KUALA LUMPUR: The implementation of the solid waste separation at source (SAS) programme since Sept 1, 2015 has contributed to the improvement in the national recycling rate, which now stands at 35.38 per cent.

Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Aiman Athirah Sabu said the ministry is optimistic about achieving a 40 per cent national recycling rate by next year through the SAS initiative.

“Since the programme began, there has been an increase in the amount of separated and recycled recyclable materials, totalling 29,123.73 tonnes compared to the previous 498 tonnes.

“The number of premises monitored for SAS compliance also increased, with 45 per cent of landed premises and 30 per cent of high-rise premises being monitored,” she said during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

She was responding to a question from Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Dr Wan Ismail (PH-Bandar Tun Razak) regarding the effectiveness of the SAS programme.

Aiman Athirah added that 605 violation notices and 441 compound notices were issued during the enforcement period.

To a supplementary question from Dr Wan Azizah on steps to ensure better solid waste management, Aiman Athirah emphasised the need for the existing programme to be widely promoted.

She said that while the government has a programme and enforcement measures in place, they are currently only applicable to the seven states that have signed Act 672.

On Sept 1, 2015, the government implemented the compulsory separation of waste at source in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Pahang, Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah and Perlis.