Health Science Faculty Leads The Way In 3Rs At UKM
by Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Shahiddan Saidi
KUALA LUMPUR, March 8, 2016 – The Faculty of Health Sciences (FSK) has become the first faculty at the National University of Malaysia (UKM) to officially implement a solid waste separation programme of the universal 3Rs, namely ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ for sustainable development.
SWCorp, an agency under the Ministry of Irban Well-Beingm Housing and Local Government, supplied the canisters for the solid waste at FSK, with each bin colour-coded according to the type of material removed; blue for paper, orange for plastic and brown for glass.
FSK Dean Prof Dr Baharuddin Haji Omar said all staff and students should cultivate the practice of separating solid waste materials for easy recycling by SWCorp.
“In our country, only 10.5% of solid waste is recycled, and this becomes exacerbated because as rubbish increases, there is less land to use as landfills, to the extent that there are landfills turned into housing estates,” Prof Baharuddin said after launching the book Danger At Solid Waste Disposal Sites by Dr Anuar Ithnin, Chairman of Occupational Safety & Health FSK, here today.
He explained that more than 40% of wastes come from from food scraps and when disposed with other solid wastes, will produce landfill gases such as Methane and Carbon Dioxide that can pose health risks.
“We need reduce food wastage, because the discarded leftovers mixed with other solid wastes makes it difficult to be treated as compost,” said Prof Baharuddin.
He noted that the recycling of solid waste is mandatory in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur since last September, although Selangor, Penang, Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu have yet to adopt the Solid Waste Management Act 2015.
Meanwhile, Dr Anuar, said his book is about studies on several former landfills in the Klang Valley, which are now residential areas, like Taman Medan, Taman Dato’ Harun and Taman Semarak where residents complained of falling ill due to inhaling the gases that seep out of the ground.
He hoped that all states can implement the Solid Waste Management Act by June as food waste separation at all premises needs to be practiced.