviors and
participation are highly influenced by knowledge. Thus, there is
a possibility to increase public consumption behavior if public
environmental awareness is improved [27]. The most effective
method of educating public differs according to location, types
of waste management system in use, and socio-economic factors
[14]. Therefore, any education and awareness campaign planned
should take these factors into account for maximum
effectiveness. The decision of public education approach and
methods should be tailored to the target persons to ensure its
effectiveness [27]. Policies should be formulated to focus on
promoting knowledge, education, and skills on environmental
friendly waste management.
4.2 Waste Prevention and Minimisation
The best preference for waste management is by preventing and
minimising the waste from generated. The main barrier in waste
prevention is the confusion of public that waste prevention and
minimisation is equivalent to recycling [28]. There are two
principles in minimising wastes: firstly reducing the quantity of
waste generated, and secondly adopting effective system to
manage unavoidable waste [4]. The benefits of waste reduction
activities are preventing the waste generation and reducing cost
for waste management including cost for waste recycling,
transportation, and disposal [29]. Since this the only way to
reduce the growth of waste amount, waste prevention should
have the highest priority in waste strategy [30].
4.3 Waste Recycling and Composting
The lowest hierarchy in product recovery is recycling [31].
Implementation of recycle campaign is a way to reduce waste
disposal problem. Recycling is cheaper and more
environmentally friendly alternative than seeking new landfill
site, and capable to extend the lifespan of the existing landfill.
Besides, the program is more economical by substituting raw
materials with used materials, conserves energy, and creates
jobs [11,20].
To ensure the successful of recycling, people must know
how to recycle and be motivated to recycle. The procedures also
must be convenient, inexpensive, and with less barriers [20]. It
is estimated that, about 65% of the municipal disposed at
landfill daily is recyclable materials [11]. Table 6 shows the
recyclable components of Kuala Lumpur MSW. Waste
recycling targeted to reach 22% of the waste generated in Kuala
Lumpur by 2020. Besides recycling activity, the recycling
industry in Malaysia still need to be enhanced since the
Malaysian’s attitude towards recycling shows positive sign but
only few recycling industry is available [6].
Table 6 Recyclable components of Kuala Lumpur MSW in 2009 [6]
Recyclable
Solid Waste
Components
Mass
(kg/capital/year)
Percentage
(%)
Recycling
rate
(tons/year)
Mix paper
35.59
16.50
14235.00
Mix plastic
61.87
15.30
24747.00
Textile
7.12
1.30
2847.00
Rubber and
leather
3.29
0.60
1314.00
Wood
2.19
0.40
876.00
Yard
25.73
4.70
10293.00
Fine
3.83
0.70
1533.00
Glass
6.57
1.20
2628.00
Ferrous
13.14
2.40
5256.00
Aluminium
0.55
0.10
219.00
One of the primary barriers to improve waste management
for householders were related to the accessibility of recycling
and waste management facilities. Studies found that,
householders more willing to undertake recycling if they felt it
was workable [32]. In 2009, there are 15 recycling centres in
Kuala Lumpur, 22 in Selangor operated, and 56 in Pahang
operated by Alam Flora Sdn. Bhd [19]. From ecological point of
view, composting is an outstanding method of recycling
biodegradable waste into compost [18] and regarded as the most
suitable and utilisable method of biowaste recycling [33].
4.4 Energy Recovery from MSW
Energy is a basic need of people. In 2005, the main sources of
energy supply (fuel mix) in Malaysia were crude oil and
petroleum products (46.8%), natural gas (41.3%), coal and coke
(9.1%), and hydro (2.8%) [34]. As the Malaysia economy grows
steadily, the demand for the energy to empower the economic
development is expected to increase. The energy demand was
increase from 1243.7 PJ in 2000 to 2217.9 PJ in 2010 [61].
Even, Malaysia energy supply is relatively high than other
developing countries [35]. In line with industrialisation and
urbanisation growth, the efficient supply of energy at
economically acceptable cost and sufficient quantity will be
vital concern in the improvement effort in the energy sector
[36].
Petroleum and natural gas is the major contributor to
Malaysia’s economy since the collapse of the tin market in early
1980s. In 2004, Malaysia was ranked 24th in terms of world oil
reserves and the 13th for natural gas where 56% of the oil
reserves exist in Peninsular Malaysia. As 1st January 2007, oil
and gas reserve in Malaysia as reported by Petronas amounted to
20.18 billion barrels equivalent. At the current production rates,
it is estimated that Malaysia will be able to produce oil up to 18
years and gas for 35 years. The reserve will deplete around 2030
if no new fields were found and as consequences, affecting the
energy sectors [34].
