Stepping up efforts to green Seberang Prai

(From second left) Siti Nur Fadzilah, Rozali and Mohd Rozaiman showing the compost produced by the students of UiTM Penang branch at the launch of the zero-waste programme. With them is project chief Dr Mohamad Azhar Mohd Noor (red tie).

THE Pulau Burung landfill usage rate shows that garbage disposal is increasing and if not controlled, Penang may face a serious environmental crisis in 2030.

Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud revealed that in 2019, the garbage generated by the people of Seberang Prai was 553,242 tonnes or 1,515 tonnes per day.

Last year, the amount increased to 598,234 tonnes or 1,639 tonnes per day, showing an increase of 8.1%.

An in-depth study of the data shows that industrial waste generation increased significantly from 292,252 tonnes in 2019 to 352,464 tonnes last year.

In contrast, domestic waste generation decreased from 260,990 tonnes in 2019 to 245,770 tonnes last year, indicating a 5.8% drop that came from Penang waste- segregation-at-site efforts.

To counter the increase in industrial waste, MBSP has taken action including implementing the Sustainable Solid Waste Management System.

An excavator transfering waste to the Pulau Burung landfill. Data shows an increasing amount of garbage is being generated by Seberang Prai folk. — FilepicAn excavator transfering waste to the Pulau Burung landfill. Data shows an increasing amount of garbage is being generated by Seberang Prai folk. — Filepic

Under the system starting on Jan 1, industrial premises will have to pay a service charge if their waste generation exceeds 24 tonnes a year.

Rozali was speaking at the launch of the zero-waste programme by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) at its Penang branch in Bertam.

Through a collaboration with the council, UiTM will carry out composting of organic waste consisting of grass and dried leaves from the UiTM grounds as well as food waste from the hostels and canteens.

Rozali said the council supplied 10 drums (18 litres) and nine drums (200 litres) to UiTM to make the programme a success.

The 18-litre drums are for organic waste collection and the 200-litre drums are for composting.

“The composting, which will be carried out manually, will be done by UiTM students who study solid waste management,” he added.

Also present were UiTM Penang branch assistant rector Dr Siti Nur Fadzilah Muhsain, deputy rector (students affairs) Dr Mohd Rozaiman Aziz and MBSP Local Agenda 21 coordinator Chew Eng Seng.

Rozali hoped that the cooperation between UiTM and the council could be an example to other institutions of higher learning to follow and adopt zero-waste practices.

He said MBSP would gladly help and collaborate with other educational institutions that are interested in running zero-waste programmes.

“Our long-term aim is to create a viable low-carbon city that expresses the theme ‘Seberang Prai Resilient, Inclusive, Green and Competitive’,” he added.

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Pulau Burung , landfill , Penang , Rozali Mohamud


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