Saturday, June 24, 2017

Instilling good waste management principles in students - The Star

24 June 2017

EXXONMOBIL Chemical Malaysia Sdn Bhd together with the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) recently collaborated on the 2017 Eco-Rangers programme, an initiative designed to educate and create awareness among students on effective waste management.
Lending her support to the launch of this year’s activities was Selangor Environment Department director Siti Zaleha Ibrahim.
Students were taught the basics of waste management, from its collection, transportation and processing, as well as recycling and disposal.
These included recycling techniques through composting and anaerobic digestion, and do-it- yourself crafts and fine arts by upcycling recyclables into flower crafts, plastic bricks, stationery and more.
A total of 360 primary and secondary students from six schools in the Klang Valley participated in the Eco Ranger programme, which was held at SMK Damansara Damai 1 in Petaling Jaya.
Each participating school also received a recycling corner with three bins for the collection of recyclables.
MPMA executive director ST Giam said: “The Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Ministry reported saving RM7mil in operational costs for landfill management after the separation at source programme was introduced in seven states.
“This clearly shows that the public can contribute positively towards waste management by reducing the amount of waste going into landfills through practising waste separation.
“MPMA launched the Eco-Ranger programme in collaboration with E Ijau and ExxonMobil this year to create awareness that the presence of waste materials such as used plastics in our environment was largely due to a lackadaisical attitude and a lack of knowledge among the public on how to treat their rubbish”.
ExxonMobil Public and Government Affairs general manager for the subsidiaries in Malaysia Sukiman Mohamed said: “The way forward to effective waste management, be it litter or waste generated at public areas, homes or schools, is via education and proper waste management practices.
“By introducing the Eco-Rangers programme in schools, we will be able to instil good waste management principles in our students from young, which they will in turn share with their peers, friends and families”.
The MPMA-ExxonMobil Eco-Ranger Programme exposes students to various methods of waste management for different types of waste through hands-on activities and group projects.
It also aims to drive innovation and creativity among students on reusing and recycling plastics, which would reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.

Alam Flora goes digital - The Star

24 June 2017

Mohd Zain (right) and Kwai holding Samsungs latest business smartphone, XCover4, during the Alam Flora Smart Partnership with Samsung event

MOVING towards digitalisation, waste management company Alam Flora Sdn Bhd has collaborated with Samsung to create the brand’s latest business smartphone, XCover4, which is set to improve communication and public feedback.
Specifically created for Alam Flora’s business clients, the product is expected to enhance its Integrated Management System mobile application platform, known as “MResponz”, thus contributing to greater efficiency and effectiveness.
“The new platform is versatile, mobile centric and has rapid programming, providing features such as contractor modules, security upgrade and other enhancements for faster performance and lower power consumption,” said Alam Flora chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zain Hassan.
With the technology created through the XCover4, Alam Flora staff will be able to conduct their daily tasks with greater ease.
“The phone provides them with specific applications needed to fulfil daily tasks.
“Daily reports can be easily submitted using the smartphone without the hassle of returning to the office.
“With the current system, the person-in-charge (PIC) can also access the information within seconds,” Mohd Zain said at a ceremony to hand over the new device at Icon Tower, Kuala Lumpur.
XCover4 is designed with a Geo-Fence software that enables the PIC to keep track of the whereabouts of staff members, who will be able to clock in using their smartphones.
“Each ground supervisor will have their own district to monitor; and with the Geo-Fence software, we can supervise their whereabouts and determine if they are working the required hours,” he said, adding that the software upgrade would also enable Alam Flora workers to respond to public complaints in real time.
“With current technology, we will not only be able to overcome various challenges, but also come up with new and futuristic features to benefit Alam Flora in the long run,” Mohd Zain said.
Samsung Malaysia Electronics Sdn Bhd enterprise business telco sales head Eric Kwai Chee Hoong said: “This partnership with Alam Flora is the first of its kind and we look forward to creating more meaningful collaborations in the future with other potential partners looking to drive digital transformation of their enterprise.”
In the first batch, Alam Flora will purchase 175 units of the XCover4 smartphone for its ground supervisors and excos.

