THEY were hired by the Public Works Department (JKR) to maintain general cleanliness of federal roads and drains as well as cut grass in Selangor; but the workers were caught illegally dumping the waste they collected in Kuala Lumpur in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday.
Enforcement officers from the Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) who were duty nabbed the culprits as they were dumping the waste along Jalan Kubur in Taman Sri Murni, Kuala Lumpur, at 2am on March 21.
“The culprits from the company Road Care (M) Sdn Bhd were caught dumping cut grass,” said SWCorp Federal Territories director Mohd Zahir Shaari.
Road Care is a road maintenance company whose job scope includes cutting grass at prescribed areas within road reserves and clearing vegetation on paved surfaces.
The company is also tasked with routine maintenance work along road shoulders, patching potholes as well as cleaning culverts, bridges, waterways and drains.
The company was awarded the concession for maintenance works in Selangor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan by JKR.
Mohd Zahir said in Thursday’s incident, the agency seized the company’s lorry and the case is currently being investigated under Section 71 (1) of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672).
The culprits can be prosecuted and fined a minimum of RM10,000 and maximum RM100,000 or jailed six months to five years.
“We believe the waste came from Selangor and was dumped here,’’ he said, adding that Road Care did not service Kuala Lumpur areas.
Asked if it was common for waste companies to dump waste in areas outside their boundary, Mohd Zahir said, “This is what you would call cross-the-border waste dumpers.
“It is very common with waste contractors who don’t want to pay the tipping fees, so they dump their waste outside their jurisdiction.”
Mohd Zahir said the dumping would usually happen in the wee hours of the morning and that a lot of Selangor waste tends to get dumped in Kuala Lumpur.
He said the agency has been carrying out regular operations as part of its efforts to tackle waste being illegally brought across the Selangor border and dumped in Kuala Lumpur.
“We have a schedule and we managed to nab these guys,” he said.
Asked if he was surprised that the culprits turned out to be a waste company, Mohd Zahir said: “Not at all. It is quite common that waste companies’ sub-contractors are one of the main culprits for such unscrupulous act.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan was livid when informed about the incident.
“No one is above the law, even I had to pay summons for illegally parking once, and I paid it,” he said.
“In this case, I hope they are penalised for the act and take responsibility for their actions,” he added.
Meanwhile, residents of Taman Sri Murni said in the past they had seen a number of lorries dumping rubbish in the wee hours of the morning.
“These people should be ashamed of themselves and must be taught a lesson,” said Ahmad Zaki, a resident.
“It is shocking that a government agency-appointed contractor is doing this,” he added.
An Alam Flora contractor servicing Kuala Lumpur said many times they were accused of not doing their job based on waste dumped by third parties from other areas.
“Having to clean up other people’s mess is one thing, but being accused of not doing our job is something else. We hope the culprits will be punished,” added the contractor.
Alam Flora manages waste collection in Kuala Lumpur.
Road Care general manager Nafisah Abdul Aziz, when contacted about the matter, said, “We are not aware of this incident and we do not have any contract in Kuala Lumpur.
“It is not logical for our contractors to dump rubbish in Kuala Lumpur when we don’t have any contract there,” she added.
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