SERDANG, 5 Jan – Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) launched the Serdang Biomass Town Awareness Campaign for the Serdang community at the Auditorium of the Faculty of Engineering, UPM.
Adopting a green technology concept, it is the first project of its kind launched in Malaysia and aims to improve the disposal system of solid to organic waste in order to produce clean, quality and contamination-free air.
The project is divided into four segments, namely biogas (electrical energy), biodiesel (flammable substance), bio-compost (fertilizer), and biochar (charcoal from biomass).
UPM Vice Chancellor, Dato’ Ir. Dr. Radin Umar pledged the university’s full commitment to support the government in creating a sustainable environment and planning proper town development in line with the university’s mission.
“This project is an initiative by UPM researchers to conduct research that is based on R&D, reviewing studies on sustainable methods applied by industries for the overall transformation into environmental-friendly green technology.
“We believe that this campaign will further enhance the standard and quality of community life.
“The collaboration between UPM and MPSJ hopes to boost technology commercialization including the manufacture of waste processing machines,” he added.
The project is a collaboration between UPM, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT), Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI).
Led by the Dean of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Prof. Mohd Ali Hassan, together with the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech), Japan, this UPM Expertise Project has succeeded in commercializing a biogas project at Felda Serting Hilir, Negeri Sembilan.
The Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing director–general, Datuk Dr Nadzri Yahaya revealed that about 45% food solid waste produced by the public is being disposed of without proper treatment.
“Decomposing waste will result in leachate, which can pollute river water as well as underground water sources.
“One of the ways to establish a true biomass town is for the organic waste to be regenerated to produce energy and for other uses.
“A total of RM.5 mil has been allocated by the government to showcase the treatment methods such as decomposition, use of Anaerobic Digester and establishment of a biodiesel plant,” he said.
According to Datuk Dr Nadzri Yahaya, the government will focus on pre-disposal treatment of solid waste and at the same improve the safety of existing sanitary landfills or consider the closure of unsanitary ones.
Statistics show that there are 176 waste disposal sites that are in operation, out of which only eight are considered sanitary, while many of the others are open dump sites without any action taken to control or treat the leachate.
The Dean of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Prof. Dr. Mohd Ali Hassan has set a target of three years to fully implement the project, which has been proven successful in Japan.
“This campaign will continue so that it can eventually convince the public of the project’s effectiveness and also educate them on the importance of converting solid waste into useful organic materials.
“It is hoped that all parties concerned will give their full cooperation to the implementation of this project as such cooperation is most important to ensure the success of the programme”, he added.
Biogas produced from solid waste can be used to generate electricity, whereas livestock waste and green waste from the community can be used for the production of bio-compost and also for converting used cooking oil into biodiesel.
The local community and traders who practise food waste separation will receive free compost fertilizer. Those who recycle cooking oil will receive cash incentives equivalent to the quantity of used oil collected.
Also present at the campaign were MPSJ president, Dato’ Asmawi Kasbi, Embassy of Japan representative, Shun Ogawa and Daisuke Tsujimoto of Recycle One Inc.