KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Private waste disposal site operators are encouraged to seize the opportunity to earn good returns by turning waste into renewable energy, said Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming.

He said according to the latest data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) and the National Solid Waste Management Department, Malaysians generate more than 40,000 tonnes of waste daily, which can be turned into renewable energy and sold.

“This is a national mission; we’re not only discussing and negotiating with state governments but also local authorities and of course strategic partners from the private sector. We want everyone to be on board, it transcends all costs.

“It’s our mission to save our mother earth and at the same time, turn rubbish into gold. For instance, waste-to-energy (WtE) plants can generate an income of about RM25 million annually by selling electricity (generated from waste),” he said.

He said this to reporters after officiating the opening of a 12-megawatt (MW) renewable energy plant at Bukit Tagar Enviro Park (BTEP) in Hulu Selangor, near here today.

BTEP, which has been operational since 2005, is managed by Berjaya Enviro Parks Sdn Bhd (BEPSB) on 659-acre of government-owned land with an additional 1,000 acres of buffer zone comprising undeveloped land surrounding the landfill footprint.

According to Nga, the BTEP was designed to dispose of 2,500 tonnes of solid waste per day and has a lifespan of over 40 years.

“To date, BTEP has managed and disposed of approximately 17 million tonnes of solid waste from Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas.

“BTEP is able to turn methane gas from solid waste into renewable energy, in which approximately 339 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity are channelled into the national grid, generating up to RM25 million in annual profits,” he said.

Nga said this has made BTEP the largest landfill gas producer in the country.

He added that the BEPSB initiative is in line with the country’s target of generating 40 per cent renewable energy by 2035, with the solid waste disposal sector being one of the contributors through the WtE method. — Bernama