November 5, 2019, by Lisa Chin
UNM researchers aiming for a Green economy and to enhance public awareness on waste management
This post is contributed by Dr Tshai Kim Yeow, Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering.
Responding to the recent call for Newton-Ungku Omar Grand Fund Challenge on Waste-to-Wealth, a group of researchers from University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) had visited Environmental Preservation and Innovation Centre (EPIC), Malaysia’s first Centre of Excellence (COE) for Sustainable Environment and Waste Management located in Cenviro Eco Park, Sendayan TechValley Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.
The team of environmentally conscious researchers from UNM had an interactive discussion with Dr Sivapalan Kathiravale, who is a Chartered Member of the Institution of Wastes Management United Kingdom and Head of EPIC. With common aim towards a Green Circular Economy, the discussion covered various areas of waste management and looked into present challenges in establishment of sustainable nations. Topics such as better understanding on the current level of public awareness among Malaysian community about waste management, standards and practices of waste management in Malaysia, waste reduction and best practices to improve waste isolation at source e.g. separation of recyclables and organic food waste, consumer education about waste management, waste segregation and recycling technologies across different countries, challenges and opportunities in tackling current landfill issues as well as impact of unsustainable waste management amongst others.
One of the interesting discussions was to explore the potential of developing a mobile waste segregation system with scalable capability for effective isolation of different waste streams, from small community ranging from few thousands (i.e. university/institution) up to medium (i.e. local municipal) and large landfill site consisted of mixed, highly contaminated wastes. In collaboration with Malaysian company leading in green revolution, it is an on-going efforts of UNM in raising Malaysian’s awareness about waste management and developing technologically sound approaches to better manage waste (to wealth) for building sustainable and liveable cities for the future generations.