A GREEN council initiative brought residents of all ages together in helping clean the environment on Malaysia Day.
World Cleanup Day Petaling Jaya 2023 was launched by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) in collaboration with Malaysian Humanitarian Foundation (MHF) in an effort to combat solid waste and environmental pollution issues.
Petaling Jaya is among many other cities in 197 countries participating in the social action programme.
MBPJ has held cleanup day since 2018.
The annual cleanup event saw 67 volunteers removing waste from three lanes near Jalan Masjid, Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya.
The lanes were Lorong Masjid 1, 2 and 3 that bordered the Al-Ma’muriah Mosque in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara.
MHF finance manager Ezuar Luqmin said, “It is a basic thing to keep the environment clean, but the problem is that we have a litterbug culture.
“Therefore, we need to create public awareness and educate the new generation.
“We hope youths can set an example for others to create a safer environment.”
The volunteers were split into three groups with one group per lane and collectively, they picked up more than 60kg of rubbish in an hour.
Plastic bottles, cigarette butts, metal, PVC pipes, paper and aluminium are among rubbish sorted and weighed for recycling at the mosque’s grounds.
Volunteer Janice Tan said, “I was surprised to see so many cigarette butts strewn on the ground and also broken glass, which is really dangerous.
“When you travel to other countries, you can see how clean their streets are.
“We want our neighbour-hoods to be clean like that too.”
Volunteer Ivin Low said, “I’ve complained about many dirty areas but this time, I decided to do something about it.”
MBPJ Solid Waste Manage-ment and Public Cleansing Department assistant director Nazatul Aini Hairoman said one group collected 400g of cigarette butts that equalled 700 cigarettes.
“People still lack awareness on littering and you only realise how bad the issue is when you collect rubbish yourself.
“We hope this event can help make Petaling Jaya clean.”
Nazatul added that rubbish collected would be recycled by the Petaling Jaya Eco Recycling Plaza, while non-recyclable items would be collected by KDEB Waste Management.
Before the cleanup took place, MBPJ launched a guideline booklet called City Cleanup Petaling Jaya that included information on recyclable materials and waste disposal methods for individuals and agencies.
The cleanup project was one of six taking place across the city on the same day with help of other area councillors, according to MBPJ Engineering Department deputy secretary Ismail Shafie.
These areas were Zone 1 (Desa Rimba Riang, Damansara Damai), Zone 3 (Gugusan Dedap Flats Seksyen 11 Kota Damansara), Zone 4 (Alissia & Atalia, Ara Damansara), Zone 6 (SS24), Zone 7 (Jalan 5, Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara), Zone 15 (Section 3), Zone 20 (SS3 and SS9a) and Zone 2 (Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara).
Ismail said another cleanup took place in Zone 6 covering SS23, SS24 and SS26.
Also at the cleanup were Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara village head Ramli Daud, Al-Ma’muriah Mosque ustazah Mohd Nadzri Mohd Tajudin, MBPJ councillor Mohd Ikhsan Mohamad Din, and World Cleanup Day Malaysia country leader and MHF executive director Henry Teh Kok Kheng.