Sustainable waste management Malaysia strives to reduce the quantity of solid waste that is disposed of in landfills or by incineration. Materials are kept in use for as long as possible. To help lessen the detrimental environmental, social, and economic effects of 21st-century consumption, a more thorough approach to sustainable waste management must concentrate on the entire lifecycle of a product. This is because in our current linear economy, waste starts even before products are manufactured.
To improve our waste management systems, we must understand sustainable waste management Malaysia. New waste management approaches are needed to deal with existing waste streams while reducing trash output, whether the focus is on end-of-life waste reduction or designing waste out of the production cycle from the conceptual stage.
Why is environmentally sound waste management so crucial?
A larger circular economy’s sustainable waste management is a key component. In contrast to the take-make-waste model, it takes a systematic approach to economic development with the goal of separating growth from the use of finite resources. Sustainable waste management not only provides more immediate remedies to the numerous difficulties trash causes, but also aids in addressing the larger issues of a linear consumption society.
When the waste management hierarchy isn’t followed, otherwise usable objects and materials are burned in landfills or incinerators.
EPA: Paper and paperboard make up most MSW in the U.S. Despite being biodegradable and less damaging than plastics, these materials wastefully strain the ecosystem.
Deforestation is caused by the creation of new paper and card products, which consumes a lot of water and energy. Despite its high recycling rate, 100 million tonnes of wood might be saved annually if all paper was recycled. One tonne can save 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil (enough to drive 1,260 miles), 4,100 kilowatts of electricity, 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of pollution.
Food waste, at 21.59 percent of municipal solid waste, has a detrimental social, economic, and environmental impact, according to the EPA. Food waste in the US totals approximately $161 billion yearly, or roughly 40% of food output. Over 10% of US households experienced food insecurity in 2019, yet much of the wasted food is edible. Sustainable waste management Malaysia would compost or give “waste goods,” but our existing methods send them to landfills, where they decompose and emit CO2 and methane, which contribute to global warming.
Inefficient food production causes about 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of freshwater withdrawals, therefore inefficient solid waste management starts there.
. It appears unlikely that collection systems will be able to handle the sheer volume of waste created on any given day unless we can manage overproduction at the source.
Single-use plastics, the third-largest component of MSW, suffocate land and ocean. Plastic waste is a worry because of the petrochemicals needed to create new material and the $2.5 trillion in damage and lost resources. Sustainable waste management involves reducing single-use plastics and boosting recycling rates, which are now 8.5%.
Trash being added to the hierarchy
Sustainable waste management emphasises prevention, reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery, and disposal. The pyramid prioritises actions for the optimum use of resources by putting renewable and less wasteful techniques at the top. In this article, we examine how the hierarchy of waste management is essential to sustainable waste management.
Prevention and reduction
The top aim is to prevent and minimise waste production. By increasing effectiveness and minimising consumption, this can be accomplish. First, companies and consumers should select goods that need the fewest resources to manufacture (including the packaging). Single-use or disposable objects indicate linear waste, in which resources are gathered, processed, and distributed only to be thrown away after a short time.
Utilize and recycle
If a product must be used, it should be fixed or reused, and garbage should be recycled. Reusing materials saves money, energy, and other resources over lower-priority solutions. Zero-waste concepts include repairing shoes, giving away clothing and other products, and creating recipes for food leftovers.
Recycling is the next best choice after reusing an item. Since we’re now working with waste products, the method resembles normal waste management. Recycling keeps materials in use, minimising the need to mine new resources and the negative effects of trashing.
Recycling is viewing as less desirable than the alternatives because it costs resources, energy, and money to convert garbage into useable products.
Nevertheless, the advantages of recycling vary greatly depending on the material.
Aluminium’s benefits more than outweigh its recycling cost while needing less energy than fresh metal. Glass saves 10 to 15% more energy than a garbage disposal. Composting is also including at this level since it diverts organic waste from landfills and turns it into a resource for fresh vegetables.
Energy recovery is the following stage, which involves turning waste into useful heat, power, or fuel like biogas. This is accomplish using a variety of techniques, including incineration (including energy recovery), gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion, and landfill gas (LFG) recovery, some of which overlap with the final stage of waste treatment.
While obviously less desirable than reuse or recycling, combustion is a common technique for recovering energy from non-hazardous waste. It decreases the quantity of waste that ends up in landfills and provides energy during the burning process. 75 plants in the US recover energy by burning MSW, producing 550 kWh every tonne of rubbish. Despite all of this, some people in the waste management sector consider energy recovery to be an unacceptable compromise. It is not one of the zero waste priorities.
Treatment or elimination
Treatment or disposal is the final and least desirable step in the hierarchy. Typically, this refers to incineration without energy recovery or landfills. Some garbage may inevitable experience this, but it should be prevent for as long as feasible by using sustainable waste management practises.
How to start improving the sustainability of your waste management
Here are some tips for identifying where and how trash is produce and for implementing sustainable waste management in homes and businesses.
Don’t utilise single-use goods.
Use reusable goods in favour of single-use ones. Invest in some mugs or glasses rather than disposable coffee cups. The fact that many ostensibly green things, such compostable coffee cups, can’t truly be compost and must instead decompose in landfills should also be note at this point. Making the switch to a more eco-friendly option might help the environment and reduce costs.
Change to digital
The single largest component of MSW is paper and paper products, as was previously state. By converting as much papers as feasible to digital forms, organisations may easily improve sustainable waste management. This could involve converting to online banking, issuing/receiving bills electronically as opposed to physically, having meeting minutes shared rather than printed, etc.
Provide a garbage substitute
A business is likely to produce a variety of wastes, and enabling all employees to take action is one method to promote more sustainable trash management. Offering recycling and compost containers alongside ordinary trash cans and having services to appropriately manage this waste can accomplish this.
Can another person utilise it?
Reusing items that might otherwise be thrown away is a great way to promote sustainability. This includes extra food in supermarkets and restaurants, outmoded office equipment, overstocked non-food items, and restoration supplies.
If the proper framework is put in place, waste management Malaysia can be sustainable in both businesses and homes. But more significantly, the implications of allowing waste to continue are too severe to ignore.
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