Closing in on illegal dumpers


By CY LEE

MBSA and MPK officers logging the location of an illegal dumpsite near Kwong Tung cemetery in Meru, Klang. — KK SHAM/The Star

MBSA and MPK discover several sites also used for open burning

AUTHORITIES are on the hunt for culprits involved in the illegal dumping of rubbish and open burning at several graveyards at the border of Shah Alam and Klang.

A visit by Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) and Klang Municipal Council (MPK) officers to the Christian, Fujian, Kwong Tung and Hokkien cemeteries in Kapar and Meru on Thursday found a number of dumpsites containing household and construction wastes with evidence of burning.

The cemeteries are adjacent to one another and connected by roads, with the rubbish dumped in areas under MBSA and MPK jurisdictions.

The joint inspection was conducted after MBSA Zone 21 councillor Simon Siow raised the matter to both local councils following complaints from Setia Permai residents about open burning in Shah Alam.

Siow said it was unacceptable that this had happened and that both local councils would be working together to monitor the area.

“We are now looking at ways to apprehend the offenders.

“In the meantime both MBSA and MPK will clean up and seal off the sites in their respective jurisdictions.

“The objective of the site visit is for both local councils to clarify who has the exact jurisdiction to take further action,” said Siow.

He said the Petaling and Klang District and Land Offices would also be involved as some of the rubbish were left on road reserves.

“If possible, we will instal temporary closed-circuit television cameras to monitor the vehicles entering the area,” he said.

He added that stiffer penalties would also be necessary to deter would-be offenders in the future.

Siow said he had received complaints on the issue since 2019 but was unable to locate the source of the problem until recently when residents spotted the site.

“For now, we will rely on the public to share information with us until authorities are able to set up a monitoring system,” he said.

Setia Permai 2 Residents Association committee member Cindy Lim and her husband Martin Essenberg said they discovered the foul odour they detected was from burning plastic.

Their home along with 693 houses are located some 700m from two dumpsites which had traces of open burning.

“We moved in during the end of the Covid-19 movement control order period and didn’t know this problem existed until last year,” said Lim.

“A few times a week, in the day or at night, we have to put up with the stench of burning plastics.

“One neighbour even went to the extent of buying four air filters to set up at home,” she said.

Essenberg said they lodged numerous complaints to the Environment Department almost every time they detected the burning but nothing had improved.

“We decided to drive around to get proof of the burning.”

He said one of the challenges to preventing illegal dumping and open burning there was that the roads leading to the cemeteries were not guarded nor gated.

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