MIRI: The Sarawak government through Local Government and Housing Ministry wants to improve its waste management system by emulating best practices adopted by countries like Germany and Japan.
Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the initiative can be achieved by conducting more programmes and projects related to innovation waste (Innowaste) management.
“As we have made great strides in our Innowaste initiatives, we must explore on how we can develop our waste management efficiency.
“Let us dwell deeper into this aspect of ‘waste to wealth’ and not look at the physical output only but formulate innovative and workable policies that can help improve council revenue,” he stated in his address when officiating at Innowaste 2020 at Permaisuri Imperial City Mall here yesterday.
Dr Sim pointed out that according to a recent study on Integrated Waste Management in Sarawak only 10.6 per cent of household waste were sent for recycling while the others were discarded as residual waste.
The same situation also applied to commercial, institutional and non-production waste, with most of them collected and discarded as residual waste and only 18 per cent sent for recycling, he added.
By comparison, he said the Federal Ministry of Environment and Conservation of Germany reported that in 2018 waste management in the country had evolved into a large and powerful economic sector.
He pointed out that Germany has more than 15,500 waste management facilities to conserve resources through recycling and other recovery operations.
“The country’s high recycling rates stood at 67 per cent for household waste, production and commercial waste (70 per cent) and almost 90 per cent for construction and demolition waste.
“This is a stark contract to our situation in Sarawak where waste management becomes more of a burden.
“Let us start to find innovative ways to reduce costs, considering waste management takes up most of the operation costs and becoming more of financial drain.”
He said the increasing amounts of wastes being sent to the sanitary landfill are shortening its life span.
Therefore, he added, there is a need to improve and minimise sending solid waste to the landfills to optimise its recovery and treatment.
Commenting on the Innowaste event, he said it was in line with the government’s effort to make innovation one of the main agendas in transforming the country, leveraging on innovative human capital.
He acknowledged that innovation and transformation are very much needed during these challenging times.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging out there in the world, I believe we all have to play our part.
“This is especially true for us at local government level, as we continue to intensify efforts in furthering this culture of innovation to ensure a faster, more efficient and effective service delivery system.”
Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts Datuk Sebastian Ting, Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, state Federal Secretary Datuk Mohd Shahabudin Omar, Ministry of Local Government and Housing permanent secretary Datu Antonio Kahti Galis, acting Miri Resident Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf and Miri mayor Adam Yii.
Source: Borneo Post