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Awareness and Community Participation for E-Waste Recycling: Determining Factors for Sustainability

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Disciplines
  • Law
  • Political Science

Abstract

For the past four decades, waste management posed a challenge to the government, business, industry and community especially in the Malaysian city. There are many critical issues that require specific attention to ensure sustainable waste management in the Malaysian cities. The critical issues which need attention were increasing volume of waste generation and the difficulties in obtaining suitable land for waste disposals. Malaysia has gazetted its Solid Waste Management Policy in 2007. In this policy many solutions have been identified, and one of the important solutions is to recycle the waste. However waste recycling is not a norm for Malaysian city communities. The current rate of waste recycling in Malaysia is around 5% from the total amount of solid waste generated. Hence there is a gap in term of knowledge, culture and commitment among the Malaysian cities communities in accepting waste recycling activities. To understand the problem a study has been conducted to determine the level of awareness and participation of communities for waste recycling. In this study, e-waste was analysed as the materials and the community chosen for assessment is a community in Shah Alam city and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) campus community. The findings of the study showed that The UKM campus community awareness is high, around 80% while for Shah Alam City, the awareness level is lower around 42%. As expected participation in e-waste recycling for both communities are lower than their level of awareness, with the UKM campus community participation at 53% while Shah Alam city community, 23% participated. Analysis conducted also found important findings from this study, where there are three types of respondents who affect the efficiency of e-waste recycling. The first group of communities has the awareness but does not participate due to lack of knowledge on e-waste recycling. Hence the percentage of respondent in term of awareness is high for both communities. The second group has high awareness and participates but lack the knowledge. While the third group has high awareness, participates actively and is equipped with knowledge. The findings also shows that most of the individuals involved in the survey falls in the first category, followed by the second group and a small number falls into the third group. Hence in order to make efficient e-waste recycling program a success there is a need to address and to analyse important issues; these issues include knowledge, media for information dissemination, infrastructure, support system (collection services), financial system, guideline for valuation of e-waste, company for waste recovery, legislation for e-waste recycling.

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