Collective effort in managing waste - The Star

24 June 2017

Rubbish problems reduced but residents should also play their part in keeping Selayang clean
POOR rubbish collection has been the hot topic at Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) fullboard meetings and among the local leaders and community in Selayang over the past four months. But the good news is, the nightmare should be resolved by August.
KDEB Waste Management Sdn Bhd, which took over rubbish collection from MPS four months ago, had faced teething problems.
The company said that although area-wise, Selayang is slightly smaller than the Ampang Jaya municipality, the waste that contractors are collecting from Selayang is twice as much.
Besides domestic waste in residential areas such as Kampung Selayang Baru, Kampung Kerdas, Taman Sri Gombak, Bukit Idaman, Taman Bidara and Medan Batu Caves, there is bulk waste from factories.
The amount was overwhelming and the contractors were unprepared, resulting in rubbish piling up in various areas, including Kampung Selayang Baru, making them an eyesore aside from being health hazards.
However, it seems things are improving and the Selayang population can literally breathe easier.
According to a news report, public complaints over uncollected rubbish in the Selayang municipality has reduced drastically this month.
Up to June 19, there were 104 complaints compared to 441 in April and 371 last month.
KDEB stated that it would allocate 32 compactors in addition to the existing 12 servicing Selayang, to put an end to the problem.
Another 20 roll-on/roll-off garbage trucks will also be delivered at the same time.
MPS president Suliman Abd Rahman had appealed to ratepayers to be patient for another two months and ambitiously announced that the local council would be aiming for near-zero complaints.
He further said KDEB should be given time to get on top of the problem and show results.
He admitted that MPS needed to have stricter rules against litterbugs and to curb illegal dumping.
At the same time, he lamented that it was difficult to prevent people from Kuala Lumpur crossing the border, especially at the Selayang market area, to throw rubbish in MPS’ jurisdiction.
The local council had gotten rid of numerous illegal dumpsites in the area last year and keeping an eye on the hotspots, including Batu Caves.
The presence of a large number of foreign workers is not helping matters. For example, a bungalow in Taman Selayang Baru was found to be housing about 30 foreign workers.
Consequently, garbage trucks end up making two to three trips to clear all the rubbish from just one neighbourhood. And the scenario is repeated in several areas.
This situation was not earlier accounted for by KDEB in its inventory when handed the waste management contract for Selayang.
At Selayang Mulia apartments and many other low-cost flats in Selayang, waste piles up next to the rubbish collection centres as residents leave their refuse on the ground because the bins at the collection point are full.
Exacerbating the problem, many foreigners reside in these flats and they are not educated in the proper method of disposing their rubbish.
Some throw their rubbish along the roadside and the waste is washed into drains and rivers, eventually causing floods.
There is hope yet, if MPS can get the 92 low-cost flats in its jurisdiction to follow the sterling example set by Kenanga Apartment in Taman Gombak Permai, Batu Caves.
Its Joint Management Body (JMB) committee established a recycling programme last year and since then, household waste at the premises had decreased by half.
Even better, residents learned to value recyclable materials as they could exchange those items for cash vouchers that could be used to buy groceries and pay maintenance fees. This in turn helped residents in settling their fees on time, thus reducing such arrears.
Best of all, they enjoy a cleaner environment at the apartment grounds now.
Interesting to note is that Kenanga Apartment too has many foreign workers staying there.
So, clearly the mountain of garbage KDEB faces is not insurmountable and can be conquered. All it requires are the will and some creativity from everyone.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Catch them in the act - The Star Metro Perak

June 15, 2017

The unit usually does their rounds by taking photos of dumpsites. — Photos: RONNIE CHIN/The Star

MEMBERS of the public have lauded the Ipoh City Council’s move to deploy plainclothes enforcement officers to go after those dumping rubbish.
Many felt that the move could deter irresponsible individuals from discarding garbage indiscriminately, which could cause health and cleanliness issues.
Ipoh City Watch (ICW) president Prof Dr Richard Ng said he hoped the city council would continue with the move and that it was not just a one-off effort.
“They must continue to monitor other places in Ipoh where illegal dumping is rampant especially near eateries.
“Enforcement must also be stepped up and litterbugs caught must be given heftier fine,” he told StarMetro.
It was reported that plainclothes city council enforcement officers caught seven people this month and even tracked them back to their respective shops in Ipoh Garden South before issuing some RM950 worth of compound for not having proper garbage bins.
Ng said many businesses still did not have their own garbage bins nor take cleanliness seriously.
“As such, they dump garbage indiscriminately.

The unit going through rubbish to look for any leads on culprits.

