CHAPTER
1

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

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1.1 Background Study

 

Solid waste generation in Malaysia has increased
more than 91% over the past ten years, due to the rapid development of urban
areas (Agamuthu, et al., 2006).
Currently, Malaysia produced approximately 30,000 metric tons of waste per day with
a general rate of 1.3 kg/person/day (Agamuthu, et al., 2009). The waste consists of domestic and industrial
refuse. Waste management resulting out of rapid urbanization has become a
serious concern for government departments, pollution control agencies,
regulatory bodies and also public.

Proper waste management is very crucial to prevent
further environmental destruction and to promote sustainable development. The 3.6%
annual increase in solid waste generation required appropriate facilities and
technologies that are unfortunately not available to match the requirement for
sustainable waste management (Agamuthu, et
al., 2007). Sanitary landfills are only 3% of the total existing disposal
sites in the country while the remaining are non-sanitary landfills (Fauziah,
2009). This makes the management of waste in Malaysia a more delicate matter to
tackle and constrain to establish a sustainable waste management system. The
characteristics of municipal solid waste (MSW) components also play important
roles to determine the suitability of the disposal systems. According to
Visvanathan et al. (2004), the solid
waste composition in most Asian countries is highly biodegradable with high
moisture contents such as food waste, paper, plastic/foam, agriculture waste,
rubber/leather, wood and textiles. In Malaysia, the average components of MSW
are quite similar with the largest categories consisting of food waste (45%),
plastic (24%) followed by paper (7%), iron (6%) and lastly 3% for glass and
others (GOM, 2006). Therefore, a continuous effort is required to identify the
most suitable alternative for long terms solutions to reduce the burden of
existing MSW disposal systems such as open dumping and landfilling.

Food waste is the main component of all municipal
waste generated and its disposal in landfills has critical environmental
effects (EPA, 2009). Furthermore, a constantly increasing population makes the
land available to use as landfills are more difficult to find (especially in
metropolitan areas) and local governments are faced with the need to extend the
life of their landfills and avoid the cost of developing a new landfill.

Malaysia’s solid waste management challenges could
be reasonably addressed by the adoption of waste management options such as
source reduction and reuse, incineration, landfill, recycling and composting.
European countries have already started to create legislation to address this
solid waste issue. For instance, Waste Strategy 2007 for England identifies
food waste as a key priority for improving the landfill diversion performance
of local authorities (Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, 2007).
Eureka Recycling who is an organization that focusing on reuse, recycling,
composting and waste reduction, explained that there were two kinds of
composting processes, anaerobic and aerobic. Anaerobic composting happens when
organic materials are broken down by bacteria without the presence of oxygen,
which is what happens to food disposed in landfills. This process produces
methane, a gas more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) when it comes
to global warming. On the other hand, the aerobic process happens when organic
materials are broken down by bacteria in the presence of oxygen. This process
emits CO2 in negligible quantities and does not emit methane. The
diversion of food waste and all other organic waste from landfills for
composting represents a clear option for local governments and communities when
trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The composting method continues to attract more and
more people not only due to being an environmentally sustainable product but
also for its great qualities as a soil amendment. Compost use not only helps to
improve soil quality and reduces soil loss, but also increases soil water
retention and reduces the need for extra inputs (USCC, 2008). Composting food waste represents
a sustainable alternative for businesses, public institutions and schools to
save money on tipping fees and profit from the advertisement of green
practices. For example, businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants, and
municipal governments dispose of such waste with no return benefit. Therefore,
establishing a network of organic waste providers (supermarkets, restaurants
and small and medium industry) and connecting them with clients in need of
compost (farmers, citizens, businesses) would reduce the amount of waste sent
to landfills, minimize the environmental impact of incineration, improve
current food waste handling processes and offer a stable and local alternative
to the community. Furthermore, the creation of a composting network will not
only have environmental benefits, but also it will also create new jobs,
generate more tax income for local governments and strengthen the local
community.

Therefore
this study is attempting to contribute towards the better scientific and
economic understanding of agricultural waste compost application at one of
small and medium industry (SMI) in Parit Raja, Johor and towards the
development of management systems aiming to maximize agronomic benefit and
reduce the environmental risk.

 

1.2 Problem Statement

 

Most
of SMI on Parit Raja are focus on food industry.

