American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Solid Waste Characterization and Recycling Potential for University Technology PETRONAS Academic Buildings

Amirhossein Malakahmad, Muhammad Za’im Zaki bin Che Mohd Nasir, Shamsul Rahman Mohammed Kutty and Mohammed Hasnain Isa

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2010.422.427

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 5

Pages 422-427


Problem statement: In many countries such as Malaysia, it is increasingly more difficult to find suitable locations for landfills, which are accepted by the population. These circumstances are to be found all over the world and make new strategies for waste management necessary. Approach: Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) systems are one of the greatest challenges for sustainable development. But for any ISWM system to be successful, the first step is to carry out waste characterization studies. Therefore, the study was conducted to characterize the quality and quantity of generated solid waste at University Technology PETRONAS (UTP) academic buildings to suggest a recycling system with emphasis on recycling container size and arrangement. Results: Initially, a survey was conducted to highlight the existing situation of recycling activities and recycle bins condition in the campus. Then, six different sampling points were selected at campus academic complex and solid waste from those points was characterized for both term-time and semester break periods. Procedure of sampling involved unloading and analyzing a quantity of produced daily waste at each building in a controlled area. The integrity of all received waste was maintained regardless of the odor or physical decay. While survey outcomes shows that 80% of students and staff were interested to take part in recycling activities only 53% of them have practiced in it and the main reasons were that 75 and 83% of them could not find suitable and enough number of recycle bin, respectively. In another development it was obtained that up to 80% of produced materials at academic building are recyclable while paper percentage is predominant with 40% and 33% during term-time and semester break, respectively. Food waste was detected in all samples which could lead cross contamination, value drop and development of odor and flies. The solid waste generation was varied between 8.8-2.4 kg day-1 in term-time and semester break, respectively. Conclusion/Recommendations: These results showed providing suitable and enough number of recycling bins would encourage more people to participate in recycling activities. This will lead to more efficient waste segregation and reduction of waste load to the landfills. Therefore, a small or medium size three-compartment container system is suggested to be used in academic building of the campus which collects all paper and cardboard in first container, all plastic, glass, tin cans, aluminum and any other metals in second container and food waste in the third container.


© 2010 Amirhossein Malakahmad, Muhammad Za’im Zaki bin Che Mohd Nasir, Shamsul Rahman Mohammed Kutty and Mohammed Hasnain Isa. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.