BY James Kon
THE government will consider privatising the running and maintenance of rubbish dumpsites nationwide. But first, it will make assessment of this possibility.
Minister of Development YB Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar said this Thursday in response to questions raised by Legislative Council (LegCo) member cum Mukim Telisai Penghulu YB Haji Ramli bin Haji Lahit on matters related to rubbish.
The minister said, “The issue of rubbish disposal has been raised on numerous occasions at the Legislative Council sessions as well as at the departmental and district levels.
“The government had implemented various efforts and worked together with agencies as well as volunteers to address the problem of rubbish disposal. However, rubbish is still being dumped at roadsides and public areas,” he added.
“The Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) together with relevant agencies have carried out enforcements under the Minor Offences Act and issued compound fines to offenders. Monitoring works will be implemented on a regular basis,” he said.
The minister added, “The government is spending at least $100,000 a month ($1.2 million a year) to ensure that rubbish thrown at dumpsites nationwide are properly managed and maintained. We also make sure that rubbish is collected daily.”
Meanwhile, to instil a sense of responsibility among the public, he said, “The government does not intend to add rubbish dump centres.”
“Instead we urge the public to deal with the private rubbish collecting service companies that go from house to house,” he added. In response to the LegCo member’s question on rubbish collection vehicles improperly transporting waste, the minister said garbage collection companies are required to ensure that their vehicles, routes and areas are always clean.
“It is their responsibility to ensure that waste does not spill out of their garbage trucks,” he added.
Any company that violates this condition or fails to comply with it will see its licence suspended or revoked until the matter is addressed.
In addition, the minister said, “Payments to companies under contract with JASTRe will be affected if they do not address the leakage issue.”
JASTRe is seeking public cooperation to report to it of any garbage collection company (name and vehicle registration) that do not maintain cleanliness.
On the status of proposed dumpsites in villages and mukims, the minister said, “A new disposal site in Mukim Telisai is being built and will be ready in June 2018. A new dumpsite for Mukim Tanjong Maya is being gazetted.”
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin