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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Tasik Chini Fieldwork - Solid Waste Management

Our Assoc. Prof. Dr. Puziah who is also the head of Department of Environmental Science in our faculty. Rarely met her before and I was fortunate enough to capture her 'another side' of her serious expression. We have another lecturer named Dr. Faradiella who was absent in this trip.

When we were still young, we often heard typical standardised threatening sentences such as, ''If you don't study well now, later you will be sweeping the rubbish at roadside.'' It sounds bad, very bad, and this is still the thing we are often being teased about because environmental studies are about rubbish, as what general public thinks (but at least they know that our environment is related to rubbish).

Braving towards our destination without fear of rubbish! (Hahahahahahaha... We were actually kinda worried as we rarely or had never been to landfill before)

WARNING! Disturbing photos embedded below...

We visited two sites away from the resort by taking our faculty's van: The town area (which was less rural than the place around the lake) and the landfill (which sounds smelly before we set our foot there, thanks to the horrible description by the previous groups). For the first part of this fieldwork, we did surveys on the residents opinion on solid waste management. The residents there were really amiable that they were willing to share and even treat us with can drinks. We also had to draw the map of the area of the town where we did the surveys and pointed out which were the sources of the solid wastes. After the site visit there I could conclude that it was just like many parts of our country. Photos are the best explanation for such situation.

Mainly food waste and containers.
More food wastes and containers and paper boxes.
Constuction waste: abandoned bricks.
Construction waste again: abandoned wooden racks and metal strips.
More and more food waste and containers and paper boxes...
Forsaken stalls? Maybe... The whole thing was just left there for quite a long time I believe. Look at the rusts.
Heaps of paper boxes and plastic bags coming from grocery stores.
Ashes... Leaf ashes...
Over-turned unwanted rubbish bin, which was just let it be.
Nicely packed up rubbish, but......
A little close up shot. These were MAGGOTS. Wriggling MAGGOTS. This photo could had been taken a lot more closer so that you can see how do maggots look like but I did not want to risk my Nokia Lumia from dropping into herds of those creatures and being munched on. (Credit goes to Hakim who took the photo full of courage, hahaha)
More and more and more food waste and containers and paper boxes.
Unwanted car parts.
We can see how much plastics we actually use daily.
Paper boxes which were actually recycable.
Metal frames used during construction but now they were dumped, at road side.
Almost overflowed rubbish bin. Ok this is the last photo of rubbish bin. I know you guys must have fed up of seeing these.
Solid waste can actually been divided into two types: rubbish and garbage. Garbage is food waste while rubbish is non-food waste (but I refer all the solid waste as rubbish to avoid confusion in this post). We have a word for food waste, can you think about how significant this waste is in our daily 'waste-production'? Waste no more food!

Here comes the landfill. Unlike sanitary landfill, this was an open landfill, which is legal in the sense of law as that piece of land was assigned to be the dumping area for all solid waste generated. I had never been so close to a landfill before that I even walked in the landfill. Instead of burying all the rubbish, the rubbish was burnt despite the danger of explosion or what's so ever. Basically what I smelled there was the smokes of combustion instead of the pungent odour of rubbish (should I be grateful?). Explosion could really be heard happening somewhere among the rubbish heaps. I felt sorry to people working there, having to deal with all the toxic gases and risks. This is happening although we are not willing to see it. Out of sight, out of mind. Imagine if the landfill locates just beside our residential area.

Honestly it is a nasty job that no one will ever want to do that. But still, there are people willing to do it for us when no one else looks up on them. Those who are doing it should not be seen as people from the bottom of the society. Of course this job can be better, if and only if the public is civilised enough to learn how to manage the solid waste well. Sorry for being slightly aggressive here, please pay some respects to our solid waste collectors.

To ease our churning stomach after seeing those cannot-be-unseened images, here are some nice scenes of the town:

See the contrast? We often see the good side of a situation and tend to turn a blind eye towards the easily-overlooked side. Notice it, change it.

First time wearing this kind of mask, looked more professional, hahaha...

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