PJKITA > Composting in SS2, a trash to treasure story at the PJ Waste Solution Lab

Composting in SS2, a trash to treasure story at the PJ Waste Solution Lab

On a little fenced plot, between a neighbourhood park and a large hawker centre, SS2 holds a secret. Of change, and of steps taken to ensure a greener future.

Text by Vanessa Surian
Photos by Wong Yok Teng


The Smart PJ Waste Solution Lab located in Jalan SS2/63, is the first of its kind in Malaysia. It is part of an initiative to move us out of the current linear economy of ‘take, make and dispose’ into a more sustainable, circular economy where what would ordinarily be disposed of, is regenerated, restored or renewed.

Norhaizey Issia who heads up the MBPJ Secretariat for Low Carbon Green City of PJ Task Force, said that data has revealed that organic waste makes up 49% of trash.

“So this is where we can make the biggest impact,” she says.

“The Waste Solution Lab now takes in 500kg of waste per day, from nearby food courts and hawker centres,” she adds.

“We plan to engage more food businesses in the area to send their organic waste to the Lab.”

The Lab has the capacity to handle two tons of food waste per day, and efforts are underway to recruit more eateries in the area to participate.

“The aim is to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills and to transform all that food waste into compost,” Norhaizey explains.

They are well underway to achieving this reduction, as the waste solution lab has reduced the number of lorry loads that are sent to the landfill from three a day, to two a day.


The digester of scraps

“The vegetable matter and food waste is taken in, and sorted manually to remove unsuitable materials like plastics and other non-organic waste,” explains Aaron Ang, who runs day-to-day operations at the waste solution lab.

“There used to be much more to sort, but now the market vendors and the food stall operators have learned and adjusted, so there’s not as much unsuitable waste,” said Andy Ang, Business Development Manager of CH Green Sdn Bhd. CH Green was appointed by MBPJ to manage the waste solution lab.

Once sorted, the vegetable and food waste is shredded and fed to the two large Cowtech anaerobic digesters.

Aaron explained how the microbes within, turn the food waste into a liquid fertiliser within 20-25 days as well as a byproduct in the form of biogas, a green fuel.

The resulting fertiliser is bottled and sold to the public. It is also piped to an on-site plot where organic vegetables are grown in polybags.

The plants are fed through a fertigation system that drip irrigates the soil with the liquid compost.

On the grounds is also an aquaponics tent where plants are grown in a solution that includes the compost made from the machine.


The cycle completes

“So we start with vegetable scraps and food waste, and then we end up with vegetables that we sell to the public, and fertiliser that people can use to grow their own vegetables and plants at home.”  said Andy, detailing exactly how the circular economy objective is achieved by the waste solution lab.

Previous crops include rock melon and chilli, while their current batch includes ladies finger, kailan and brinjal. “We can harvest about 500 grams of kailan per poly bag, so we have over 100 kilo potential yield growing here now,” explains Amir Hamzah from UPM who supervises the fertigation system. His mission is to find the best solutions in utilizing the fertiliser.

“We’ve analysed it, and this fertiliser is best for leafy vegetables, but it lacks potassium and calcium which is needed for fruiting plants,” he says.

When needed, they use complementary organic fertilisers that make up for the nutrients that are lacking. As for pest control, commercial organic pesticides and garlic are used to keep the plants healthy and thriving.



Members of the public can organize a visit to the Waste Solution by contacting MBPJ in advance to make arrangements.