JICA conducts food waste survey in Cameron Highlands

KUALA LUMPUR: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is conducting a feasibility survey for food waste composting and recycling loop in Cameron Highlands, Pahang, from November 2017 until February 2019.

It was jointly conducted by a Japanese company — the Merry Corporation, with the support of the Kitakyushu City Government and in collaboration with Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation, the agency said in a statement here today.

The survey, which aimed to examine the potential use of the Merry Corporation's compost machines and know-how to solve the problem of handling food waste in Cameron Highlands, had been carried out twice in Malaysia, in November 2017 and January to February 2018.

Through the survey, JICA said information had been collected, which is necessary to establish a system for collecting and transporting segregated food waste, for producing high-quality compost for agriculture and building a "recycling loop" in Cameron Highlands.

Merry Corporation, a company focusing on providing solutions to environment issues with a core specialisation in food waste management, had involved in JICA Partnership Program (JPP) on improvement of solid waste management in Fraser Hill, Pahang, throughout 2014 to 2016.

The company collected food waste from markets, hospitals, supermarkets and restaurants, which amounted 1,300 tonnes (in 2016) and brought it to its recycling centre which equipped with composting machines to produce compost for farmers.

It has promoted the same concept of recycling loop in Japan and has supplied composting machines to 500 business facilities (in Japan) with the total processing capacity 45,000-tonne per year.

"Currently, the landfill in Cameron Highlands is small and is an open dumping type. The waste is difficult to incinerate at the incineration plant due to heavy moisture content. Therefore, the waste was transported to another landfill in the distant place.

"In order to resolve the issue, segregation of food waste from general waste for composting was considered appropriate in reducing a large amount of heavy moisture content and to turn it into burnable waste," said JICA, adding the local market, farming and hotel operators have shown interest in joining the recycling loop. — Bernama