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Malaysia's low-cost housing solid waste management in the era of COVID-19: the role of fourth industrial revolution technologies

Andrew Ebekozien (Department of Quantity Surveying, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Nigeria) (Development Planning and Management, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia) (Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Mohamad Shaharudin Samsurijan (Development Planning and Management, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia)
Clinton Aigbavboa (Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Nor Malina Malek (Development Planning and Management, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 30 June 2022

Issue publication date: 17 January 2023

193

Abstract

Purpose

Studies have shown that managing household solid waste from low-cost housing in urban and sub-urban communities is challenging, especially in developing countries and COVID-19 era. Previous research proved that the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies could be engaged to improve urban public services such as household solid waste. Thus, the study investigated 4IR role in improving low-cost housing solid waste management (LCHSWM) in the COVID-19 era across Malaysia's cities.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers selected four Malaysian cities (Pulau Pinang, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Putrajaya) to achieve the study's objectives via a qualitative research design. The study engaged forty experts through semi-structured virtual interviews. A thematic approach was used to analyse the collected data.

Findings

Findings identified initial high implementation and maintenance costs, unwillingness to accept change, inadequate knowledge and skilled personnel to manage the operation, amongst others, as the perceived challenges facing 4IR technologies in managing low-cost housing solid waste across Malaysian cities in the COVID-19 era. Also, the study proffered measures to improve 4IR technologies usage.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is limited to the perceived contributory challenges and proffered measures to improve 4IR technologies usage in managing LCHSW across Malaysian cities in the COVID-19 era.

Practical implications

Proffered measures will stir policymakers and the political class (city councils) to start thinking of an all-inclusive approach to addressing the issue of LCHSW in the 21st century. As part of the practical implications, the possible outcome might enhance collaboration between the public and private sectors to better service delivery to mitigate environmental degradation.

Originality/value

As revealed in the review, there is a paucity of literature regarding digital technology's roles in mitigating LCHSW across Malaysian cities in the COVID-19 era.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the participants for providing knowledgeable contributions to enhance the findings of this paper. Also, the authors appreciate the comments, suggestions, and recommendations provided by the anonymous reviewers, which collectively helped hone and strengthen the quality of the manuscript during the blind peer-review process.

Funding: The study is funded by the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment and CIDB Centre of Excellence (05-35-061890), University of Johannesburg, South Africa; Development Planning and Management, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.

Citation

Ebekozien, A., Samsurijan, M.S., Aigbavboa, C. and Malek, N.M. (2023), "Malaysia's low-cost housing solid waste management in the era of COVID-19: the role of fourth industrial revolution technologies", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 80-98. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-01-2022-0017

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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