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Eco-Trap: Reducing effects of river pollution from solid waste disposal

1st December, 2020

BATU PAHAT: To reduce the effects of river pollution, especially due to solid waste disposal into the drainage system, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) and SWM Environment Sdn Bhd (SWM) recently collaborated in creating a rubbish trap called Eco-Trap.

Eco-Trap Project head, Dr Roslinda Ali said the low-cost innovative device, made from plastic bottles, acted as a float when released to the river.

The senior lecturer at the university’s Engineering Technology Faculty, Pagoh campus, said the bachelor’s degree project came from the idea of student Andrew Soh Wee Shong after he saw a lot of solid waste being thrown into the streams which could enter the main waterways.

“This was not only an eyesore but sometimes after the rain, it could give a terrible odour apart from polluting the river.

“The study was conducted for a month at Sungai Panchor, Pagoh, Muar, with the Eco-Trap submerged in the river, anchored and left there. After a number of days, the researchers and SWM 3R Troopers would pull the trap away,” she said.

Roslinda said among the challenges faced during the one-month study was ensuring that the solid waste remained in the Eco-Trap while the net was being pulled away and lifted out.

She said the Eco-Trap had undergone a series of tests and improvements to ensure it could function well and be more efficient, especially during the process of collecting the solid waste in the drainage system.

“When the trap was being taken out, besides tree branches, there were discarded diapers, plastic sacks, empty detergent bottles, cupboard drawers and other household items caught in the trap.

“We regret that there are irresponsible people who still do this in this sophisticated and modern era,” she added.

Meanwhile, Soh said the idea of creating the contraption was to control pollution of the waterways, especially rivers, which were the main source of clean water supply for consumers. –Bernama

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