KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government is mulling over a RM700mil plan to upgrade landfills that would adopt environmentally sustainable methods of disposing solid wastes such as scrap tyres.
State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said the plan had been submitted to the Sabah Cabinet following a two-year study by a consultant.
“The plan addresses long-term measures in terms of dealing with waste disposal at landfills in the various districts.
“Among the proposals involved the recycling of tyres,” he said, adding that tonnes of tyres have been piling up at the sites.
Hajiji said the state would likely seek the help of the Federal Government to upgrade the landfills.
Kota Kinabalu mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir had asked Hajiji’s ministry as well as the State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry to look into long terms solutions in the disposal of tyres in Sabah,
Abidin said the scrap tyres occupied much space at landfills and their disintegration rate was very slow, adding that Sabah could learn from Sarawak where a company was involved in collecting scrap tyres for recycling.
Abidin’s statement comes two months after City Hall imposed a ban on the disposal of used tyres at the Kayu Madang landfill which caught dealers here by surprise.
The ban that took effect on July 31 came after two incidents of tyres catching fire at the landfill, causing pollution problems.
Abidin said City Hall would allow dealers to dispose of scrap tyres at the landfill but they would have to pay the handling fees.
The fees would cover the costs of preparing a proper disposal site, getting workers to stack and cutting up these scrap tyres.
Abidin said City Hall would also have to carry out fogging excercises regularly to ensure the scrap tyres did not become mosquito breeding grounds.
Dealers would be required to pay a RM500 per tonne fee to dispose of the tyres at landfills, he said.
Alternatively, they would only be required to pay RM250 per tonne if they were to stack the scrap tyres at the landfill themselves.
He said City Hall had decided to resort to stacking of the tyres following advice from the Department of Environment as a way to minimise incidents of fires at the landfill.