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RUBBISH By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on December 10, 2010 3:35 PM

1. It is reported that Malaysia produces 94,000 tons of rubbish per day or 34,310,000 tons per year.

2. I suppose a substantial portion of this must be produced by Greater Kuala Lumpur (population of about 5.5 million).

3. Population wise Greater KL has about 20 per cent of Malaysia's population. Therefore Greater KL's production of rubbish is approximately seven million tons per year.
4. What can we do with 7 million tons of rubbish. Well, we can throw it on the road outside our houses, or in the drain and rivers. In no time all our drains and rivers will be clogged up and water will overflow and flood the land. The health of the people will be at risk.

5. We can collect the rubbish and bury in a designated area. With 7 million tons a year we will be needing more and more land, and land in Greater KL is expensive. To use the land again the rubbish has to be dug and removed to another place for burial.

6. Alternatively we can have a rubbish mountain and people can go there to scrounge for any useful item. Probably the mountain of rubbish will be burnt slowly and pollute the atmosphere.

7. We can if we like, burn the rubbish behind our houses. One house doing this would be okay. But when everyone does this in KL the smoke would not only cause a haze to hang over KL, but the smell would be quite unbearable.

8. Again we can collect the rubbish and burn it in an incinerator. But no community wants to have the incinerator located anywhere near them. We must find a place where no one is living there. Look around Greater KL and you cannot find a piece of land far enough from any community to site the incinerator.

9. If you do find it would be so far away that he cost of transporting the rubbish would be a drain on the finances of City Hall. Maybe the rubbish producers should pay a special fee for rubbish disposal. I don't think anyone would agree to that. It's not the Malaysian way to pay what we can get for free.

10. I am putting this dilemma of the authorities on my blog so that people can come up with solutions. Frankly I think the authorities are scared to apply any solution because we are a democracy and no one wants to lose votes.

11. For those who are interested, read about the rubbish collection problem in Italy here.

12. Your comments please.
 

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