‘Waste management needs improvement’

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are civic conscious but often that attitude is not translated into action.

Waste management expert Dr Theng Lee Chong said 70 per cent of Malaysians knew about recycling and agreed that it was important, but only less than 10 per cent were doing it.

Malaysians dump 300,000 tonnes of garbage into rivers yearly.

“Of the waste, 10 to 15 per cent is food waste. Malaysians live in a comfort zone and enjoy a high standard of living, therefore, we have less appreciation for the food available to us.”

It has been reported that Sungai Klang is the dirtiest river in the country, with an estimated 77,000 tonnes of garbage being dumped into it each year.

Theng, who is also Malaysian Green Technology Corporation board director, said more stringent and effective regulations should
be enforced to address littering or illegal dumping  into rivers as it was the cause of flooding.

“Everyone knows it is not right to dump rubbish into the rivers, but they are still doing it. We need a change in attitude.”

Theng said waste management in the country needed a lot of improvement but it was not given enough priority in the budget allocation, as compared with other developments.

“Malaysians do not really care about waste minimisation or reduction at source.

“There is no specific fee charged on waste management, unlike in some developed countries, where the more waste you generate, the more you have to pay to dispose it.

“It is unfortunate that more than 90 per cent of the disposal sites in Malaysia are open dumps, with very few sanitary landfills in operation.”

Read more @ http://www.nst.com.my/node/55517

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