Household Solid Waste Composition in Balakong City, Malaysia: Trend and Management
Mohd Armi Abu Samah1, Latifah Abd Manaf1, Amimul Ahsan2, Wan Nor Azmin Sulaiman1, P. Agamuthu4, Jeffrey Lawrence D’Silva3
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1Faculty of Environmental Studies,
2Faculty of Engineering,
3Institute for Social Science Studies,
Putra University Malaysia, Malaysia
4Institute Biological Science, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2013;22(6):1807–1816
Waste is an obvious by-product that comes from human activities. Urbanization, economic development, and improving living standards in cities all have an impact on the increase of the quantity and difficulty of generated waste. Fast population growth and industrialization degrades the urban environment and places serious stress on natural resources. Inefficient management and disposal of solid waste is a noticeable cause of degradation of the environment in most cities of the developing world. MSW generation depends on township size and level of economic standards. Thus, it was proven by the MSW generated in the selected area of Kluang (a small town in the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia) amounted to as little as 45 tons and as much as 3,000 tons in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia's capital). More analysis reported that the largest sources of MSW generation come from household waste, followed by industrial and commercial wastes. In Selangor State, the highest percentage of MSW consisted of putrescible waste of approximately 46%, followed by plastic and paper at 15% and 14%, respectively. This paper focuses on the trend and management of household solid waste composition generated in Balakong City, Malaysia. A survey for household residents in eight housing areas was carried out for one month and data were collected on a daily basis. The composition of solid waste collected was segregated into different components (organic waste, plastic, paper, glass, metal, and other). For overall household solid waste composition generated in the Balakong area, organic waste recorded the highest percentage at 555.5%. Then, followed by plastic waste 82.2%, paper 74.4%, other waste 42.9%, glass 25.8%, the lowest waste generated was metal at 18.9%. There is a relation between the economic position of a country and per capita waste generation rate. While the standard of living rises, waste generation rates also are increasing. The world trend of solid waste generation nowadays (including Malaysia) is mostly dependent on the changing consumption pattern, and also related to climate and seasonal differences. Thus, the management and planning of solid waste generated must be enhanced to improve sustainable solid waste management in Malaysia. Besides, public awareness, funding, expertise, equipment, and facilities that are currently lacking must be provided.