On average 433 ton of waste materials piling up at Bintulu’s two landfills – Kidurong and Ulu Segan daily and nearly 50 percent of these waste materials could have been recycled.
According Sarawak Assistant Minister of Environment, Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie with population of 270,000 (for Bintulu Division) – that mean per person waste for Bintulu was about 0.48kg daily.
At such rate, Nansian said it would be environmentally unsustainable, costly and a disaster for the people of Bintulu and also Sarawak.
Building a sanitary landfill, which has average life span of 10-year cost a whooping RM40mil – which beyond the state government ability to provide, he said.
“We don’t have to build new landfill, as through recycling we can reduce our waste as much as 50 percent,” he said and stressed that recycling could also help extending the life of existing landfills, saving lot of public spaces that could otherwise be developed in a more useful way.
Sarawak currently only has 5 sanitary landfills, three of them have proper waste water management as the state government couldn’t afford the exorbitantly high cost.
The remaining 44 landfills throughout the state said to be of open, less environmentally sustainable landfills type.
“The more waste we recycle, the less landfills we need, the healthier our environment become,” said Nansian, urging everyone to be pro-active in protecting the environment.
He suggested Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) to encourage the use environmental friendly, biodegradable plastic bag made of starch-based polymer resin (or tapioca flour) in Bintulu.
“This plastic bag is environmentally friendly, green as it will dissolve when expose to rain, water, and the sun,” he said. “That will help to turn Bintulu into an environmental, industrial friendly city.