28 Nov Digitalisation in waste management
The 12th Malaysia Plan outlines the need to transition to a circular economy, which is key to reducing waste generation, pollution and GHG emissions. Good waste collection and management are critical to the transition to a circular economy. But there are a few pain points in the waste collection ecosystem. These include a lack of infrastructure, transparency and recycling technology.
“The World Bank has stated that by 2030, there will be an increase in waste by 32% in Southeast Asia and by 33% in Malaysia alone. Waste is not going to reduce, so we must know how to manage it.” says Dr S Sri Umeswara, executive director of DIALOG ESECO Sdn Bhd, a company that specialises in the circular economy and waste management. One of the company’s latest services is SisaLab. a business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) digital platform.
“What we do is connect the dots. We connect the producer to the recycler and vice versa. We can track this through the system and provide traceability and transparency,” says Sri.
The company helps companies reduce their carbon footprint by increasing their recycling rate and collecting data on waste through digital means.
“The businesses or the supply chain in Malaysia are a little reluctant to digitalise their waste management systems as they have been working in silos. Traceability and transparency are the ways forward, Local business need more awareness of the importance of ESG and the circular economy,” says Sri.
“At times, there is a feeling that data gathering, digitalisation and transparency could be a threat to their business. However, as part of our service, we provide a free consultation on how digitalising waste management can be cost-saving and attract more business in the long run.”
Businesses can embrace the circular economy by first identifying the inadequacies in their waste management practices. They can start working on circular economy solutions on a smaller scale before expanding and tracking their progress.
SisaLab’s users currently include Petronas Nasional Bhd, Henkel, InNature Bhd and Schools IPN. In August, Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) began collaborating with DIALOG ESECO to use SisaLab in their largest township, Eco Grandeur in Puncak Alam.
“We actively welcome [solutions] such as SisaLab to our projects as their presence helps create awareness and appreciation of the importance of environmental responsibility. Although it has only been two months, we’re encouraged by the response from residents there and are seeing an increase in the weekly collection,” says Liew Tian Xiong, deputy president and deputy CEO of EcoWorld.
“Having SisaLab also gives our communities a convenient platform to do the right thing when it comes to waste disposal. Its doorstep collection makes it easy for people to take up recycling. Through the SisaLab app, we hope to glean meaningful data that will help us better understand consumer habits and engage our communities effectively.”
Education is key to building awareness among consumers and organisations alike.
“We certainly believe in and want to support the growth of the circular economy. Wherever and whenever we can, we organise events that encourage our supply chain and communities to recycle, upcycle and reuse materials and other waste products,” says Liew.
“Recognising that one man’s waste can be another’s treasure, we actively look for opportunities to work with like-minded people and businesses on further developing the circular economy with the aim of reducing the burden on landfills while contributing to economic growth.”