2.1 Solid Waste Management (SWM)

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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW2.1Solid Waste Management (SWM)Solid waste management has become one of a major concern in environmental issues(Mazzanti & Zoboli, 2008). This is particularly true to urban areas where population israpidly growing and amount of waste generated is increasing like never before(Kathiravale & Mohd Yunus, 2008). Current earth’s population is 6.8 billion and it isestimated that almost half of this population lives in urban areas (Population Division ofthe Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, 2009).Waste generation increase proportionally to this population number and income, creatingthe needs of effective management (Mazzanti & Zoboli, 2008). Urbanization andindustrialization leads to new lifestyles and behavior which also affects waste compositionfrom mainly organic to synthetic material that last longer such as plastics and otherpackaging material (Idris et al., 2004). E-waste that barely existed before was generated asmuch as 20-50 metric tons a year (UNEP, 2006).The management of waste become complex and the facilities provided cannot cope withthe increasing demand and needs. Therefore, best approach need to be implementedimmediately while considering environmental, social and economic aspects (Aye &Widjaya, 2006). The drivers of sustainable waste management were clarified by Agamuthuet al. (2009), which include human, economic, institutional and environment aspect. Thestudy suggests that each driving group should be considered in local context as managingsolid waste for a particular society may differ from the others.10

For example, waste managers in Africa need to tackle some issues including, lack of data,insignificant financial resources, vast different of amount and waste types between urbanand rural area, lack of technical and human resources, low level of awareness and culturalaversion towards waste (Couth & Trois, 2010). On the other hand, problems faced amongAsian countries differ with two distinct groups; developed and developing countries. Whilesome of the countries are having specific national policy on solid waste management, someothers experience problems such as increasing urban population, scarcity of land, servicescoverage area, inadequate resources and technology, and so on (Shekdar, 2009).The differences in managing solid waste not only vary between countries but also amongareas in the same country. For instance, while Istanbul are having big improvement in theirsolid waste management with the establishment of transfer stations, sanitary landfills andmethane recovery system, it does not reduce the problem in the Black Sea coast in Turkey.This is caused by the complex topography, weak administrative structures and the lowlocal’s income (Berkun et al., 2005).Integrated Sustainable Waste Management (ISWM) system was then introduced in 1995 toimprove earlier system that neglect unique characteristics of a given society, economy andenvironment (van de Klundert, 1999). For example, European countries had odelstocreatesustainablecommunities, manage resources efficiently, tapping innovation potential of the economy,ensuring prosperity, environmental protection and social cohesion in their SWM system(Pires et al., 2011). Asian countries had also given attention in building the national legal11

frameworks, managing institutional, technology, operational and financial aspects, andcreating public awareness and participation (Shekdar, 2009).The waste management system should be dynamic and continuous based on new insightsand experiences (van de Klundert, 1999). For example, continuous assessment of currentpolicy and regulatory framework of New Zealand indicated the lack of policiescoordination, hazardous waste management, consistency, incentives and markets forrecycled material, and cleaner production effort (Boyle, 2000). Thus, the improvement inpolicy is needed while it will also benefit the country. As an example, based from EU25group, it was found that the generation of waste is increasing and is expected to continuefor many years ahead. After the implementation of the new EU’s policy in waste recoveryand incineration, the amount of waste landfilled has been decreasing slowly (Mazzanti &Zoboli, 2008).However, based from the data from developed countries, the actual amount of waste beenlandfilled is actually decreasing as more waste are incinerated, composted or recycled.Looking at the positive angle, Lomborg (1998) believed that area needed is sufficient tocater the total amount of waste generated by the world, but the problem is the locationsince nobody wants to stay near landfills. He also reported that air from incinerators andgroundwater near landfills today are cleaner and safer. Therefore, solid waste generationcan be considered more of a political or social issue than others (Lomborg, 1998).A lot of literature has discussed current practices, challenges and future solutions on wastemanagement such as those for India (Hazra & Goel, 2009), Portugal (Magrinho et al.,12

