• Is the Ministry of Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government reducing recycling activities in order to ensure supply of solid waste for the Waste to Energy (WtE) plant in Taman Beringin, Kepong?

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 13th of April, 2014

    Is the Ministry of Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government reducing recycling activities in order to ensure supply of solid waste for the Waste to Energy (WtE) plant in Taman Beringin, Kepong?

    In a reply to my parliamentary question on how much is the projected volume of waste produced in Kuala Lumpur in 2020, the National Solid Waste Management Department (Jabatan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Negara / JPSPN), which is under the Ministry of Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local, estimated that the volume of waste is projected at 3200 tons per day in 2020 representing an annual increase of between 3% to 3.5%.

    This reply is in total contrast to the previously gazetted KL City Plan 2020[1] and the draft of the yet to be gazetted KL City Plan 2020, which envisions that by 2020, 40% of total solid waste be recycled and the estimated waste generation per person be reduced to 0.6kg/day per ton (Appendix 1). This works out to be approximately 1320 tons per day for the estimated 2.2 million residents in Kuala Lumpur according to the draft KL City Plan 2020, which is 40% of the 3200 tons estimated by the JPSPN in the parliamentary reply.

    Does this mean that JPSPN is planning to fail to reach the recycling targets set out in the KL City Plan 2020? Is there an ulterior motive of ensuring that recycling efforts fail so that a steady supply of solid waste can be assured for the yet to be built Waste to Energy (WtE) plant in Taman Beringin, Kepong?

    Is this the reason why the Ministry is prioritizing the building of the WtE plant in Taman Beringin rather than the two sites identified as recycling centers in Taman Lindungan Melati and Chan Show Lin in the KL City Plan 2020? (Appendix 2)

    In the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PPQ) issued to the potential bidders of the WtE plant in Taman Beringin, Kepong, it is stated that the Government of Malaysia would guarantee a minimum of 1000 tons of solid waste per day to the concessionaire who wins the bid. One of the questions posed by a potential bidder was what would happen if the solid waste collected by DBKL were to be reduced during the concession period. The reply was that ‘the current intention is for the GoM (Government of Malaysia) to undertake to deliver the waste volume specified’ – i.e. 1000 tons per day – ‘and for there to be a mechanism to deal with a shortfall’ (Appendix 3). Presumably, this means that the eventual contract signed would include a compensation mechanism if the volume of solid waste given to the concessionaire is less than 1000 tons per day. The nature of these ‘clarification’ statements given by the government only increases the perception that the government is not serious about reducing solid waste through the promotion of the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.

    A further confirmation that the Ministry is not serious about reducing waste through the 3Rs is the admission to the potential bidders that ‘no sorting process is conducted during collection’ (Appendix 4). What this means is that the Ministry has NO INTENTION for the separation of solid waste at source to be implemented in 3 years’ time which is when the WtE plant is expected to be completed even though the former Housing and Local Government Minister, Chor Chee Heung, was quoted as far back as 2011 in saying that separation at source for municipal waste would be imposed under the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007[2]. Section 74(1) of the same Act also gives the authority to the Director General of the National Solid Waste Management Department to enforce the separation of solid waste including at source.[3]

    The parliamentary reply as well as the information from the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire and the subsequent clarifications only goes to prove that the Ministry has no intention of undertaking a serious, concerted and comprehensive 3R effort in order to reduce the volume of solid waste in Kuala Lumpur but is intent on letting the volume of solid waste grow in order to ‘feed’ the proposed Waste to Energy (WtE) plant in Taman Beringin, Kepong and presumably in the other places where incinerators are being planned including Sungai Udang in Melaka and Bukit Payong in Johor.

    I can upon the Minister to clarify the following points:

    (i) What is the targeted recycling rate and solid waste generation per capita for Kuala Lumpur by 2020 and what concrete actions are being undertaken to achieve this?

    (ii) Whether the Ministry has abandoned plans for solid waste to be separated at source?

    (iii) When will the Ministry announce plans for the two recycling sites in Taman Lindungan Melati and Jalan Chan Show Lin, as identified in the KL City Plan 2020?

    I call upon the Minister to pursue an aggressive 3R campaign and to fully utilize the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 in order to achieve the recycling targets put forth in the KL City Plan 2020 before considering a Waste to Energy (WtE) plant in Taman Beringin, Kepong.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    Appendix 1: KL City Plan 2020 showing the recycling and solid waste production targets by 2020

    Appendix 2: KL City Plan 2020 showing the site for the Taman Beringin incinerator as well as the recycling center facilities in Taman Lingundan Melati and Chan Show Lin

    Appendix 3: Clarification to the PPQ document regarding the minimum guaranteed volume of solid waste

    Appendix 4: Confirmation that no sorting of waste is done during collection


    [1] http://klcityplan2020.dbkl.gov.my/eis/?page_id=491
    [2] http://www.thestar.com.my/story.aspx/?file=%2f2011%2f3%2f1%2fnation%2f20110301150815&sec=nation

    [3] The Director General may give written directions as he considers fit to any person for the purpose of ensuring the compliance with this Act, on the separation, handling and storage of any controlled solid waste in the possession of such person.

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