In Malaysia, landfills are being filled up rapidly due to the current daily generation of approximately 30,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste. This situation creates the crucial need for improved landfilling practices, as sustainable landfilling technology is yet to be achieved here. The objective of this paper is to identify and evaluate the development and trends in landfilling practices in Malaysia. In 1970, the disposal sites in Malaysia were small and prevailing waste disposal practices was mere open-dumping. This network of relatively small dumps, typically located close to population centres, was considered acceptable for a relatively low population of 10 million in Malaysia. In the 1980s, a national programme was developed to manage municipal and industrial wastes more systematically and to reduce adverse environmental impacts. The early 1990s saw the privatization of waste management in many parts of Malaysia, and the establishment of the first sanitary landfills for MSW and an engineered landfill (called 'secure landfill' in Malaysia) for hazardous waste. A public uproar in 2007 due to contamination of a drinking water source from improper landfilling practices led to some significant changes in the government's policy regarding the country's waste management strategy. Parliament passed the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management (SWPCM) Act 2007 in August 2007. Even though the Act is yet to be implemented, the government has taken big steps to improve waste management system further. The future of the waste management in Malaysia seems somewhat brighter with a clear waste management policy in place. There is now a foundation upon which to build a sound and sustainble waste management and disposal system in Malaysia.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.