What is solid waste?
Solid waste can be defined as the useless and unwanted products in the solid state derived from the activities of and discarded by society. Solid waste is one of the three major environmental problems in Malaysia. It is estimated by the Global environment centre that over 23,000 tonnes of waste is produced each day in Malaysia. This amount is expected to rise to 30,000 tonnes by the year 2020. The amount of waste generated continues to increase due to the increasing population and development, and only less than 5% of the waste is being recycled.
Poor waste management in Malaysia
The standards of waste management in Malaysia are still poor. This poor waste management includes outdated and poor documentation of waste generation rates and its composition, inefficient storage and collection systems, disposal of municipal wastes with toxic and hazardous waste, indiscriminate disposal or dumping of wastes and inefficient utilization of disposal site space. Furthermore, the lack of awareness and knowledge among Malaysian community about solid waste management (SWM) issues, and being ignorant about the effect that improper SWM has to us has definitely worsened the problem.
Effects of improper solid waste management
River is a finite and only source of water. In Malaysia, there are almost 1800 rivers. Currently, more than half of these rivers have been polluted and destroyed. Improper solid waste management contributes greatly to river pollution. Improper solid waste management (SWM) also contributes to climate change, Decomposing waste produces methane and production of new products to meet demand emits greenhouse gases and utilizes natural resources. Besides that, solid waste affects climate change through landfill methane emission. The source of manmade methane gas is from the landfills themselves, which happens when organic waste is left to decay.
What we as a student can do to curb solid waste pollution...