Together, We Built The Garbage Mountain

Every time when we choose to throw our soft drink cans on the sidewalk because it’s more convenient, every time when we use more tissues than we need in a bathroom, every time when we don’t recycle the trash that can be recycled, we are building the garbage mountain together. Much like the pyramid is built one stone at a time, the Garbage Mountain is built one trash at a time. But unlike the pyramid which height peaks with the capstone, the mountain of trash is ever growing.

We may have heard our parents or teachers urging us to take out the trash and we rarely like the effort of taking the trash out. However, when we do get off our comfortable couch and take out the trash, we merely take it out of our sight. But from our planet Earth’s perspective, there’s really no practical way of taking the trash out unless we send the trash into space. Then again, a sky full of sandwich wrapping papers from our breakfast isn’t a view we would like to look up to. So these garbage have nowhere to go but to take refuge in becoming a building block of the Garbage Mountain.

Most of us may not have seen piles of trash stacking on top of each other creating a mountain but it exists. Garbage Mountain exists around the globe in an abhorring large scale. The main reason behind the existence of Garbage Mountain is that the majority of our waste management system isn’t ideal. As human have to go through birth and death in a lifetime, a product has its own life cycle too. A product’s life begins by being manufactured from raw materials and it ends when it’s no longer of any use to anyone.

The Rise of the Garbage Mountain

The Garbage Mountain is growing at an exponential rate because manufacturers often are ignorant or have little regards as to a product’s life-cycle. When a product has been disposed, it can go in many directions such as being recycled, landfilled or incinerated. And it is the manufacturers’ responsibility to produce their products taking into consideration of what happens after the end of a product’s life-cycle. A good waste management system can keep the products from ending up in trash that will eventually harm the world in irreversible ways.

The manufacturers plays a crucial role when it comes to waste management as they determine the life of a product when they create it. Therefore, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (‘FMM’) have been putting a lot of emphasis in educating manufacturers on sustainable waste management. Sustainable waste management introduces methods to manage waste with the products’ life cycle in mind. In its endeavor to better spread the message to manufacturers, FMM has held a series of seminars such as “Turning wastes to Profit – A New Method to Simultaneously Reduce Cost & Environmental Impact” and “Understanding Requirements of the National Solid Waste Legislations”. The FMM’s works will be very useful to the Sustainable Consumption and Production initiative by the Malaysian Government.