12 June, 2014
| Zee Yusri |
WASTE has been a major, global environmental issue ever since the industrial revolution.
Besides the waste that we create at home, schools and other public places, there are also those from hospitals, industries and farms.
Humans rely so much on material things but almost all of them end up as waste, but where exactly does the waste end up?
This was addressed by Tan Lian Lian, the Department of Schools Inspectorate Director under the Ministry of Education in her speech as guest of honour at the 1st Brunei-Muara District Interschool Science Powerpoint Presentation Competition 2014 for Schools in Zone 1 held yesterday morning at the Raja Isteri Girls High School (STPRI).
She defined waste as items that people no longer need and discard of. They come in infinite sizes – some can be as small as an old toothbrush while others can be as large as a school bus.
She highlighted that everyone creates waste, although some are more environmentally conscious than others and create very little.
Likewise, some countries do a very good job creating less waste and managing the rest, while others not so much and create big environmental problems.
“It worries me when I observe polystyrene food packages, plastic containers and cutleries being used and disposed of indiscriminately in this beloved country of ours,” said the guest of honour.
“These are non-biodegradable and they are here to stay for a long time. Recently, I overheard one of our local radio stations telling car owners to remove their old vehicles which they have conveniently disposed of behind shop lots and open grounds in many commercial areas.”
She then shared some facts and figures on how much solid waste Brunei produces. According to the Ministry of Development, the Sultanate produces 1.4kg of solid waste per person per day, compared to 1kg or less in other Asean countries.
She also mentioned a speech by the Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary (Core Education) during ‘The Recycling Drive 2014’ in which he noted that the problem of waste has long been an issue in the nation, and Brunei is said to rank as one of the region’s highest producers of solid waste.
The director also acknowledged the National Environmental Conference that will be carried out in August 2014 by Asia Inc Forum in partnership with Brunei Press Sdn Bhd, Baiduri Bank, Total E&P Borneo BV and Butra Heidelberg Cement.
Invited international experts will lead discussions on smart ideas in transitioning to renewable energy, creating eco-smart cities and the importance of youths’ involvement in environmental issues.
For the competition yesterday, participating students had to explain, under seven minutes, waste management and its importance. The winning team chosen at the end would have successfully communicated to the audience in a clear and systematic manner on the given topic.
“I hope that by the end of this competition, all the participating schools will make resolutions to seriously address this whole issue of waste management and step up waste management activities,” added Tan Lian Lian.
Out of 12 schools, STPRI was chosen as the competition’s champion, followed by St George’s and St Andrew’s School in second and third places respectively. The winners received trophies, cash prizes ($300, $250 and $200) as well as certificates.
The competition, themed ‘Environmental Science’ and carrying ‘Waste Management: Impact on Environment and Economy of the Nation’ as its topic, aimed at stimulating interest and creating awareness on the importance of waste management as well as increasing the knowledge and skills of participating students.
The judging criteria were based on content, presentation and ICT skills as well as strategies.
The competition was fully sponsored by Petrokon Utama Sdn Bhd and hosted by STPRI’s Science Department in collaboration with the Department of Schools, Ministry of Education.