S’wak Deputy Minister: Local councils spend about one-third of revenue on waste management

Tiang (yellow shirt) with representatives of various schools which won prizes.

By William Isau

SIBU, Jan 11: The State needs to put in more effort to recoup recyclable materials or else solid waste management will slowly eat up local councils’ financial resources in the long run.

Deputy Minister of Public Health and Housing, Michael Tiang said the country’s recycle rate is only 28 per cent compared with Singapore’s 61 per cent and Germany’s 68 per cent.

“According to the councils, in 2019, Sarawak spent RM58 million or 34 per cent of their revenue to manage solid waste, including maintenance. In 2020, this has decreased to RM55 million, which is about 32 per cent,” he said at a prizegiving ceremony for winning entries in Sibu and Sarikei Zones School Recycling Campaign 2022 today.

In Sibu and Sarikei, an average about 94,622 tonnes of municipal waste is collected annually.

Meanwhile, Tiang who is the Pelawan assemblyman said 73.4 metric tonnes of e-waste was collected in Sarawak in 2020, and 14.9 metric tonnes in 2021.

“As Sarawak becomes more industrialised, it is our duty as a member of the local community to realise the importance of proper waste disposal to environment preservation,” he noted.

Tiang praised local authorities such as Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) for collaborating with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to ensure all e-waste ends up in the right place in the absence of regulated disposal of household e-waste.

On the recycling campaign, he said it involved 42 schools—33 primary and 9 secondary schools—under the jurisdiction of SMC, Sibu Rural District Council and Sarikei District Council.

The programme in Sibu and Sarikei collected 111,344kg of recycled items over a period of six months, starting May 1, 2022 and ending October 28.

Also speaking at the function was the ministry’s permanent secretary, Datuk Antonio Kahti Galis. — DayakDaily