One of the SMI is Makanan Ringan Mas Industry (MRMI),
which is located in a rural area at Parit Kuari Darat, Johor. MRMI is focusing
on producing junk food such as chips and coconut candy. The area is far away
from the main road and out of local authorities collection zone, so the solid waste management in
the area needs to be done by their own without collection and facilities
provided. Solid waste generation mostly food waste from MRMI were mostly burned
and dumped into the river by the workers and that affect our environmental
sanitation and causing air and water pollution. Burning of solid waste often
releases high levels of particulates, acid gasses, heavy metals, dioxins and
other toxins, some of which are carcinogenic (having the potential to cause
cancer). Furthermore, food waste that been dumped into the river became one of
the causes to water pollution due to human activities and at the end of this water pollution has an impact
and adverse consequences for humans as well. Water pollution is a change of
state water reservoirs, which reduce water quality so water cannot be used
again to its designation. Despite all the impact towards the environment
without a proper collection system, the food waste generation also contributed
as the highest percentage in the landfill. The high amount of food waste
generated is the main cause to most issues related to landfills such as foul
odor, toxic leachate, emission of greenhouse gases and vermin infestation (Lee,
et al., 2007). 

In this study, MRMI most generated waste is food
waste either raw food waste such as banana peel, tapioca peel, breadfruit peel and
grated coconut waste as well as processed food waste such as leftover coconut
candy and chips. Due to
the collection and food waste problem at MRMI, investigation on food waste
composting as alternative disposal method will be conducted to obtain a
reasonable food waste management. Furthermore, this investigation will transfer
low cost and effective method to MRMI as well as producing organic fertilizer
in order to dispose their food waste.

 

1.3 Objective

 

The purpose of this research is to
provide an alternative disposal method for food waste from MRMI in Parit Kuari
Darat, Johor. The main objectives of the study are:

 

1.     
to identify the amount of waste
generation, characteristics, composition and classification of food waste
generation from Makanan Ringan Mas Industry (MRMI).

2.     
to determine the physical, chemical and
biological parameters that are temperature, pH, moisture content, nitrogen, total
phosphorus, potassium, heavy metals (chromium, lead, nickel, arsenic, cadmium,
copper, zinc), total organic carbon and bacteria count from two different
fermentation liquid.

3.     
to
compare the quality of compost with organic and
chemical fertilizers in terms of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and
heavy metals.

                                                             

1.4
Scope of Study

 

This study is limited to the food waste
composting produced by Makanan Ringan Mas Industry (MRMI), Parit Kuari Darat,
Johor and is intended to be used as a reference or guide to the community to
create a network of composting food waste.

Food waste generated
from the industry are collected, separated, weighed and dried accordingly at
FKAAS Geotechnics Laboratory to identify the amount, composition,
characteristics as well as the classification of the waste. The separation and
composition of the solid waste generated by MRMI are identified and measured for
twelve months duration in order to obtain an accurate composition of the waste.
Moisture content and density of the food waste also been carried out.
Fermentation liquid and decomposing medium based on food waste generated by MRMI
which is coconut fiber, black soil and breadfruit peel have been set up, which
made up four reactors for research compost. Four more reactors act as a control
reactors using fermentation liquid and decomposing medium based on conventional
method which is Takakura Composting Method (rice husk, black soil and fermented
soybean). Different types of processed and raw food waste by MRMI which is
chips, coconut candy, grated coconut waste, tapioca and banana peel have been
used as feeding materials for the reactors.

Preliminary test for
this research project is focused on the decomposing medium and fermentation liquid.
C:N ratio test have been done for decomposing medium between research and
commercial compost. As for fermentation liquid between research and commercial
compost, bacteria count test were conducted. 

Physical, chemical and
biological parameters testing of all the reactors was conducted to determine
the characteristics and the concentrations of nutrients contained in compost
produced with food waste from MRMI. Physical parameters such as temperature, pH
and moisture content was carried out at the laboratory. Chemical parameters
such as heavy metal, NPK testing and total organic carbon was carried out. Biological
parameters which are bacteria count was also done to check the total of
bacteria in the composts.

 

 

 

1.5
Significant of Study

 

Composting method helps reducing the
problems associated with open burning, open dumping, landfills, incinerators, and other
waste disposal methods. Composting organic materials especially food waste that
have been diverted from landfills ultimately avoids the production of methane
and leachate formulation in the landfills. It also can prevent pollutants in
storm water runoff from reaching surface water resources. Futhermore, compost
can reduce the need for water, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides.

Composting also extends
municipal landfill life by diverting organic materials from landfills and
provides a less costly alternative to conventional methods of remediating
(cleaning) contaminated soil. Composting can help industry to dispose their
food waste with a return benefit by connecting the compost fertilizer with clients in need such as farmers
and citizen, while it helps for environmental benefits, composting also gives
economy benefit to business industry. 
 

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