Penang govt warns of possible surcharge on garbage management

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: Waste |

Malaysia, February 15 – The state government is calling on Penangites to support its decision to reject the privatisation of solid waste management as it could lead to their bearing unnecessary additional expenses.

State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the people should protect their rights and allow solid waste management to be handled by the local authorities.

“There is no guarantee that the private company will not impose a surcharge similar to Indah Water Konsortium on households and commercial premises to collect their garbage.

“Many households are also afraid that the company may eventually impose a limit on the weight of garbage that they could discard per day,” he said.

On Feb 7, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the privatisation of solid waste management would take effect this April even though some states had yet to agree to the move.

He had said the ministry would continue to discuss the privatisation plan with the states concerned.

On Feb 6, state Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said there was no need for Penang to privatise solid waste management if the two municipal councils in the state were competent enough to undertake the task.

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

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

Phee said the state’s Cleaner, Greener Penang campaign, which promoted the 3Rs of reducing, reusing and recycling, coupled with its No Free Plastic Bags policy and polystyrene packaging ban on hawkers in council-run hawker centres, was aimed at encouraging Penangites to produce less waste.

“If we can produce less waste, we can spend less money on transporting solid waste to landfills,” he said.

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