2006), Canada (Wagner & Arnold, 2008) and Malaysia (Agamuthu et al., 2009). Thesestudies allow comparison to adopt the best practice wherever applicable.2.1.1 Solid Waste GenerationWaste generation is the most important aspect to look at in order to have effective solidwaste management system. The generation of waste varies considerably between countriesbased on the culture, public awareness and management (Hazra & Goel, 2009; Wagner &Arnold, 2008; Magrinho et al., ethandevelopingcountries(Kathiravale & Mohd Yunus, 2008). Countries in Asian and African region produce wastein the range of 0.21-0.37 tons/ capita/ year, while European countries generate higheramount of waste with 0.38-0.64 tons/ capita/ year (Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange [IPCC], 2006).The generation of waste is also reported to be associated with the economic status of acountry. In Asia, countries with higher GDP, namely Hong Kong and Japan were reportedto generate more waste compared to developing countries such as India, Vietnam andNepal (Table 2.1) (Shekdar, 2009). Waste composition from these countries also differswhere rural areas often produce more organic waste and fewer recyclable items (Idris et al.,2004).13

Table 2.1 Gross domestic index (GDP) and waste generationCountryGDP (PPP) per capitaestimated for 2007(USD)Hong Kong37 385Japan33 010Singapore31 165Taiwan31 040South Korea23 331Malaysia12 96Sri Lanka5047India3794Vietnam3502Lao PDR2260Nepal1760Source: Shekdar, 2009on selected Asian countriesWaste veloped countries are experiencing high waste generation while developing countriesalways have problems with the implementation of the management system (Hazra & Goel,2009; Bai & Sutanto, 2002). This includes weak enforcement, lack of technology andineffective policy implementation (Agamuthu et al., 2009). In detail, these countriesexperience low and irregular collection of waste, uncontrolled of air and water pollution inopen dumping area, the breeding of flies and vermin, and the mismanagement ofscavenging activities (Latifah et al., 2009).Looking at the waste generation trend of developed country, it is believed that othertransition and developing countries will experienced the same. Until recently, thegeneration of waste is increasing and it is believed to continue rising. This is an issue ofconcern for authorities all over the world. It is believed that the amount of waste will14

continue to pile up the landfill and someday the land will not be able to receive anymorewaste.2.1.2 Solid Waste DisposalInformation on waste generation is important to determine the most suitable waste disposaloptions. Improper waste disposal may cause pollution. The main purpose in implementingbest practice for solid waste management is to prevent pollution. Pollution is a threat tohuman and other living organism (Morra et al., 2009; Liu & Morton, 1998). It may alsodamage the ecosystem and disrupt the natural cycle and climate on earth (Raga et al.,2001). There are many disposal options available to suit the nature of waste and acountry’s preference and interest.Economics and environmental aspects of waste disposal option are always the main issuein choosing the right technology (Aye & Widjaya, 2006; Daskalopoulos et al., 1997).Developed Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore are on their way toeliminate landfilling while some other Asian countries still have problems with opendumping (Agamuthu & Fauziah, 2010; Shekdar, 2009; Bai & Sutanto, 2002).Despite the development of many waste disposal option, landfills remain the mostprominent system applied worldwide (Shekdar, 2009; Hamer, 2003). Although a lot ofimprovement had been possible in the landfilling system and the regulation on the type ofwaste that can be treated at landfill is stringent, most of landfills operated remain primitive(Hamer, 2003).15

Ayomoh et al. (2008) had listed few problems related to improper landfill operationincluding, health deterioration, accidents, flood occurrences, pollution of surface andunderground waters, unpleasant odor, pest infestation and gas explosion. Although theimpacts from landfills are known, impacts from other alternative remain unanswered thussubject to critics (Hamer, 2003).Incineration has been the choice for developed country as they have sufficient financialinput and are looking into energy recovery from waste (Papageorgiou et al., 2009; Kleiss& Imura, 2006). Small country such as Singapore adopts incineration as their wastedisposal option due to scarcity of land (Bai & Sutanto, 2002). Even that, incineration isalso associated with some other risks. This includes the generation of carcinogenic andtoxic compound. It will also produce end products which need further treatment where it ishighly toxic, collectively known as dioxin (Hamer, 2003).Some reported that the impacts from incineration are over-emphasized and the advancingtechnology had highly reduced the environmental impacts (Morselli et al., 2008; Hamer,2003). However, many of the countries prefer waste minimization compared to wastetreatment such as landfill or incineration (Bai & Sutanto, 2002; Boyle, 2000). Technologyis advancing every day and chemical recycling of plastic wastes has also been madepossible in these developed countries (Al-Salem et al., 2009).Regardless of the technology chosen, each has its pros and cons. The information on eachdisposal option needs to be clarified to determine the suitable option for each particularcountry. Few tools had been used in the environmental evaluation including in determining16

