Waste Not, Want Not

Recently, having attended a talk on solid waste management, it made me realise that many of us are unaware of the importance of recycling.

On the average we throw away 1.65kg of waste every day. At this rate, the waste production of Malaysians would be 13,000 tonnes per day in 2015, filling up most of the landfills in twenty years time.

Solid waste management continues to be a costly affair with about two-thirds of the City Council’s total collected annual assessment fees being spent to manage solid waste. Yet at the same time, our waste recycling rate is way below the average at a mere 11% of the total solid waste being produced compared to 57% in Singapore and 66% in Germany.

Hence, the vital question is, why aren’t we recycling enough? Recycling is a great start to save the earth. Recycling is one of the major components of modern waste management and is the third component of the waste hierarchy – reduce, reuse and recycle. Recycling saves energy, each year recycling in Malaysia saves enough energy to power 1 million Malaysian homes and reduces water pollutants by 21,000 tons.

Heard of Global Warming? Recycling reduces more air and water pollutants, saves more energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions more than any other solid waste management option.

Recycling saves space in our existing landfills. Thus, recycling is very important as waste has a huge negative impact on the natural environment.

Saving Ipoh’s environment is not only the City Council’s, Ipoh Echo’s, Ipoh City Watch’s or other organisations’ role. All of us Ipohites, have a part to play. Let’s play it right to make Ipoh and our environment a safer and happier place.

S. Sundralingam

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