EVERY day, Malaysians dispose of some 4,000 tonnes of edible food, which is enough to feed about three million people three meals each.
According to Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp), in Kuala Lumpur alone, some 40% of the 2,400 tonnes of waste that end up in landfills daily consist of food waste.
In an effort to hammer home the need to reduce the amount of food waste generated, the company is planning to expand its “Value Food, No Waste” campaign.
The campaign, now in its sixth year, aims to raise public awareness to decrease food waste as a way of reducing pollution and global warming effects.
SWCorp Federal Territories director Ummi Kalthum Shuib said it targeted to bring the campaign to communities in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya in the coming months.
“We are hoping to make the public aware that simply throwing their rubbish is not sustainable as their waste will end up in landfills.
“Food waste is something we can actively eliminate, simply by preparing food in sufficient quantities and not overbuying,” she said.
She added that the campaign was particularly relevant during festive periods as food was usually part of the celebrations.
Ummi Kalthum was speaking during an event in Bandar Menjalara, Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with Deepavali, where residents were invited to bring in recyclable materials to sell as part of SWCorp’s “Trash to Cash” initiative.
“At the moment, people still consider trash as waste to be discarded.
“But by placing a monetary value on it, this can hopefully make people reconsider the things they throw away,” she explained.
Since the launch of the initiative last year, almost 3,000 individuals and 181 communities have taken part.
More than 120,000kg of recyclable waste have been collected with a value of RM45,000.
Also present at the event was Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, who demonstrated how to make a dish using leftover ingredients.
She said this was the third collaboration with SWCorp in Segambut to bring awareness to the community on these initiatives.
“We hope with this component of no wastage in food, people will start to see this as part of their lifestyle and how they treat their waste in the kitchen.
“We are engaging different communities and looking at getting more people to adopt this lifestyle,” she added.
There was also a free market at the event where the public could pick up fabric items and clothing that would otherwise end up in landfills.