@Green January/February 2022 - Page 10


@ green | January-February , 2022
Nazar Abdul Raof , Chief Operating Officer of Alam Flora Environmental Solutions ( AFES ).

Key to a sustainable future

Sustainable waste management plays an essential role in the country ’ s circular economy

RAPID URBANISATION and rising population have caused countries worldwide to deal with many urban challenges , including pollution and waste disposal problems .

Malaysia is not excluded . With limited spaces for landfills , the country may not be able to accommodate tonnes of waste produced by its people in the future . To ensure that people continue to have access to a clean , healthy , and safe environment , adopting sustainable landfills and waste management is crucial .
In an interview with @ green , Nazar Abdul Raof , Chief Operating Officer of Alam Flora Environmental Solutions ( AFES ), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alam Flora Sdn Bhd ( AFSB ), shared that Malaysians produced 38,000 tonnes of municipal waste per day . However , only around 20-25 per cent of the waste was recycled , while the remaining 80 per cent would end up in landfills .
The scenario was different in European countries , where 80 per cent of waste was recycled and recovered , while the other 20 per cent would go to landfills . Nazar believed that there were still many things that Malaysia , as a nation , must do .
“ For AFES , we focus on closing the gap . Previously , everything was dumped in landfills . Now , we want to divert waste and reproduce many things that are recyclables . We want to create shared values from the usual responsibility of collecting waste . So , all the wastes become values .
“ For example , we can convert food waste to gas or protein . By doing this , we give it a new value . It is what we call a circular economy or the latest term , sustainability ,” shared Nazar .
He said all wastes that usually ended up in landfills would be segregated , recycled and converted into new things . Rather than Malaysians calling them wastes , AFES wants people to refer to them as secondary raw materials .
Multiple environmental solutions
In assisting companies with their sustainability efforts , AFES provides four primary businesses , including asset facility management , infrastructure cleansing and waste solutions , waste management facilities and marine and scheduled waste facilities .
Nazar highlighted the business of infrastructure cleansing , and waste solutions included road-sweeping , drain-cleaning and grass-cutting . In addition to that , AFES also provides waste solutions services .
“ Previously , people would collect and dump . Take Malaysia Airports Berhad as an example . We proposed the business to Malaysia Airports , building one sorting centre . We educate people in the airport . All the wet waste would go to landfills , and dry waste would go to the sorting centre .
“ By doing this , we were able to collect all the recycling data , and the data is shared with Malaysia Airports . So , Malaysia Airports has now comprehensive and verified sustainability data on recycling . As we advance , Malaysia Airports will become a green airport . We partner with Malaysia Airports to help promote it as a green airport . We want to be a sustainability partner for all industries in Malaysia ,” he shared .
As for its waste management facilities , the company does not only manage waste collection , waste transportation , incinerators , and landfills ; it also helps convert green waste to by-products such as wood chips and wood logs .
Determined to provide a holistic solution for sustainability , it also provides asset facility management for building management that covers energy efficiency , maintenance , and cleaning works . Instead of creating a new department to oversee the sustainability of their business , Nazar said