Garbage deal refused

Posted on February 7, 2011. Filed under: Waste |

-The Star-

BUKIT MERTAJAM: There is no need for Penang to privatise solid waste management if the two municipal councils are competent enough to undertake the task.

State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the state had informed the National Committee on Solid Waste Management last year that it wanted the two councils to continue handling solid waste.

“The committee has yet to get back to us on this,” he said when contacted here yesterday.

It was reported that the Federal Government had appointed E-Idaman Sdn Bhd to take over garbage collection and cleaning services in the northern region.

The company took over the services in Perlis and Kedah last year but not in Penang as the state government had reservations about the privatisation model.

Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) president Mokhtar Mohd Jait had said the council’s workers were carrying out garbage collection in 265 housing schemes or 43% of the total housing schemes in Seberang Prai.

He said the rest of the areas had been privatised to local contractors.

“We are in a dilemma of not being able to appoint new contractors to collect garbage while awaiting the state government’s deliberation with the federal authorities on the privatisation of solid waste management.

“The Federal Government had earlier advised all local authorities not to sign long-term contracts with new contractors pending the privatisation,” he told a full council meeting at the council headquarters in Bandar Perda here.

Chow said all state governments were given an option to accept or reject the privatisation of solid waste management under the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corpo­ration Act 2007.

He hoped the Federal Go­v­ernment would allow local authorities to sign long-term contracts with new contractors as well as employ new general workers to replace those who have retired.

He advised MPSP to negotiate with existing contractors to widen its areas of coverage to include housing schemes without contractors.

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