No escaping grease trap ruling

Mubarak (centre, in dark jacket) and councillor Harvinder singh (right) checking grease traps at stalls along lorong selamat during an operation against food operators who fail to install grease traps. — Photos: CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

THE Penang Island City Council (MBPP) is coming down hard on food operators who fail to install grease traps in their premises.

In a move to prevent drains from clogging up which could trigger flash floods, the MPPP has launched a full-scale operation against offenders.

Councillor Wong Yuee Harng advised hawkers not to think only about making profits, but also to have a proper waste management.

“The state government has spent millions of ringgit on drainage systems.

“Premises without grease traps would result in drains being clogged which would then trigger flash floods. The food waste would also find its way into rivers and the sea,” he said during a recent operation at Lorong Selamat and several places in George Town.

“We will not entertain anymore excuses from hawkers who claim ignorance. They have been briefed on the need for grease traps and also warned that action would be taken against offenders,” he added.

Wong said the required grease traps must be specified by Sirim.

“The design must comply with the size of the premises including the inlet and outlet pipes. The grease traps must have net chambers to block the floating oil while letting water pass through, and also a sieve net to trap solids.

“All this is stated clearly in the MBPP Local Authority Act of 1976 and Food Established By-laws of 1991 and Cleanliness and Public Safety By-laws of 1980,” he said.

Anyone who fail to adhere to these laws can be compounded RM500 for each offence or fined RM2,000, or jailed for a year.

Wong said 313 compounds were issued in 2018 while 36 compounds had been issued until February this year.

Council Urban Services Department director Mubarak Junus said more than 40 personnel from several departments were involved in the operation on the island.

The operation, he said, would be carried out randomly throughout the year, saying that it was time for action as the period for education and warning was over.

“Some hawkers are giving a bad image to the locals and tourists with their dirty shops, clogged drains and poor hygiene,” added Mubarak.

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