Sarawak studying using slag, waste products to build roads

Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (right) and state Public Works Department director Richard Tajan looking at samples of road construction materials incorporating recycled waste products such as plastic and slag. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak is looking into the potential of using slag and other waste products as road construction materials, says Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

He said the state Public Works Department (JKR) was studying whether slag produced by ferroalloy industries at Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu could be used in building roads.

"According to the industries, they have about one million tonnes of slag waste.

"We are going to discuss this with the Department of Environment because at the moment it is considered as scheduled waste," he told reporters after opening a seminar on revolutionising road and airport infrastructure here on Thursday (Sept 7).

Uggah said JKR had also looked at the Petronas experiment on using plastic as part of road construction materials

"We are also studying this further. It seems that in Australia roads have been built using some of these waste materials, including plastic.

"If it can be done in Australia, there's no reason why it can't be done in Sarawak," he said.

However, he said more research needed to be done on how to turn waste into building materials for roads.

"We need to make sure that our studies meet JKR standards before they can be used.

"I'm also hoping that the private sector will take the initiative because they will be the main players to process the waste and turn it into road construction materials," he said.

Uggah also said Sarawak was in the process of implementing more roads to complete its road network system.

He said 1,282km of roads needed to be built to reach areas which were currently inaccessible and 2,120km to areas accessed only by inactive logging roads.

"We plan to link all these areas because our post-Covid-19 development strategy aims to uplift the livelihood of the people.

"One area we are focusing on is to make sure villages which are not accessible by road will be connected," he said.

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Sarawak , Slag , Roads , Douglas Uggah


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