Selangor records highest increase in scheduled waste

by NURUL SUHAIDI / Pic by BLOOMBERG

Selangor reported the highest number of scheduled waste at 1,019.9 thousand tonnes in 2019 (25.4%), according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s (DOSM) Environment Statistics 2020.

The publication looked at the statistics of environmental conditions nationwide and the impact of human activities on the environment.

The scheduled waste had increased 8.3 % from 2015 until 2019, where 4,013.2 tonnes were generated in 2019.

Selangor also dominated the clinical wastes at 7.3 thousand tonnes as compared to other states.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said other industries that contributed to the scheduled wastes generated in 2019 at the national level included power plant activities.

Plant activities contribute 24.2% to the generation of scheduled waste, followed by metal refinery (12.2%), chemical industry (10.7%) and electric and electronic (10.1%).

He also contended that Covid-19 will drastically increase the widespread of clinical wastes in the affected areas.

“The rise of Covid- 19 positive cases is in tandem with the increase of manpower in health facilities and quarantine centres that inadvertently contribute to the increase in the volume of clinical waste,” he said in a statement today.

Looking at the global development, the World Bank’s report entitled “What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050” suggested if waste management systems are not properly addressed, global waste may increase by 70% to 3.40 billion tonnes in 2050 (2016: 2.01 billion tonnes).

The report also found that good waste management systems are critical to build a circular economy where products are recycled and in turn will promote a more sustainable environment.

“Adding to it, as a tourism attraction, Malaysia is also facing various threats due to improper waste management from tourism activities that may dampen the economic resources in the country, ” Mohd Uzir added.

Notably, the industry contributed 15.9 % to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with a value of RM240.2 billion (2018: RM220.4 billion).

However, coastal areas tend to be vulnerable to various threats especially erosion in which the impact will cause losses to the tourism sector and economic resources.

In general, Malaysia’s coastline was 8,840.0 km and 1,347.6km had experienced coastal erosion until 2019.

“Sarawak with a coastline of 1,234.1 km experienced coastal erosion of 492.5 km followed by Sarawak (429.3 km) and Perak (95.1 km),” he said.

Separately, the publication also listed five types of prevalent Food and Water Borne Diseases in Malaysia caused by toxic or infectious nature namely Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery, Hepatitis A and food poisoning.

Food poisoning recorded the highest number of cases at 16,583 as compared to other Food and Water Borne Diseases in 2019.

Labuan recorded the highest incidence rate of food poisoning per 100,000 population at 165.2 in 2019, followed by Sabah (71.2) and Terengganu (68.9).

The report said Malaysia’s climates, namely its high humidity, abundant rainfall, and its location in the equatorial zone also poses this health risk to the public.

Three meteorological stations that recorded the highest mean temperature in 2019 were Temerloh station in Pahang (33.9°C) followed by Lubok Merbau, Perak and Subang, Selangor with each of the stations recording an average temperature of 33.6°C.

Meanwhile, the Petaling Jaya station recorded the highest annual rainfall of 3,673.2 mm followed by Labuan (3,433.6 mm) and Bintulu, Sarawak (3,316.6 mm).