Engineering students visit country’s premier sanitary landfill

The students with Dr Tay (front row, third from left) and Prasath (front row, right) at the Bukit Tagar Sanitary Landfill.

MIRI: Eleven second-year environ­mental engineering students from Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently visited the Bukit Tagar Sanitary Landfill (BTSL) in Hulu Selangor to learn more about Malaysia’s premier sanitary landfill.

The students were accompanied by civil and construction engineering lecturer Dr Tay Ai Chen.

According to Dr Tay, the visit gave the students valuable insights into how a sanitary landfill functions as a safe, environment-friendly solid waste management solution, as well as the technologies and methods used in handling waste and generating renewable energy.

On hand to welcome the group was BTSL manager Prasath Ramakrishnan.

Operated by KUB-Berjaya Enviro Sdn. Bhd, BSTL was developed to provide a long-term solid waste management system for Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

It is a fully-engineered facility employing modern technology and international best practices, setting the benchmark for solid waste management in the country.

Prasath gave a detailed presentation on the landfill, including its design and capacity, waste management processes, environmental monitoring and renewable energy production from methane gas, a by-product of waste decomposition.

He also spoke about the awards and recognition it has garnered for its environment-friendly projects.

For student Chang Teng Wen, the site visit was a great opportunity to get a better picture of how municipal solid waste (MSW) is converted to renewable energy using advanced technology.

“I hope that there will be an opportunity for me to work at BTSL in the future, to help conserve the environment in Malaysia and make it a better place to live,” he remarked.

Fellow student Yeow Peck Kah, meanwhile, commented that the visit helped the students connect much of what they have learned in their course to real industry practices, and also gave them fresh perspectives on waste generation and the need to manage wastes effectively.

Also, Dr Tay said the knowledge they gained from the visit was very relevant to their course’s Solid and Hazardous Waste

Management unit.

“They now clearly understand how sanitary landfills operate, including the very useful function of generating waste by-products such as methane into green energy.

“As a result, they will be able to implement such knowledge and consider strategies to protect the environment in their future careers,” said Dr Tay.

She added that courses at Curtin Malaysia are very industry-focused and site visits to various industries are integral components of the courses, enabling students to gain first-hand knowledge and insights, interact with industry professio­nals, and further enrich their experience.

According to Environmental Engineering programme coordina­tor Dr John Lau Sie Yon, due to the breadth and depth of the curricu­lum, students are equipped with complex engineering problem-solving skills and a highly practical and innovative engineering experience.

Consequently, graduates of the course also enjoy career opportunities in a wide range of economic sectors.

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