DESPITE the authorities’ efforts to clamp down on illegal dumping, there are still 55 hotspots in Johor.
Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) director Cairul Hisham Jalaluddin said 237 illegal dumpsites in the state were removed under its “Clean and Clear Operations” from 2016 until October this year.
“From the total, 56 investigation papers were submitted and 27 of them have been charged in court with fines totalling RM451,000.
“The highest fine handed out for a case was RM30,000 in September last year.
“Those who were charged usually cited reasons such as distance to a waste disposal centre and fees imposed by the centres, but these should not be valid excuses for dumping waste.
“There are still 55 active illegal sites statewide and they are mostly located in Johor Baru, Pasir Gudang and Iskandar Puteri areas where developments are dense.
“About 60% of the discarded waste at illegal dumpsites was industrial, commercial and institution waste, while 5% was domestic waste,” he said at an area once used as an illegal dumpsite near Taman Desa Cemerlang in Johor Baru.
Cairul said even after shutting down an illegal site, irresponsible people would usually start dumping somewhere else.
Such activity required continuous monitoring as well as public tip-offs, he added.
He urged those handling small construction projects and home renovations to hire licensed contractors to enable the authorities to track the discarded waste to prevent illegal dumping.
On the illegal dumpsite along Jalan Ulu-Tiram-Johor Baru near Taman Desa Cemerlang, Cairul said people have been discarding their waste there the past four years before it was cleared by SWCorp and other agencies recently.
“We identified the landowner and worked together to clean up the site.
“We have put up signage and monitoring will be done from time to time,” he said.
He added that two individuals who dumped waste at the site were arrested with one to be charged soon while the other still under investigation.
Meanwhile, Desa Cemerlang zone councillor Norizam Shah Md Yunus said he reported the illegal dumping issue to Johor Baru City Council, SWCorp and the state Department of Environment in June last year.
“Residents complained of foul smell and thick smoke from the site, caused by individuals who frequently dump and burn waste there, especially at night.
“The clean-up of the site is good news for residents and business operators in the surrounding areas,” he added.