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Monday August 25, 2008

Bukit Bintang takes the lead with LA21 implementation

SINCE the launch of the LA 21 pilot project, the Bukit Bintang Environmental Committee (BBEC), a participating member, had begun working on the pilot project with hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and building complexes in the area.

The committee aims to reach the objective of reducing the flow of contaminants and waste products into the water channels and drainage system as well as to implement a better waste management system.

Moving forward: Foong-Chin explaining some of the initiatives planned by the BBEC.

“A thorough study was conducted at various premises on the proper management of waste like food and oil.

“This included the study and implementation of grease traps, oil collection and the process of converting food waste into compost,” BBEC chairman Jerina Foong-Chin said.

Hotels and restaurants on the committee include Hotel Capitol, Hotel Bintang Warisan, The Royale Bintang, Swiss-Garden Hotel, Magnum 4D, Tung Shin Hospital, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Sungei Wang Plaza, Low Yat Plaza, Melia Hotel, Central Market, Imbi Plaza and the Federal Hotel.

Foong-Chin added that grease traps were an essential part of waste-water management as restaurants and food service kitchens produced a lot of waste grease which accumulated in the drains.

She said fatty oil and grease, if not removed, would congeal within the sewers and cause blockages, which is why nearly all municipalities require commercial kitchen operators to install an interceptor device to collect the grease before it entered the sewer.

The collected grease would then be used as bio-fuel or treated with special chemicals that break it down to form solids that are bio-degradable.

Since the LA 21 launch, the committee had also initiated frequent waste collection and organised various community efforts such as gotong-royong.

“These initiatives have led to a significant reduction in pests and prevented the clogging of the drains by food waste.

“The Swiss-Garden Hotel has also taken the lead by visiting Pollution Engineering Sdn Bhd to study the process of converting waste into compost with the help of a microwave composting machine and have proposed to buy the machine with the funds generated from our recycling campaign,” Foong-Chin said.

The committee members have also actively organised various talks by non-profit environmental organizations and the DBKL has also presented a video presentation which highlighted the effects of poor waste management.

The DBKL has also loaned a portable composting machine, which is placed at the Selayang wholesale market where about a tonne of organic waste is processed into fertiliser for the LA21 pilot project.

The fertiliser is being used at gardens managed by the DBKL and is also distributed to schools in the city through a partnership with Lions Club.

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