Study on Municipal Solid Waste Management in Malaysia: Case Study in Kuching, Miri and Sibu


  • Ling Song Kai



Wastes, Household, Recycling, Greenhouse gases


Malaysia allocates a lot of money, time and space for the waste management services. However, the recycling programmes has remained unsuccessfull in achieving the set targets. This study was carried out in Kuching, Sibu and Miri municipalities to evaluate the communities’ attitude, suitability of collection services and identifying the problems and effectiveness of waste management practices and recycling programmes implemented to date.  The waste management practices in three towns were determined.  Surveys via questionnaires were used to determine the public awareness and public perception on recycling. Landfill capping effects on greenhouses gases emissions were also studied from three landfills in the areas under study. Standard soil classification was firstly conducted by sieve analyses, in accordance to the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Method No. 1377. The results deduced from the data on waste recycling and composition, indicated that the composition of solid waste was dominated by food waste. This was followed by old newspapers, mixed papers, plastics, bottles/ glass and aluminium cans.  The moisture content and energy value of waste was also determined as it influences the disposal option. Average solid waste generation rate per individual in Sarawak was 0.85 kg/person/day.  The collection time motion study Tr = T – [ Tt + n( Td + Th ) + Tb + T1]   (Corbitt, 1989) showed that the average weight of solid waste collected for the three towns was 323 kg/worker/collection hour with an efficiency of 65% of the total collection time.  With this finding, it can be concluded that the efficiency of the collection system in Sarawak was quite satisfactory.  The soil in Sibu had the highest plastic index (PI).  The baseline emission of green house gases (GHG) was determined using the Clean Development Mechanism Project Design Document Form.

The GHG in Kuching was 14,114 tonnes in first year while for Sibu and Miri it was 5,383 and 5,379 tonnes, respectively. Source separation and recycling behaviour (reduce, reuse and recycle) was analysed with several parameter related to public attitudes. This implies that changing public attitude is an important factor towards improving municipal solid waste management services.




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Author Biography

Ling Song Kai

Sibu Education Office, Ministry of Education, Malaysia