By James Kon
Brunei Darussalam generates around 1.15 kilogrammes of waste per capita per day and the disposal of this waste mainly ends up at landfills. Year 2019 marked the highest waste generated at 263,669 metric tonnes.
The increased demand for energy and material consumption and the growing number of businesses and industries due to population growth will eventually lead to an increase in waste generation. This will cause the landfill to fill up earlier than projected.
The Sungai Paku Engineered Landfill Site, based on the current waste generation, will reach its full capacity in less than 10 years.
The growing concern on the country’s rising waste generation and proper approach of addressing the issue were underscored by Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Ar Awang Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin as the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of Operational Document Taskforce (ODTF) Workshop for Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP) Strategy 7 on Waste Management at Atria Simpur Hall of Public Works Department yesterday.
The two-day ODTF Workshop on BNCCP Strategy 7 on Waste Management will continue today. It is co-organised by the Ministry of Development (MoD) through the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) and the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat. The workshop was co-facilitated by the co-lead agencies and external co-facilitator from the Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam. This will be the final series of the ODTF Workshop that started on August 31.
As a country with a relatively small resource base, to achieve sustainability both economically and environmentally, the deputy minister said, “We are still compelled to attain holistic sustainability in a balanced manner. It is understandable that each and every one of us has our own strength and limitation with different capabilities and capacities in facing and addressing waste issues.
“We need to find a solution in the form of an integrated action plan or roadmap document that is doable and fit for purpose to our national circumstances. I learnt that three key areas discussed in the workshop are how to promote and implement waste minimisation through 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), how to pursue and adopt waste-to-energy technologies as the option to address land take issue, and lastly how to increase public education and awareness in 3R-related initiatives and programmes.”
Dato Seri Paduka Ar Awang Haji Marzuke said, “This can be achieved by putting our acts together and channelling a strong collaboration and cooperation between agencies and stakeholders, and building on each other’s strengths and experiences in addressing these challenges. By doing so, we can ensure accessibility and transparency in disseminating relevant information, and also effective knowledge transfer regarding best available technologies and practices across agencies and stakeholders in dealing with waste management.”
The participants comprised 68 representatives from stakeholders including government agencies, private sectors, academic institutions, non-government organisations (NGOs) and associations to formulate the Operational Document to reduce greenhouse gas contribution and reduce waste to one kilogramme per person per day, mainly methane (CH4) gas emissions by minimising the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of through waste minimisation, adoption of best practices and innovative technologies.
The workshop aimed to gather input from stakeholders in developing an action plan that would enable the operationalisation of the three key strategic objectives of Strategy 7 – Promote and implement waste minimisation through 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) to reduce the amount of municipal solid waste and industrial waste going into landfills; pursue and adopt waste-to-energy technologies options to minimise land take and reduce volume of waste that needs to be disposed; and increase education and awareness to the public by promoting and enhancing their participation in 3R-related initiatives and programmes.
The ODTF was established to formulate a strategically coordinated, comprehensive and coherent roadmap that includes a detailed long-term action plan, key enablers, timeline, detailed KPIs, as well as monitoring and reporting mechanisms to achieve effective implementation of the 10 BNCCP strategies which are industrial emissions, forest cover, electric vehicles, renewable energy, power management, carbon pricing, waste management, climate resilience and adaptation, carbon inventory, and awareness and education.
The first draft of the BNCCP Operation Document is expected to be finalised by the end of October, to be reported to the Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change.
Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari and Permanent Secretary (Planning, Land Use and Environment) at the Ministry of Development Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak also attended the workshop.