“Gone are the days when cleanliness is the responsibility of the local council,” he said.
“We must discard such mentality and make cleanliness as our responsibility together,” he added.
Ng said Ipoh, which was famous for its variety of food, needed to be kept clean as it would definitely attract more tourists and improve their businesses.
“Those that do not have garbage bins and do not practise garbage separation should not be even rated a B Grade in terms of cleanliness.
“The rating given by the city council will be a mockery if it does not include the criteria of garbage disposal and having sludge trap,” he said.
“In fact, businesses caught not properly disposing their garbage should have their licence suspended or invoked and compound issued. Repeat offenders should be dragged to court and shame them as a deterrent,” he added.
Ng said the act of providing a garbage bin for proper disposal of waste should not be used as an excuse that their operating cost would increase.
“They should look at cleanliness as a factor that can help boost their businesses,” he said, adding that cleanliness should be a made a key performance indicator to all local councillors, civil societies and enforcement officers.
“City council workers must also be given fixed schedule each week at each location to discard all garbage dumped illegally while the city council should also provide enough bins at strategic places,” he said.
“Fines collected could be able to buy more bins for the people and at the same time prevent littering,” he added.
He also said that ICW would continue to highlight issues pertaining to the cleanliness and proper disposal of garbage.
“We will also hold talks and campaigns in schools and communities to educate the public to practise recycling and help reduce garbage ending up at landfills,” he added.
Retiree R. Sivamurthy, 63, said as a resident who lives in Canning Garden, it was upsetting to see rubbish piled up everywhere while the large bins provided were overflowing with trash.
“There’s a convenience store and a food court here, so naturally there would be a lot more trash.

The plainclothes council enforcement unit will identify themselves and show the accredited pass before issuing a compound

“I don’t deny that the Ipoh City Council is doing their job, they do come and clear away the trash according to schedule, but the problem lies within the people who toss their trash here indiscriminately,” he said.
Sivamurthy said it was important for the community to cooperate with the local authorities in resolving rubbish problems.
“It is good that the city council has enforcement officers in plain clothes to do the monitoring, but how many times are they going to issue summons to these litterbugs for them to learn their lesson?” he said, adding that more civic awareness was needed.
Technician Saiful Saiya, 38, said the lack of civic-mindedness among the public was disappointing.
“It is as if the people do not really know how to discard of their trash responsibly.
“Even when a bin is overflowing, they still let rubbish accumulate until they fall all over the ground,” he said.
Saiful said he had seen council officers clearing up trash in his res idential area, and even if they were late, it could probably be due to technical problems.
“Apart from council’s effort, I think we must all help each other and be more responsible in keeping our city and homes clean,” he said.
A businessman, who only wanted to be known as Alan, 47, said he hoped that the city council would also have its enforcement officers conduct random checks at night.
“While I laud the effort, I think the city council needs to have people on motorcycles going around commercial areas, housing estates and villages to check near the illegal dumpsites during the night.
“These litterbugs think that they can get away because enforcement officers are not known to work at night,” he said.
Alan also believed in educating the young generation to not litter.
“They are our future and should be taught on how to look after this planet. They should start young,” he said.

Few recycling centres can handle e-waste, says recycler - The Star Metro Perak

June 16, 2017

Cheong (right) and a fellow worker checking on the bag of e-waste at the recyclable collection centre in Menglembu

