THE Ipoh City Council has started an initiative to locate and clear away illegal dumpsites in residential areas.
Ipoh City Council Public Health and City Services director Mohd Alias Kamaruddin said, every week five lorries will go to residential areas to look for and clear away any rubbish sites they find.
This, he said, is part of the city council’s bid to keep the city clean.
“At the moment, clearing away all the illegal dumpsites, including garden waste, will be done by the council.
“We will be doing this in stages until we can find another solution, which involves outsourcing the clearing of illegal dumpsite to a contractor,” Mohd Alias said when met during a “Perak Yang Bersih” campaign in Taman Pari and Taman Merdeka last Friday.
On the cleanliness of drains in the city, Mohd Alias said the city council is now using the services of 29 contractors.
“They are responsible for cutting the grass and clearing away waste and cleaning the drains,” he said.
On the campaign, Mohd Alias said it was the ninth and the last one to be held this year.
“All the gotong royong activities are to encourage the people to be responsible when it comes to keeping the environment clean.
“We also hope to instil in them a culture of cleanliness,” he said.
“We cleaned up the two residential areas, took down illegal advertising and also trimmed some of the tree branches in Taman Pari and Taman Merdeka,” he added.
Mohd Alias said the Taman Pari-Taman Merdeka area has become infamous for illegal dumpsites.
“There are also a lot of loan shark buntings, which was why we hold the gotong royong here,” he said, adding that enforcement officers had previously scouted the area.
“Almost each day, after having cleared out an illegal dumpsite at one spot here, rubbish reappears, sometimes in as little as 15 minutes,” he said.
“The rubbish often includes garden waste and broken furniture,” he added.
Mohd Alias said the city council’s plainclothes Anti-Litter Unit officers are not patrolling the area more regularly to nab litterbugs and issue fines to them on the spot.
“As of Dec 16, we have issued 2,405 compounds with a value of RM507,400. We have also cleared away about 6,735 tonnes of rubbish from 16,728 illegal dumpsites around the city,” he said, adding that some 11,000km of drains in 3,634 locations have also been cleaned.
Mohd Alias said some 80 city council personnel, from its Landscape, Health, Licencing and Enforcement Departments, took part in the gotong royong in Taman Pari and Taman Merdeka.
“They were split into five groups and given the task to clean up the two areas,” he said.
A Taman Pari resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said litterbugs always throw their rubbish near her home at night, creating a dumpsite.
“They’ll come in cars at about 8pm every night.
“I just hope the city council will catch them,” she said, adding that the smell from the dumpsite is often unbearable, especially after a downpour.
“I don’t understand why can’t they throw their rubbish in front of their own homes and wait for the rubbish collectors,” she added.
Another resident, who also declined to be named, said she hopes that the appointed city councillor for Taman Merdeka and Taman Pari will visit the housing areas more often.
“If the city councillor is here regularly, I am sure the illegal dumpsites would be cleared away.
“The many drains in the area are also clogged and overgrown with vegetation,” she said.
“I think all city councillors need to be more pro-active, not reactive to when an issue crops up,” she added.