20 April, 2016

Waste to Energy (WtE) Waste Management Technology

Have you heard of Waste to Energy (WtE)? In layman's term, I think all of us can appreciate that it is a form of energy restoration from our daily wastes (garbages), but not many actually understand how does it work.

Where do the solid wastes go?

Earlier on, I have shared something about splitting the everyday waste according to the types: Paper, Glass and Metal, to ease the job of the garbage collectors throughout the handling process. But what happens next? We'll see.....

Traditionally, they will be transported to waste disposal sites which may exude smelly methane gases that pollutes the environment and our country has been facing the issue of landfill shortages for some time, until we finally found a better alternative!

Few years back, Malaysia has finally ventured into a new modern waste treatment technology and built Waste to Energy (WtE) power plants where it generates electricity or heat directly through the burning of solid wastes, and such renewable energy can be used for vehicles and more.

The above diagram shows how a typical WtE plant operates, and I am glad to find such technology in our country for a more sustainable environment in future. At the end of WtE, the amount of final wastes transported to the disposal site can be reduced by up to 85%! Amazing, right?

In fact, this is a proven technology in other countries, and Malaysia is moving towards such effort over the past few years.

I am not sure how a WtE plant looks like in our country (Perhaps I'd have a chance to make a visit there next time!) but such sites are quite common in other countries, including our neighbour Singapore.

For now, we have few WtE Gasification Power Plant, and more will soon be built at:
1. Taman Beringin, Kuala Lumpur.
2. Bukit Payung, Johor.
3. Sungai Udang, Melaka.

So...how can you and I contribute to this? Being part of the nation, our role is easier said than done--- Practise 3R (Reuse, Reduce and Recycle) as much as possible, to achieve the waste reduction rate of 22% by 2020, and with WtE, the government furthers gets rid of the wastes and improves the rate up to 40%.

From 1 September 2015, all households in the relevant states that adapt the Act 672: Akta Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal dan Pembersihan Awam 2007 are required to segregate the wastes according to the following categories:

– Leftovers (Food and kitchen waste, disposable diapers etc) – Dispose into the communal bin; and
– Recyclable solids waste – Wrap with plastic and segregate into Plastic, Paper and Others (Tin, glass, ceramic) bins.

Should the recyclable wastes not being segregated from food and other wastes, the authority will take actions as below:
Warning by SWCorp until 31 Mei 2016;
– Fine is imposed from 1 June 2016 onwards:
                   First offence – RM100.00;
                   Second offence – RM200.00; dan
                   Third or more offence – RM500.00.

Should such fine not being settled, legal actions will be taken with a maximum fine of RM1000 if found guilty.

Therefore, everyone's effort does matter! Let's work holistically towards a more sustainable, cleaner environment! Wanna know more about Waste to Energy? Visit wte.kpkt.gov.my!
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