Residents still confused over waste segregation ruling

Khoo throwing rubbish as usual into the large green container at his condominium block in Bandar Baru Air Itam.

CONFUSION and uncertainty still reign among many Penangites on the waste segregation at source policy which comes into effect tomorrow.

Many are aware of the scheduled implementation but are unsure how to go about it.

Lecturer George Khoo, 64, said he was still in the dark.

The resident of Tanjung Court Condominium in Bandar Baru Air Itam said he learnt about the implementation through the media including Buletin Mutiara, the bi-weekly publication of the Penang government.

“We are excited about the new ruling since it is part of the green agenda.

“But residents in Tanjung Court and other housing schemes in Bandar Baru Air Itam are still discarding their rubbish into the large green rubbish container.

“Where are the bins for us to separate our waste?

“Our property management company Bandar Baru Ayer Itam Management Sdn Bhd (BBAIM)has not issued any circulars on the waste segregation. Nothing has been put up on our notice boards,” he said.

Another resident, who wished to be known only as Lee, said they were keen to be part of the project.

“But we do not know much about it other than being told that it will come into effect on June 1.

“Right now, members of the Tzu-Chi Buddhist Foundation come to our doorstep to collect items for recycling once every two months,” he said.

Joint Resident Associations of Bandar Baru Air Itam secretary V. Nathan said BBAIM had failed to spread information on the waste segregation to the 30,000 residents in the township.

“They have not briefed the resident associations and committees,” he said.

Bandar Baru Ayer Itam Management, a subsidiary of Farlim Group, manages more than 20 housing schemes involving some 10,000 units in the township.

BBAIM Sdn Bhd assistant operations manager Roger Wu said they were aware of the project but had not received any official notification from the state.

“We are looking into this. We were told about the implementation but we have not been told about the date,” he said.

Paya Terubong assemblyman Yeoh Soon Hin said he was surprised by Wu’s statement.

“This matter has been widely reported in the media. Are they not reading newspapers?

“It is impossible for the authorities to send circulars to each and every property management company in Penang,” he said.

Retired teacher Chong Yun Ling, 74, who lives in a landed property in Tanjung Bungah, said she knew about the ruling only through word of mouth.

“Anyway, I have been separating my waste for years.

“This noble effort should be lauded as everyone needs to play their part in sustaining the environment,” she said.

Meanwhile, the building management of Jay series condominium in Jalan Gangsa, Island Park, is all set for the segregation at source policy.

Its building manager Stone Law said he was invited by the Penang Island City Council to attend a briefing several weeks ago.

The building management put up seven banners and streamers in the compound to inform residents about the ruling.

“Residents have been told that only wet waste (kitchen waste) is allowed to be disposed at thecentral rubbish collection centre located near to the guard post.

“As for the recyclable items, residents have been asked to send them to the designated recycling items collection area at Block Seven.

“Our cleaners will also go door to door every Saturday to collect them,” he said when met at his office.

He added that the money collected after selling off the recyclable items would be distributed as allowance to the cleaners who were involved in the collection work.

Law, however, said he was uncertain how to dispose of plastic bags used to pack food.

“Should the plastic bags be considered wet waste or recyclable items?” he asked.

Penang Local Government committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow explained that the policy would start with segregating residual waste which was wet and food waste plus recyclable items.

“Briefing sessions had been held for representatives of joint management bodies and management corporations of strata title buildings registered with the councils.

“The representatives should convey the information they received during the briefing to the residents.

“We have uploaded information on the segregation at source on the Penang Green Council website.

“We are not trying to burden the people.

“We have kicked off the educational stage. No enforcement action will be carried out in the first year,” he said when met at his office in Komtar.

Chow said contractors appointed by the local councils would collect recyclable items from landed property every Saturday while the Joint Management Bodies or management corporations of strata buildings had their own rights to sell off the recyclable items.

“They can either channel the money to their management funds or donate the money or items to charitable organisations such as Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation,” he said.

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