best waste disposal option. For example, Life Cycle Assessment determined that the mosteconomically feasible option for traditional market waste management in Indonesia iscomposting at a centralized plant, while biogas production option has the lowestenvironmental impact (Aye & Widjaya, 2006).Other tools used to determine best waste disposal option includes multiple criteria analysis(MCA) and Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) (Chung and Poon, 1996). A SWPlan softwareparticularly to calculate capital and management cost is also available to determine the bestintegrated technology in waste management (Fauziah & Agamuthu, 2007).2.1.3 Solid Waste Management in MalaysiaIn Malaysia, the Solid Waste Department of the Ministry of Housing and LocalGovernment (MHLG) is the authorized body to manage issues regarding solid wastemanagement. Below is the 6-step process of solid waste management in Malaysia (Figure2.1):17

Solid waste generationSolid waste temporarily stored inwaste bins at generation sourceSolid waste collected by the collectionworkers and transported by trucksSolid wastes that arerecyclables will be sentto recycling industriesfor recycling purposeSolid wastes are processed infacilities approved by theGovernment such as solidwaste transfer stationSolid waste disposed off at final disposalfacilities such as landfill or incineratorFigure 2.1: Processes of solid waste management in MalaysiaSource: Chong and Raihani, In: IMPAK, 2007Earlier, the cleaning effort was done by the local authority until it was privatized to fourprivate consortia in 1993 to improve efficiency (Agamuthu et al., 2009). After some years,it was unsuccessful to resolve solid waste problem but only managed to transfer theproblem to other party (Agamuthu et al., 2009).2.1.3 (a) Waste generation in MalaysiaMalaysia is a rapidly developing country that faces increasing amount of waste generation;as high as 91% over the past ten years, which current generation exceeds 31,000 tonnes per18

day (Agamuthu & Fauziah, 2010). This is beyond previous estimation where Malaysia wasestimated to generate 31 000 tonnes of solid waste by the year 2020 (Latifah et al., 2009).This is due to the increase of waste generation rate from 0.5 kg/ca/day in 1980’s to1.3kg/ca/day in 2006 (Agamuthu et al., 2009).Other study reported the per capita generation rate for Malaysian solid waste varies from0.88 and 1.44 kg/ day depending on the rate of urbanization (Idris et al., 2004). Also, theamount of waste generated depends on the economic status of the inhabitants of theparticular area (Agamuthu et al., 2009; Idris et al., 2004).2.1.3 (b) Waste disposal in MalaysiaSolid waste disposal is one of the issues of concern in many developing countries (Idris etal., 2004). Currently, landfilling is the only method used for solid waste disposal inMalaysia (Agamuthu & Fauziah, 2010; Latifah et al., 2009). Currently, there are 166dumps and only 8 sanitary landfills in Malaysia (Agamuthu et al., 2009).Problems from landfills in Malaysia include odor, insufficient covering material, flies andother vermin infestations and smoke from open fires (Idris et al., 2004). The increasingamount of waste received by these landfill make it necessary to find other disposal optionsince constructing new landfills may be difficult due to the scarcity of land, increase ofland price and demand for a better disposal system (Latifah et al., 2009).19

2.1.3 (c) The Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management (SWPCM) Act 2007The ineffective solution in solid waste management in Malaysia had encouraged thegovernment to further improve the management system by approving the Solid Waste andPublic Cleansing Management (SWPCM) Act that has been reviewed since 1997(Agamuthu et al., 2009). The objective of SWPCM Act 2007 is to improve and ensurehigh-quality servicesin solid waste management (Agamuthu et al., 2009). Theimplementation of the (SWPCM) Act will see the transfer of responsibility from LocalAuthorities to the federal government in managing solid waste in the country (Agamuthu etal., 2009; Latifah et al., 2009).Major changes in solid waste management in Malaysia will be in terms of managementfunds, the payment mode, the waste separation system, improved enforcement andimprovement in 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) system (Agamuthu et al., 2009). Otherarea which is notable in the new Act is the strict punishment including RM10,000 (EURO1980) to RM 100,000 (EURO 19,802) of fine and a jail sentence of up to five years forthose found guilty of illegal dumping, storage and treatment (Latifah et al., 2009).SWPCM Act 2007 will include the management of solid waste from commercial centers,public sites, construction sites, households, industrial zones, institutions, imported andothers (Latifah et al., 2009). In general, the act is focusing on the management of waste atsource. Monetary confinement will act upon those ‘found’ guilty, but it will be difficult todetermine the culprit in the case of moving waste such as river or ocean dumping.20

