Saturday, January 23, 2010


Aerial of Bukit Tagar landfill which is so stinky you can smell it from the PLUS highway turn-off and this is one of Selangor's showpieces!
I just had another little  foray into the wonderful world of garbage and discovered a couple of things that really disturb me:
1. Selayang Municipal Council pays between RM 2.5 -3 Million to Alam Flora per month for garbage collection and disposal, which calculated at 400 tons a day for 30 days equates to a payment of RM208 per ton. Then add on the RM30 per ton tipping fee at Bukit Tagar and we're talking RM238 per ton.  That's outrageous when you think what they (and the rate payers) are getting for their money.

2. I naively thought that garbage trucks were weighed as they arrived and left the landfill to determine the tonnage dumped and therefore the charge to the local authority. Apparently it doesn't work like that at all.  Most local authorities pay a fixed rate for waste collection and disposal so there's no incentive for the operators to actually take the garbage to the landfill which is presumably why there's so much illegal dumping everywhere...trying to maximise profits.

If there was a serious commitment on behalf of the government and local authorities to keep the environment free of garbage then the payment would be on a weight basis.  I believe this is the system in Sarawak and that as a result the garbage collectors are very diligent about making sure all the waste gets to a proper landfill site. Actually Sarawak seem to have got their solid waste management operating much more efficiently than over in the Peninsula...other local authorities please take note.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Putting the cart before the horse

Sepa cries foul over coal plant EIA report

Fri, Jan 22, 2010


KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa) has warned the state government not to ram through its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on controversial coal-fired power plant on the east coast of the state.

“Something is not right about the state government announcing that it would be releasing the the report by March,” said Sepa president Wong Tack.

“They have not released the TOR (Terms of Reference) for the report and yet here they are announcing that the (EIA) report will come out in March.

“We don’t know the scope of the study for the EIA. What are they studying? Or has it been predetermined. The statements coming out surely sound like it. This is not right ,” said a tired and upset looking Wong this week.

The tireless environmentalist has been campaigning for transparency in the government’s bid to build what he believes would be an environment-changing coal-fired power plant for admittedly power-starved consumers on the east coast of the state.

Chief Minister Musa Aman announced two weeks ago that the eagerly awaited EIA report would come out some time in March.

The government has identified Felda Sahabat, Tungku near, Lahad Datu as the location for the 300-megawatt plant pending the EIA.

Environmentalists such as the Green Surf group have opposed the use of coal, which is considered dirty energy, and have repeatedly asked the government to drop the plan for a coal-fired plant.

The area, they say, is pristine and unpolluted and it would be an ecological disaster for the state if such a power plant was built there.

Continue reading here

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A post Copenhagen must read

Addressing climate change

By Gan Pei Ling

WORLD leaders may continue to defend themselves, but it will not change the fact that they failed to live up to the world's expectations at the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15). Indeed, the Copenhagen Accord— the "deal" that governments agreed to take note of at COP15 — did not spell out the amount of greenhouse gas emissions developed countries would commit to reducing by 2020.

And so, now that COP15 is over and media attention is drawn away from climate change, what happens next? In Malaysia, what are the different stakeholders planning on doing about the accord and despite the failed negotiations in Copenhagen?

Protest in Cophenhagen on 12 Dec 2009

Click on the photo to continue reading

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Just came across two goodies while surfing this morning...

The first is who have some great freeware simulations designed to improve our understanding of how changes in carbon dioxide emissions affect levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The C-Learn and Climate Bathtub Simulators are great tools for anyone who's interested in working in the community to raise awareness about global warming. The site also has videos and other free material that are well worth checking out.

The second gem is called SixthSense and was developed by MIT grad student, Pranav Mistry. 
He's invented an affordable and wearable device that enables 
new interactions between the real world and the world of data.  
Totally blew me away...