THERE are various ways to deal with waste disposal, each chosen according to the needs or limitations of the region. The Federal Government is considering some of the options below for the future of solid waste management in the Klang Valley. All three options are also able to produce electricity.
Incineration is a process that burns organic waste substances into ash, flue gas and heat.
The flue gas may have toxic pollutants that need to be cleared before being dispersed. Older incinerators did not include material separation, resulting in a plant that has higher health risks to workers and the environment due to inadequate gas cleaning and combustion control.
Significantly reduces waste volume by 95 to 96%;
Save land space; and
Pathogens and toxins from certain hazardous waste can be destroyed at high temperatures.
Possibility of toxic gases being released into the environment; and
A process using microorganisms to break down organic materials in the absence of oxygen, producing mainly methane and carbon dioxide, and a solid residue that can be used as compost.
Considered one of the most efficient systems for dealing with bio-waste and done correctly, leads to high rates of purification.
Greenhouse gas emission reduction;
Production of digestate that can be used as fertiliser; and
Small market for compost;
Restricted to organic materials;
Exhaust gas needs proper treatment or risks safety hazards; and
Requires proper management and technical expertise.
Can be applied only on combustible components such as plastics and biodegradable waste, variations of the process can be incorporated to facilitate removal or separation of non-combustibles that include recyclables. Advanced processing methods can even remove harmful pollutants and heavy metals.
Reduce greenhouse gas emission;
More efficient; and
Able to produce pellets that are easier to store and transport than raw solid waste.
Financial advantage is debatable; and
Recyclables retrieved are more contaminated compared to those separated at source.