KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 – The government intends to reclassify waste from water treatment plants as non-scheduled waste material.
According to Dr A Xavier Jayakumar, the minister of water, land and natural resources, the Malaysia-Netherlands Symposium And Workshop On Sustainable Water Treatment Plant Residuals Management In Malaysia, will be held from 26 to 28 November 2019 to discuss the potential for sludge water waste, and to share Netherland’s expertise on the management of the said residue.
“There are several scientific studies in Malaysia which show that these sludge water waste should not be classified as scheduled waste because it does not exhibit the properties of scheduled waste substances such as being toxic, corrosive, igniting and reactive.
“The ministry will also work with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change to further discuss on the reclassification of the waste,” said Dr Xavier.
He added that countries which do not classify sludge water as scheduled waste, recycle and use it widely in agricultural land plots and parks, ceramic products, as backfill material in civil engineering as well as a raw material in cement production.
He was responding to a question by Tanjong MP Chow Kon Yeow, on whether the federal government intends to change existing environmental laws so that waste from water treatment plants is not classified as scheduled waste, and if there are plans to recycle the waste to produce new products, especially for the construction sector, as practiced in the Netherlands.
Dr Xavier said that at present, the Department of Environment (DOE) rules dictate that sludge water be classified as scheduled waste, and must be disposed as per its regulation, at designated centres, namely; Cenviro Sdn Bhd, in Bukit Nanas in Negeri Sembilan, sanitary landfills and disposal areas apart from sanitary landfills, and with permission from the DOE.
He said that this enforcement is done under the First Schedule of the Environmental Quality (Sewage) Regulations 2005, under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127).