Council to embrace holistic approach via ambitious circular economy plan

Rozali (front row, white cap) launching the Seberang Prai Circular Economy Action Plan (2021 to 2030) at MBSP headquarters. Joining him virtually is Chow.

SEBERANG Prai City Council (MBSP) hopes to achieve a net zero waste city status with an 80% recycling rate by 2030.

Its mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud said the council achieved a 55% recycling rate in 2020, which was the highest rate in Malaysia then.

The council is now targeting recycling rates of 70% for next year and 75% by 2025.

“For next year, we also aim to achieve more renewable energy consumption besides creating a construction waste processing centre and also coming up with an extended producer responsibility policy,” said Rozali.

He was speaking at the launch of the Seberang Prai Circular Economy Action Plan (2021 to 2030) at MBSP headquarters in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

“We hope to increase our food waste diversion rate and cut by half our dependence on landfills by 2025.

“We also want to realise a system that converts waste to energy to help reach zero waste.”

Rozali said the action plan would highlight eight key results areas (KRA).

This will include 27 programmes which are ready to be executed.

The eight KRAs are landfill reliance; recycling and upcycling industry; food and organic waste; single-use plastics; construction and demolition waste; electronics and hazardous waste; renewable energy; and water and waste water management.

Rozali said the main goal was to achieve a competitive advantage by integrating economic players, residents, consumers and local communities in new fields that create new job opportunities.

“The action plan will have a holistic approach in facing new challenges in the coming decade.”

Rozali said the move was meant to encourage the reuse of waste products and raw materials as well as prevent hazardous emissions to soil, water and air.

“We took a proactive action by exploring a new circular model which focuses on closing the loop and increasing resource efficiency.

“We hope to reduce the burden on the Pulau Burung landfill through the circular model.

“Waste can be recycled into new products and this will reduce the dependence on raw materials.

“The people in Seberang Prai have successfully reduced their greenhouse gas emissions from eight tonnes of CO2 per capita in 2017 to 6.31 tonnes of CO2 per capita in 2020.

“This is a 21% reduction in carbon emissions,” he said.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who joined the virtual ceremony, lauded MBSP’s efforts in managing solid waste and coming up with proactive recycling and upcycling programmes.

“Penang is well known as a food destination among tourists and 40% of the garbage at the state’s landfills are food waste or organic waste.

“To ensure that the tourism sector is in line with environmental sustainability, I encourage the council to explore the use of technology to turn waste to energy,” he said.

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