NEVER pour used cooking oil down the kitchen sink as it will clog the drain.
Most people know that they are not supposed to pour used cooking oil down the sink, yet still do it.
Klang Municipal Council (MPK) president Datuk Mohamad Yasid Bidin said used cooking oil that is poured into kitchen sinks, end up in water pipes and drains and this has become a bane for the council.
“Our observation showed the clean-up of drains in commercial and residential areas involved a few million litres of used cooking oil and fryer fats that had been poured into kitchen sinks and end up clogging the drains,” he said.
He said cooking oil might be liquid when poured down the sink but when it comes into contact with water in the drainage network, it solidifies into greasy lumps and forms into thick rubbery clumps that lines the sides of the drains.
“Over time it becomes hard and thick and its rubber-like stickiness makes it extremely difficult to remove.
“As at November, cleaning the greasy lumps and repairing drains cost the municipality close to RM6mil.
“For some stretches, drain culverts had to be replaced,” he said.
Mohamad Yasid said the condition of drains in commercial areas with a lot of restaurants, such as Little India, Bukit Tinggi and Bandar Baru Klang, have deteriorated as a result of used oil being dumped into the drains.
MPK’s Urban Town Planning Department officer Ruzaana Abdul Rahman said the council encouraged residents to store their used cooking oil and hand it over to a recycling collection point in the local area.
“Our first phase in 2015 involved our own staff.
“Initially the campaign was sluggish however, now the bigger picture on greening the environment has been understood and this has been translated to commitment from most of the staff in the 20 departments,” she said.
She said the council started the collection of used cooking oil among the staff on Nov 11, 2015. The oil was collected over a period of a month at the Planning Department in Jalan Raya Barat.
“On the last Friday of the month, a company comes to collect the oil.
“Our programme has gained traction.
“In January last year, we collected only 41kg of used cooking oil but in September the amount collected was 684.10kg.
“From January to September this year, we have collected 3,248.45kg,” she added.
Mohd Yasid agreed that there was good support for a better environment among MPK workers but felt that more participation and higher collection of used oil can be achieved.
“For next year, MPK must double the collection.
“Our council must set a good example and this will become news that will encourage restaurants and local residents to follow suit.
“We must have total effort from all,” he said.
Council’s Urban Planning Department assistant officer Rohani Mat said upon seeing the successful implementation of the council’s programme, we initiated Phase 2 on March 31 this year, where we expanded it to restaurants, council food courts and school canteens.
“We are doing this in accordance with the Local Agenda 21 (LA21) where we consult the local community with the aim to create local policies and voluntary programmes that work towards achieving a sustainable environment,” she said.
Rohani added that the second phase with 16 restaurants as well as canteens in SK Kapar, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital and Samudra Café in Westport, is progressing well as a collection service has been put in place.
For Phase 2, the total collection of used oil in September was 386kg.
“Phase 3, covering the neighbourhoods of Kampung Raja Uda, Sungai Pinang, Kampung Sungai Udang, Meru and Port Klang, began in August while Ambang Botanic started in October this year.
“For August and September this year, 1,220kg of used fryer oil was collected in Kampung Sungai Pinang and Meru,” she said.
Rohani said once a collection service point was set up, people responded but acceptance was gradual.
“Our next strategy is to extend it to places of worship.
“One of the collection points is Kampung Raja Uda Mosque and its working smoothly as people come to deposit the used cooking oil in large drums.
“In view of this, we plan to include the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Jalan Tengku Kelana and Sri Sundararaja Perumal Temple off Persiaran Raja Muda Musa, as points of collection for the people,” she added.
Rohani added that the LA21, is an action programme that engages the local people. It is a product of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 to effect environmental changes for the well-being of the people.