Green tech solution to river waste needed


OVER the last five years in Selangor alone, more than 67,000 tonnes of river waste ended up in landfills from just one river, Sungai Klang.

Meanwhile, municipality waste in the state in 2020 stood at almost two million tonnes.

Without a recovery solution, we will soon run out of land to house the trash.

Selangor Maritime Gateway, a Selangor government project to rejuvenate Sungai Klang, is therefore looking into a viable solution to repurpose the waste it is extracting from the river and give it new value.

To achieve this, Malaysia’s start-ups, social enterprises and social innovators are being challenged to come up with ways as to “how we can use green innovation to develop a breakthrough technology to convert river waste into a functional sustainable product with commercial value”.

This problem statement forms the basis of the project’s Innovation Challenge: Upcycling River Waste to Wealth, which was launched recently together with Malaysian Global Innovation & Creative Centre (MaGIC).

“We are looking for a new waste-to-product technology that can transform Selangor’s river waste into value streams, thus creating a circular economy of what we currently register as trash, ” said Syaiful Azmen Nordin, who is managing director of Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd (LLSB), which is mandated to manage the project.

Apart from cleaning and rehabilitating 56km of Sungai Klang (from Mid Valley Megamall to the river mouth in Port Klang), the Selangor Maritime Gateway is also looking into repurposing river waste.

This is in line with the state government’s green technology and waste recovery agenda.

The Innovation Challenge has two key goals:

  • Develop a technology solution that can sort and convert the organic waste and/or solid waste into a new resource.
  • Using the technology, to create a new functional product that has commercial value, while being environmentally friendly and sustainable.

“The solution we seek must help us divert river trash from landfills and should be adaptable to upcycling trash from any other river in the world as well as be suitable for municipality trash, ” Syaiful said, adding that this initiative would help drive Malaysia’s commitment to recycling 25% of its total waste by 2025.

The best applicants with the most tenable solutions may receive cash prizes from a RM50,000 seed fund pool to refine their technology and qualify to accelerate their impact-driven solutions through MaGIC’s new Social Impact Challenge Accelerator (SICA) three-month capacity building programme.

SICA is a platform (www.mymagic.my/sica) that assembles high potential innovators to accelerate their impact model development for greater market rollout.

The best performing team may then earn exclusive access to customised post accelerator support, including up to RM100,000 in grant and/or in-kind support from the Selangor Maritime Gateway, plus network access, exclusive attachments and mentorships with relevant government and non-governmental organisations, as well as the opportunity to tap into the government’s procurement via Program Perolehan Impak Sosial Kerajaan (PPISK).

“We are glad to bring on board the Selangor Maritime Gateway in featuring a problem statement that seeks to nurture technology-driven solutions that protect our rivers from pollution and bring great benefits to the communities around Sungai Klang, ” said acting MaGIC chief executive officer Amiruddin Abdul Shukor.

“Therefore, we invite all impact- driven business enterprises to submit commercially-driven solutions in addressing the problem statement by the project, ” he added.

Learn more about this challenge and apply to participate at www.selangormaritimegateway.com/innovation-challenge-2/.

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