Currently in Malaysia, the management of this type of waste does not receive as muchattention. It is treated separately where Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) andDepartment of Environment (DOE) is responsible for any pollution in river or marineecosystem. Although direct ocean dumping is not common in Malaysia, urban runoffs andriverside dumps had contribute to debris found on rivers and finally on marine ecosystem(Rajah & Elias, 2006).2.1.4 River and ocean dumpingRiver dumping usually involved waste from riverside houses, urban runoffs and stormdrains. Ocean dumping includes materials such as demolition debris, sewage sludge,dredge materials, waste chemical and also garbage (“Ocean dumping”, 2011). Most of thedumping activities are illegal while some are controlled and regulated.Ocean dumping was a common practice before countries over the globe began to ban theactivities in 1980s (Zou, 2009; Duxbury et al., 2000). Even after the prohibition, dumpinginto water bodies persist in the area where waste collection service is not received (Inanc etal., 2004).In some regions, although there are designated dumping areas for slaughterhouse,hazardous and biomedical waste, the legislation are ineffective to curb illegal dumpingonto water bodies (Inanc et al., 2004). To make it worse, waste previously dumped fromports and waterways had found their way back to the beaches years after theimplementation of the legislation on ocean dumping (Duxbury et al., 2000).21

Although direct dumping is prohibited, it was found that 80% of the total debris found inthe river and ocean sourced from land-based activities (“Plastic debris: Rivers to sea”,2011). The amount of waste found on marine ecosystem can be minimized by controllingthe amount of land-based charges (“Plastic debris: Rivers to sea”, 2011). The managementof solid waste on land will have impact to marine ecosystem, thus the understanding of therelationship is required to control marine pollution.2.2Marine EcosystemThe earth is known as a system where living and non-living co-exist, dependant andinteract with each other in exceedingly complex ways (Mann, 2000). About 75% of thetotal world area is water thus marine ecosystem definitely plays major roles in the earthsystem (Duxbury et al., 2000). Marine ecosystem consists of oceans, salt marshes,intertidal ecology, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons, coral reefs, deep sea and the sea floor(“Marine ecosystem”, 2011).2.2.1 Functions and roles of marine ecosystemMarine ecosystem and the atmosphere are in contact over 75% of the Earth’s surface in acontinuous and dynamic manner (Duxbury et al., 2000). The interaction influencedoccurrence of clouds, winds, storms, rain and fog over the earth; forming the weather andclimate (Duxbury et al., 2000). Marine ecosystem has the capacity to control the earthsurface temperature by heating or cooling processes; as a buffer for the whole system22

(Duxbury et al., 2000). It is also involved in biogeochemical cycles including carbon,nitrogen and phosphorus cycle (Thurman & Trujillo, 2004).The ocean is said to be the lungs of the earth by supplying 70% of the oxygen gas humanbreathe and taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere (Thurman & Trujillo, 2004).Other marine ecosystem such as estuaries acts as a filter for inland runoff while mangrovesprotect the coastline from waves thus prevents soil erosion (Mann, 2000). Marineecosystem is the largest and prominent element on earth that has shaped politicalboundaries and human history (Thurman & Trujillo, 2004). Covering, as much as, 70% ofthe earth area, it is a home for thousands of species that is also important for humansurvival as food source (Mann, 2000).The species found in the ecosystem varies in size; from microscopic bacteria and algae tothe largest life form of blue whale (Thurman & Trujillo, 2004). As for recently, more than250 000 marine species had been identified and the number is increasing everyday (Mann,2000). In fact, it is estimated that 5 - 100 millions species have not been identified(Dux

2.1.3 Solid Waste Management in Malaysia In Malaysia, the Solid Waste Department of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHLG) is the authorized body to manage issues regarding solid waste management. Below is the 6-step process of solid waste management in Malaysia (Figure 2.1):

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