Rubbish collector puts aside Covid fears to do his job

JOHOR BARU: While most people stayed at home during the initial implementation of the movement control order (MCO) in March, Maharam Ahmad was out clearing away rubbish.

The 61-year-old retired navy personnel said while he was concerned about his health, it did not stop him from doing his job as a rubbish collector with SWM Environment Sdn Bhd.

“I was a little afraid in the beginning as there were still a lot of uncertainties about Covid-19.

“However, that did not stop me from carrying out my job.

“I just made sure I followed all guidelines provided by the government.

“Eventually, the fear of going outside faded,” he said, adding that he would not enter his house without washing his hands and feet first.

Maharam, who has been working as a rubbish collector for over 20 years after taking early retirement from the navy, said he was proud to be able to serve the public during the MCO.

“I am glad that I am still able to go out and work even during the MCO,” he said, adding that he would start his day as early as 7am every day.

He noted that with everyone staying at home during the first phase of the MCO, there was hardly any rubbish on the streets.

“Unfortunately, after the MCO was relaxed and people were allowed to go out again, I saw more litter on the streets again.

“More people have also been throwing away face masks as it is now easily available and cheaper,” he said, adding that he collected between 10 and 20 face masks in just the first half of his day.

“Usually, there are more face masks discarded near restaurants, shops and parking areas.

“People would put on a face mask when entering business premises, then take it off and throw it on the floor or into a drain once out of the building,” said Maharam, adding that awareness on proper disposal of face masks was still low among the public.

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