Sunday, 1 February 2009

Japan's green garbage

Space-starved Tokyo uses green technology to turn garbage into electricity while wooing locals with community-friendly incinerators.

On the local side, The Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act is expected to be enforced from this March after several postponements.

With the Act, these changes in our way to manage waste come in effect:
  • A standard, integrated system in managing waste to promote a more efficient operating procedure.
  • Cost-saving controls - Waste from different states will be transported to a nearby regional landfill instead of having to travel hundreds of kilometres to be dumped at areas within the state's boundary.
  • Privatisation of waste management - A concessionaire applying for a licence to operate will be vetted based on its project's cost effectiveness, environmental friendliness and technological capability.
  • Key Performance Indicators - When complaints pile up against the concessionaires, their licence can be revoked. Example of a serious offence is the soiling of road with leachate from garbage trucks.
  • Complaints can be made at the state-level through the Solid Waste Management Corporation - The people could register their grouses with a tribunal in person or through a website if dissatisfied with the service or charges.
  • Local authority to be part of decision-making process - A service committee at the state level will allow local councils to give suggestions to the concessionaire.
  • Better service at the same cost - States to continue paying the amount they are now spending on waste management. The Federal Government will cover the additional expenses in the act, which is expected to be 30 per cent of the nation's waste expenditure.
  • Proper closure or upgrading of landfills - Out of 261 landfills nationwide, only 10 are considered sanitary. The rest would have to be closed or upgraded in batches.
  • Structured garbage collection - Households will receive a standard 120-litre bin, which can be flipped into collection lorries to prevent leachate spill. House owners would be charged for an overloaded bin.
  • Separation at source - It will be compulsory for home owners to separate their waste into wet and dry waste two to three years after the act is implemented. Collection for kitchen or wet waste would be done twice a week, while recyclable or dry waste would be collected weekly. This will cut the amount of landfill waste by half, extending the lifespan of the sites.
  • Encourage higher recycling rate - The take-back and deposit rebate schemes will encourage people to return recyclable waste like plastic containers for a token sum.
  • Providing a hygienic environment for scavengers - Lorries will unload in sheds, where scavengers can carry out their work before the waste goes into the landfills.
  • Plans to make compost out of kitchen waste will be carried out.


  1. Wow! Turn rubbish into electricity? Malaysia should do this! : )

  2. Japan still needs to make recycling easier.

  3. I agree with Foong...that'a great to see refuse turned into electricity...we definitely can do with this here!

  4. @foong & MBL,
    we still have a long way to go but any effort is good.

    but kudos to all Japan residents for adhering to the recycling efforts.

  5. I don't know when our Government will act on this type of system?

  6. Singapore should do this too. We waste too much resources.

  7. @India,
    if there efforts to improve, then it is good.

    How does Singapore manage its waste? Actually, what we the people can do is to reduce our waste and recycle, recycle, recycle.

  8. Lina, there's ample garbage to start with on Crab Island...hehhe

  9. What I know about Japan is, it is very well educated and high technical country. Then still they strive to cope with the situation?


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