February 29, 2024

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The key to treating waste in Malaysia is in technology

According to a recent report by a member of the faculty of the Environmental Management department at a prominent Malaysian university, an executive review committee formed at the ministerial level on the operations of one of the largest and most modern rare earths separation plants in the world, has concluded that the plant’s operations complied with regulations.

However, despite the positive conclusions, the committee has recommended further action to rectify the flaws with the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry insisting that the plant should send the waste back to Western Australia.

This has sparked several questions considering the fact that the waste does not pose the radiation risks as claimed earlier.

Even nuclear power plants, which import uranium from third countries, are not obligated to send back their nuclear waste to the uranium exporting country.

Through the development of advanced processing technology, most developed economies earn their income through the conversion of low value imported crude products into higher value consumer and commercial items for export.

Hence, Malaysia, it was advised in the report, should do the same if it wants to be a world-processing and value-adding centre.

Developing the right waste treatment technologies would also bring handsome returns in the future.

Many agree that waste will become the resource of the future, as the country witnesses the continued depletion of the world’s natural resources.

Thus, the real answer lies in technology and innovation.

One potential technology solution is to produce viable biodegradable plastics while using other technology to reprocess waste plastics.

The recycling of electronic waste, initiated by the Multimedia and Communications Ministry, should be commended, the report noted.

More than just bringing in technologies from outside, Malaysia was advised to also develop its own. The waste from the plant should, thus, be treated the same.

Since radiation is not an issue any more, as articulated by the experts’ committee, those responsible can recommend that the plant puts in place the necessary remediation technologies before the waste is safely disposed of.

The important consideration is that it should not harm the environment.

If indeed the presence of heavy metals is confirmed, then the necessary technologies should be deployed to neutralise the potential hazards.

Malaysia can, thus, emulate Germany, which has made treatment of heavy metal waste a standard practice. Hence, there will be no need to request the plant to send back its waste.

In early December 2018, it was reported that an insurance company collected 3,842kg of recyclables during its nationwide initiative – a recycling drive involving 15 of its branches nationwide.

The week-long campaign saw the company collecting more than 3,600kg of paper, 180kg of clothes, 62kg of e-waste and books.

It was noted that the initiative began in 2016 with the aim of creating continuous awareness of the importance of recycling and reducing waste which would otherwise be sent to landfills.  It was also to inculcate the green habit in the employees of the insurance company, according to the insurance company’s head.

The collection of paper and e-waste went to two recycling centres while the books were given to the Malaysian Insurance Institute’s book donation campaign.

The collected clothes are passed on to a local fabric recycling organiser.

Second-hand working clothes that are still in good condition are given to students of a humanitarian organisation that serves, educates, and empowers underserved communities through education and social empowerment programmes.

Thus, it is clear that initiative is being taken by both government and industry to players to tackle the issue waste, particularly e-waste; and, there are clear ways in which it can be done.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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