JOHOR BARU: The number of illegal dumpsites in Johor declined significantly between 2014 and 2018, only to increase again last year.
Johor Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation Sdn Bhd (SWCorp) director Cairul Hisham Jalaluddin said 229 illegal dumpsites were identified and cleared in 2014.
He said the figures went down to 76 in 2015, and declined further to 59 sites in 2016, followed by 37 and 16 illegal dumpsites in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
“We attributed the decline to effective enforcement and better awareness among the public, ’’ Cairul said, adding that the dumpsites had mainly been filled with construction waste.
However, he said the number went up to 38 sites in 2019, with illegal dumping activities taking place repeatedly at four sites in areas under Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) and Iskandar Puteri City Council (MBPI)despite cleaning efforts undertaken by the company.
Cairul said the illegal dumpsites were identified in areas within the jurisdiction of 15 local authorities in the state.
The authorities are MBJB, MBPI, Pasir Gudang City Council (MBPG), Kulai Municipal Council (MPKu), Muar Municipal Council (MPM), Batu Pahat Municipal Council (MPBP) and Kluang Municipal Council (MPK).
Others are Segamat Municipal Council (MPS), Yong Peng District Council (MDYP), Pontian District Council (MDP), Tangkak District Council (MDT), Kota Tinggi District Council (MDKT), Simpang Renggam District Council (MDSR), Mersing District Council (MDM) and Labis District Council (MDL).
He said most of the illegal dumpsites were identified in Johor Baru, Pasir Gudang, Iskandar Puteri and Kulai.
“This was due to vast development projects carried out in these areas within the Iskandar Malaysia region, ’’ said Cairul.
He said some irresponsible parties took the easy way out to get rid of waste by dumping them at illegal dumpsites, with no concern for those living in the area or harm to the environment.
“Most of the illegal dumpsites are in secluded areas and some of the landowners are being paid for use of their land, ’’ said Cairul, adding that they planned to beef up enforcement and actively engage with stakeholders and local communities including urging the public to report to SWCorp if they come across irresponsible parties involved in illegal dumping activities.
He said those caught dumping waste illegally would be prosecuted under Section 71(2) of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) that carries a minimum fine of RM10,000 and maximum of RM100,000, or a jail term of six months to five years.
Cairul said five cases of illegal dumping were resolved in 2018 and eight in 2019, with RM78,000 and RM115,000 compounds collected in 2018 and 2019 respectively. One accused was jailed for a year.
“There are 22 cases under investigation for which we are gathering more evidence. We hope these will be dealt with soon, ’’ he said.
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