Malaysia Developing a Solid Waste Management Model for Penang

08 Feb 2008
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Summary

Preventing and managing waste is at the heart of sustainable development. Waste implies unnecessary depletion of natural resources, unnecessary costs, and environmental damage. Sustainable waste management is about using resources more efficiently.

Solid waste management is a major challenge for Malaysia to address in the light of Vision 2020 which lays out the direction for Malaysia to become a fully developed nation by 2020. The National Vision Policy (NVP), developed to meet the challenges posed by Vision 2020, incorporates key strategies of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and the National Development Policy (NDP). A key thrust of the NVP is pursuing environmentally sustainable development to reinforce long-term growth, which presents a challenge to established policies and practices in the rapidly expanding area of solid waste management.

Measures are being taken to meet this challenge. Malaysia is on the verge of significant change following the passing of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing  Management Act 2007, the main tenets of which underpin the institutionalisation of strategies and procedures for solid waste management. This legislation brings management of solid waste directly under the Federal Government’s jurisdiction, allocates responsibilities to newly established agencies, redefines the role of local authorities, and aims to improve the collection, recycling and disposal of solid waste throughout Peninsular Malaysia. The changes to the administrative structure are substantial and the infrastructural improvements will be extensive, but to be effective, both require major changes in established disposal practices and in public attitudes and behaviour.

This volume is the sixth in a series of periodic publications that report on UNDP Malaysia’s work in its energy and environment practice area. The large range of projects being undertaken in this portfolio is designed to support Malaysia’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 7 of ensuring environmental sustainability.

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