SUN Soon Yik Sdn Bhd, in Menglembu, Ipoh, collects e-waste from various sources including shops, households, factories, schools and government departments.
Its general manager Vincent Cheong said there were only a few recyclable collection centres in Perak and none was able to do full recovery processing of electronic waste (e-waste).
He said items such as computer units, monitors, keyboards, smart phones or other peripherals gathered at his centre would be dismantled to separate plastics from metals and other materials like rubber.
“We are a partial recycling centre and we do not recycle or process the e-waste.
“There are other full recovery recycling centres in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor and Melaka to do so, but not in Perak,” he told StarMetro.
“They deal with the toxic e-waste, recovering precious materials like platinum or gold through chemical treatment,” he said.
“Computer motherboard, integrated circuit board or other electronic peripherals would release heavy metal that can be hazardous when it comes into contact with water,” he added.
He said some of the toxic components found in e-waste were mercury, nickel, lead, cadmium and lithium, which could be harmful to the human body.
The company will try to repair the disused computers collected first.
“If the item is beyond repair, then it will be sent for recycling.
“If it can be repaired or reused, the item will be sold to willing buyers,” Cheong said.
“Last year, we got 400 computer units from a local university and 300 of them were repaired and reused,” he added.
Cheong said the e-waste were usually sent to his centre by e-waste generators registered with the State Department of Environment (DoE).
“Sometimes, some charitable bodies will also have e-waste collection drive and they will send the items to us.
“We also collect disused items in bulk from shops, schools or governmental agencies,” he said, adding that they received an average of about two tonnes of e-waste per month.
“The state (DoE) always monitor all operations at recycling companies. They will have all the data on e-waste,” he added.
Cheong said developed countries such as Japan had a “take back” arrangement between manufacturers and consumers.
“For example, when buying a monitor for RM100, the consumer will need to pay an extra 10% for recycling or disposal purposes.
“When the monitor breaks down, the person would then send it to a collection centre to get the rebate,” he said.
“We are really lagging behind the developed countries, we lack these collection centres here in Malaysia,” he added.
Cheong also said public awareness of e-waste was sorely needed.
“The government or related authorities should create more awareness through mainstream and social media.
“They need to explain what happens to e-waste and how to dispose of them,” he said, adding that the (DoE) was doing a good job in monitoring all recycling centres to ensure no e-waste goes to the landfill.
“Education is a must. I can safely say that about 40% to 50% of the population do not know what e-waste is,” he added.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Plainclothes officers on lookout for litterbugs - The Star

June 14, 2017

PLAINCLOTHES enforcement officers from Ipoh City Council are now on the prowl to look out for litterbugs and to issue them with compounds.
Ipoh Datuk Bandar Datuk Zamri Man said the latest strategy by the city council to have “undercover” enforcement officers issuing compounds was aimed at deterring people from littering and creating illegal dumpsites.
“We have always been stern when it comes to litterbugs.
“This is our last resort after all other measures, which include warnings and advices, have failed,” he said in a statement.
“We hope the continued observation effort by our enforcement officers can solve the garbage and litterbug issues in the city,” he said.
Zamri said the latest incident occurred on June 8, whereby a Bangladeshi worker was issued with a RM100 compound under Section 47 (1)(a) of the Building, Street and Drainage Act.
The worker, he said, was found to be discarding rubbish at Lorong Taman Ipoh 1 in Ipoh Garden South.
“During our observation from 9am to noon, we have issued six compounds worth RM950 in fine under the Act and Garbage Disposal, Collection and Waste Disposal By-law to traders,” he said.
“This included cases whereby shopowners did not have garbage bins after being advised to do so,” he added.
Zamri said the city council issued 627 compounds worth RM86,440 in fine last year.
“As of May this year, some 1,579 compounds worth RM332,600 in fine have been issued,” he said.

Melaka not the cleanest state anymore - Star Metro

June 14, 2017

Melaka’s status as the cleanest state in Malaysia has now dropped to fourth place, said Deputy Housing, Local Government and Environment committee chairman Datuk Sazali Muhd Din.
Terengganu emerged top in the list compiled by the Tourism Ministry, followed by Perak and Penang. Sabah placed fifth after Melaka.
Sazali said Melaka's drop was due to lack of awareness among the public on the importance of cleanliness.
He said motorists throwing rubbish from their vehicles had also contributed to the state’s failure in maintaining its status as the nation’s cleanest state.
“In terms of the cleanliness campaign in the state, it is an ongoing effort and we did not face any problems doing it.
“The same goes for rubbish collection activities across the state,” he said after launching the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPHTJ) ‘Don’t Mess With Melaka - Don’t Throw Rubbish From Vehicle’ programme at Melaka Mall here.
Also present was MPHTJ president Datuk Murad Husin.
Sazali said the government will continue to carry out campaigns to educate the public that maintaining cleanliness is not solely the responsibility of local councils in the state but also requires the public’s cooperation.
Meanwhile, Murad said cigarette butts and food wrappers amounted to the most waste thrown out by litterbugs from their vehicles.
He said at least 1,000kg of rubbish thrown out by motorists was collected every month since MPHTJ formed its motorcycle special litter unit in December 2016.
“From January to May 2017, MPHTJ has issued 65 compounds against litterbugs,” he said.
He reminded motorists that undercover council enforcement officers will issue on-the-spot compounds against those who are caught throwing rubbish from their vehicles in areas under MPHTJ’s jurisdiction.
He said the offenders can be fined between RM150 and RM500 under the council’s by-laws.