NEW laws to tackle illegal dumping statewide may come to light by next year once the mechanisms and regulations are finalised.
Currently, there are no special laws to govern illegal dumping and this unlawful activity has been steadily on the rise in Selangor.
“We are facing challenges in tackling the issue of illegal dumping and now we even have cases where people outside Selangor dump their waste here,” said Local Government committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah.
He added that the draft for illegal dumping laws was ready and had been sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers for approval before it could be implemented.
This process is necessary to ensure the new laws did not clash with the existing Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007.
“We have received the interim feedback from the AG and now we are waiting for the final feedback and approval before implementing it.
“If they do not get back to us by the year end, we will carry out plan B and have it in our bylaws instead and implement it at all local council’s here,” he said after launching the PJ Waste Summit workshop held in the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) Civic Centre recently.
The event saw contractors, local leaders and NGOs discussing ideas and proposing ways to improve rubbish collection and cleanliness in the city.
Ean Yong added that illegal dumping was not only a problem in the state but was an issue affecting the whole country.
One of the regulations in this new law will see contractors being compelled to dispose their waste at proper dump sites, especially those who owned the huge roll-on-roll-off (RORO) bins used to dump construction material or huge bulky items.
“Now most of them dump their waste by the river or roadside, or at other illegal dumpsites here,” he said.
With the new law in place, he hoped enforcement would be stricter and stern action could be taken against offenders.
Also, the state would set up an enforcement unit to tackle illegal dumping in all the respective local governments statewide soon.
“I urge local governments to initiate more spot checks and check on illegal dumpsites.
“If the illegal dumpsite is a private land then we will issue notice to the owner to clean up but if they fail then we will repossess the land,” he said.
He added that local councils should not help landowners clean up their land but instead use the existing laws against them.
Currently, the state has embarked on a waste separation project involving four councils which is MBPJ, the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj), Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) and Hulu Selangor District Council (MDHS).
“We only start with four councils to see the response from households and also to study the type of waste disposed.
“We hope residents will continue working with us to help us better manage waste disposal,” he said.
They are planning to implement waste separation throughout the state in the next three to five years time.
Apart from having waste separation in MBPJ, the city council planned to go tough on illegal dumping starting next year.
“We will no longer only issue fines to offenders but will also take them to court,” said Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain.
He said his enforcement team had started identifying the culprits by staking out at hot spots around the city.
Recently, they had issued 17 compounds and taken legal action against two contractors who were fined in court.
“The punishment is either a hefty fine imposed by the court or jail time, but it is up to the court to decide the punishment,” he said.
MBPJ also formed an enforcement team to tackle the illegal dumping issue.
Apart from this, they also spent about RM400,000 on a Road Cleaning Campaign in August and September to clear illegal dumping and rid Aedes mosquito breeding grounds.
From the campaign, more than 1,000 tonnes of rubbish from illegal dumpsites were collected and disposed.
This year, MBPJ allocated RM62mil for waste management and cleaning purposes, making up about 20% of their total spending for the year.
For the first time ever, MBPJ also awarded well performing contractors and showed their appreciation to local unsung heroes from the community who played a part in waste management.
“I hope this award will motivate contractors to work harder and do their best when carrying out their duties,” he said.