GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government needs to consider a more comprehensive waste management approach, starting from waste generation, consumption, collection, and waste treatment, said Bertam assemblyman Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (pix).
He said currently, the state’s initiatives were focused more on promoting prevention of waste generation and voluntary recycling efforts.
“While these initiatives are commendable, they do not provide an economy of scale to enhance the value of secondary raw materials for reuse at the industrial level or, in other words, the production and manufacturing phase.
“Even though Penang has implemented a dual waste separation policy, separating waste into recyclable and non-recyclable categories, a significant amount of potential resources are still being disposed of in landfills,“ he said during the debate of the 2024 Supply Bill and the Development Budget Proposal at the Penang state assembly sitting today.
He pointed out that despite the 51.18 per cent recycling rate announced in 2022, which surpassed the national recycling rate of 33.2 per cent, the amount of waste sent to landfills has steadily increased from 1,700 tons per day in 2009 to nearly 2,300 tons per day in 2022.
Therefore, he said there must be a data gap in the calculation of the recycling rate because it was impossible for the recycling rate to increase while the amount of waste sent to landfills also kept increasing.
The state assembly sitting continues tomorrow. -Bernama