Saturday, June 24, 2017

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.

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