Besides depleting oil and gas reserves, Malaysia also need
to face the increasing of oil price. In recent years, World prices
of crude oil and oil products in general have increased in
volatility. Raising the oil price and limited supplies of fossil fuel
together with increase concerns about global warming have
created a growing demand for renewable energy sources [37].
Sustainable development becomes an important term nowadays
in waste management, energy generation and rural development
plans [38].
Realizing the fact that a country's economic development
and progress of society rely on stable energy supplies, other
energy sources should be investigated. Energy recovery from
99 Mohd Dinie & Mashitah Mat Don / Jurnal Teknologi (Sciences & Engineering) 62:1 (2013), 95101
MSW through incineration and production of renewable energy
from MSW should be seriously considered.
4.4.1 Incineration
Cabinet committee formed by the Government of Malaysia had
suggested incineration as an alternative to landfill for MSW
treatment [39]. Incineration has been proven as an effective
approach in reducing volume of MSW and also provides usable
energy [40]. This technology has been used increasingly over
the last 50 years in highly industrialized countries and
potentially reduced the volume of waste to be landfilled
approximately 75% of waste by weight and 90% by volume
[41]. Currently, incineration in Malaysia mainly used to dispose
clinical and hazardous waste where 100% of the wastes are
incinerated [1].
There are potentials to built waste to energy plants (WtE)
in Malaysia since the average calorific value of Malaysian
MSW is about 2200 kcal/kg [10] while the average calorific
value waste suggested for a successful operating of WtE plant
suggested by The World Bank [41] must not less than 7 MJ/kg
(1672 kcal/kg). However, Malaysian MSW contains high
moisture content. This characteristic brings a challenge to find
an incineration technology that is capable to handling MSW
with high moisture content at a low operating cost [39]. Various
data on the characteristics of Kuala Lumpur MSW possibly
useful in the study of implementing energy recovery by
incineration is shown in Table 7.
Table 7 Various data on the characteristics of Kuala Lumpur MSW
[10]
Proximate analysis (wet)
Moisture content
Volatile matter content
Fixed carbon content
Ash content
Weight %
55.01
31.36
4.37
9.26
Elemental analysis (dry)
Carbon content
Hydrogen content
Nitrogen content
Oxygen content
Sulphur content
Weight %
46.11
6.86
1.26
28.12
0.23
Heavy metal (dry)
Chlorine
Cadmium
Mercury
Lead
Chromium
ppm
8.840
0.99
0.27
26.27
14.41
Other paramaters
Bulk density (kg/m3)
Net calorific value (kcal/kg)
240
2180
Incineration would be a considerable choice because the
system does give high returns while the energy consumed to
treat the MSW is relatively lower [10]. However, the most
important issue in ensuring the successful outcome of a waste
incineration projects is depending on accurate estimation of the
future waste quantities and characteristics. In-depth knowledge
of the waste collection area’s demographic and
commercial/industrial structure is required in estimating the
future amount and composition of solid waste [41].
4.4.2 Production of Renewable Energy from MSW
Since Malaysian MSW contains high volume of organic matters
and it is highly biodegradable, Malaysia should consider
converting MSW to bio-energy. Bio-energy has several
advantages not only to solve MSW generation problem and
fulfil energy demand in forms of liquid and gaseous fuels,
electricity and heat, but it also carbon neutral and acts as a
carbon sinks as well as helps to fix and improve barren or
degraded lands, improves biodiversity, soil fertility and water
retention [42]. By bioconverting MSW to bio-energy, Malaysia
will reduce the volume of MSW in landfill and also diversify
energy sources. Malaysian MSW contains high composition of
organic substances [43] potentially to be converted into biogas
with the help of technologies such as anaerobic digestion.
Production of bio-hydrogen, and bio-ethanol from MSW also
should be considered.
4.5 Improve on Landfill System
In average, the Malaysian government spent RM0.06 for every
kilogram of waste [44]. In order to provide the necessary
resources to sustain good landfill practices, tipping fees may be
revised, moreover, for many businesses, sending their wastes to
landfill sites still the cheapest option [4]. Table 8 compares
tipping fees charged in several developing country landfills.
Higher fees should be charge on industries for waste disposal to
increase motivation on waste minimisation [45].
