By Dr Kohei Watanabe, Associate Professor, Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan

Date: 11 September 2014
Venue: ISIS Conference Room, Kuala Lumpur

Historically, waste was dealt with on site where it had been generated. When it became difficult to treat waste on site, the responsibility for municipal waste management was generally allocated to local authorities. However, more stringent requirements for advanced treatment necessitate the population and financial base beyond that of a single local authority. Thus many local authorities form joint waste authorities to provide for waste facilities, or nationalise the waste management. This has led to scenarios where joint waste authorities are criticised for lack of citizen representation and accountability. This presentation will be based on the case of Japan, but lessons learnt can be applied to different localities, including Malaysia. The presentation seeks for ways to reconcile the efficiency achieved by larger scale operations, and equity derived through local democracy and participation in general.

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