Recycle or we’ll run out of landfills, warns Johor exco man

A garbage dump site in Jinjang, in northern Kuala Lumpur.
The Straits Times

KULAI, Malaysia - Landfills in Johor will not last more than 30 years if people fail to practise recycling, said State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Latiff Bandi.

"If people continue to throw all their rubbish, including recyclable items, then the landfills will not be able to sustain the loads much longer.

"One landfill can last more than 30 years but with the increased garbage collected, its lifespan would be reduced," he said at a garbage separation seminar at Dewan Putra here.

It was for this reason that the garbage separation programme was implemented on Sept 1, he added.

Abdul Latiff pointed out that Johor produced between 3,600 and 4,000 tonnes of garbage daily, which is being sent to the 12 landfills throughout the state.

"The state government will widen the trash separation programme to ensure that all locals separate recyclable items from waste.

"Although we have received positive feedback since the programme started, we believe that not many people are practising it," he said.

He reminded that the authorities would take action, including issuing compounds, against those who failed to follow the ruling, starting from July 1 next year.

"Until then, we will continue to educate the public about the benefits of trash separation and recycling."

Abdul Latiff said Malaysia still recorded a relatively low rate for recycling, with a mere 10 per cent, while other nations had reached over 40 per cent.

"The Government is serious in making sure Malaysia becomes a developed, high-income country by 2020.

"But the achievement will mean nothing if the people's mindset on garbage remains unchanged," he said.