Table 8 Tipping fees in several developing country landfills [46]
Country
Tipping Fees
(US$/tonne)
Argentina
5-18
Chile
5-17
Brazil
5-18
Malaysia
1.2
Mexico
4-17
South Africa
12
Peru
5
Colombia
11
Philippines
9.7
Indonesia
1.3
China
2.5
Hong Kong
10
As a result of practicing landfill method in Malaysia,
leachate could affect the quality of river water. The impact of
leachate on river water could be determined by monitoring the
river water chemistry and thus, the risk of contamination can
also be assessed [17]. Department of Environment (DOE)
regularly monitors water and air quality. 116 major rivers in
Malaysia monitored regularly from 892 monitoring stations
while, there are 229 sampling stations in coastal and estuarine
for the assessment of marine quality [2].
To reduce environmental impacts affected by open
dumping activities, open dumping landfills in Malaysia should
be upgraded to engineered landfills and sanitary landfills; a
landfill that incorporates a full set of measures to control gas,
collect and treat leachate, apply soil cover on waste daily, and
implement plans closure and aftercare after the landfill closed
[46]. For a period of 2004-2020, 22 sanitary landfills are
required to manage Malaysian MSW [15]. Open dumping
landfill lack of some important features such as no leachate
management system, geo-membrane liner system at the bottom
of the landfill, clay-lined layer, a gaseous migration system,
perimeter control, etc [9].
This traditional landfill brings a lot of problems such as
even a landfill is closed, leachate will still be generated, and
landfill gas will continue to be produced. Landfill gas contains
100 Mohd Dinie & Mashitah Mat Don / Jurnal Teknologi (Sciences & Engineering) 62:1 (2013), 95101
approximately 50% methane. Methane will contribute 2-4% of
the total global GHG when released to atmosphere [46].
4.6 Role of Non-Government
Waste management cannot be handled by government alone
[18]. Therefore, both government and non-government
organisations (NGOs) should work in synergy to formulating
and spreading educational and user-friendly strategies in order
to sensitize public environmental consciousness, convey
environmental knowledge and inspire the public on the
importance of environmentally friendly values [27].
Privates should collaborate through Public Private
Partnership (PPP) with government in developing
comprehensive waste management programs. The most
important factor in the success of private sector participation is
the capability of municipal administrator to write and enforce an
effective contract. Not only large companies or multinational
companies, but the local private sector, microenterprise, or even
community-based organisation can also contribute much on the
solid waste services [18]. Community-based waste management
could be an alternative approach when municipal authorities
incapable to manage waste generated properly especially in
unserviced areas. This system relies on the community to
manage waste including the collection, transportation, and
diversion of waste [47].
4.7 Integrated Approach
A collective effort from all involved parties is essential in the
successful implementation of waste management measures [26].
A successful waste management is inclusive, fully integrated
with economic and social practices, and incorporate with all
sectors of society [20]. In planning the MSW management, a
system with the least technically complex and most-effective
solution should be preferred. In order to achieve the target, an
integrated approach may be considered [7]. Integrated thinking
for materials and energy recovery are the keys to waste
management systems that can shift the waste sector from being
the source of environmental problem to becoming the
environmental problem solver [48].
5.0 CONCLUSIONS
Malaysia experienced rapid industrialisation and urbanisation
over the last few decades. This situation has increased the
generation and changes the characteristics of MSW. The
fundamental aspect that needs to be considered in designing a
sustainable MSW management system is the availability of
information on the characteristics of waste generated. However,
such data on the Malaysian MSW is limited. The most preferred
method of waste treatment in Malaysia is by landfilling and
most of the sites are open dumping areas. This method brings
adverse impacts on the environment.
Proper training needs to be conducted for operators to
operate equipments and sufficient funds must be allocated for
MSW management since often modern landfill in Asia are
remain idle due to lack of trained operator and insufficient funds
for operation. Besides, landfills’ effect on environment should
be monitored and supervised regularly. To ensure a sustainable
development of Malaysia towards achieving vision 2020 as a
developed country, environmental awareness and education
should not be neglected. Continuous campaign and programmes
must be planned.
MSW prevention, minimisation, and recycling should be put at
the top hierarchy in MSW management. Only if these
approaches not practicable, then integrating of materials and
energy recovery should be considered. Landfilling supposedly to
be considered as the last option.
The demand for energy in Malaysia is increasing in line
with steady economic growth. Currently, Malaysia highly
depended on petroleum and coal as their energy sources which
bring negative effect on the environment. Thus, production of
renewable energy from MSW would be a good choice to be
considered since Malaysian MSW contains high moisture.
In order to develop a comprehensive waste management
program, all sectors should work in synergy to improve public
environmental awareness, and knowledge. A collective effort
from all parties is the key of successful waste management
implementation. A successful waste management is inclusive,
fully integrated with economic and social practices, and
incorporate with all sectors of society.
Acknowledgement
We are grateful for the UTM and MOHE scholarship to Author
1.
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