07 Aug 2019
Courtesy visit to the National Solid Waste Management Department
Dr Kok Siew Ng (University of Oxford), Dr Eleni Iacovidou (Brunel University London) and Dr Wan Azlina bt. Wan Abdul Karim Ghani (Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM) paid a courtesy visit to the National Solid Waste Management Department (Jabatan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Negara - JPSPN). JPSPN is under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHLG), abbreviated as Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan (KPKT) in Malay language.
The Deputy Director General (Technical) of JPSPN kindly hosted a meeting and provided invaluable insights into the various issues and challenges relevant to the municipal solid waste management in Malaysia. He explained that currently the Federal government is responsible for the MSW management in only 7 states in Malaysia, which have accepted to enforce and comply with the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672). The meeting touched upon various issues such as the import of contaminated plastic waste in Malaysia; the multi-faceted implications surrounding the collection and management of MSW in the 7 states; the pressing issues around dumpsites closure and effective operation of existing and new landfills; and the need for moving towards integrated solid waste management (ISWM) and pertaining investments required.
The team anticipates to collaborate with JPSPN in the near future in view of promoting circular economy and tackling the challenges relevant to solid waste management in Malaysia.
The SYNERGORS Project
The SYNERGORS project (“A systems approach to synergistic utilisation of secondary organic streams”), funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is led by Dr Kok Siew Ng from the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford. This project aims to develop new systems approaches and decision-making tools for promoting resource recovery from secondary organic waste streams including fossil- (e.g. used plastics) and biomass-derived waste (e.g. food waste, residual biomass).
SYNERGORS will provide significant insights into various options for organic waste reduction and utilisation, and propose viable business models to attract stakeholders in the commercial sectors to invest in these areas. Furthermore, the research will address various socio-environmental challenges faced by human and living communities, the rising global demands in energy and commodities, and lessening burdens on the landfill, water and atmosphere.
It is envisaged that the outcomes from this project (e.g. decision-making tool and roadmap) can be adopted in the UK and other developing countries in improving the policies and practices in relation to organic waste management. The objectives of the project are well aligned with the UK Industrial Strategy in enhancing resource efficiency while achieving a sustainable industrial growth and a more resilient economy. The project has received support from a number of UK and international organisations (academia, industry and government), providing multidisciplinary expertise to address the global challenges in waste management.
Dr Ng would like to express his gratitude to the NERC (now part of UKRI) for their invaluable support for this initiative. The British Council is also acknowledged as initial collaboration between the UK and Malaysia was first established through Newton Fund Researcher Links Workshop. The current fellowship project funded by NERC has enabled further collaboration to be sustained for the next few years.
Dr Ng would also like to thank Professor Ir. Dr. Denny KS Ng (Associate Head of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia), Associate Professor Ir. Dr. Wan Azlina bt. Wan Abdul Karim Ghani (Director of Sustainable Process Engineering Research Centre - SPERC, UPM) and Mr Tze Howe Ooi (President of Higher Education Youth Association - HEYA) for arranging the meetings and visits in Malaysia.
Please contact Dr Kok Siew Ng (email@example.com) if you are interested in learning more about the project.