Plastic and polystyrene clogging up Klang River


KUALA LUMPUR: A horrendous stench greets those who go near the log boom at the downstream of Sungai Batu, one of the tributaries of the Klang River.

What’s worse is the sight of the log boom where heaps of rubbish are collected, made up mainly of plastic bags and bottles and polystyrene containers.

A check by The Star recently found a kayak, motorcycle helmets, footballs, tree branches, tin cans and many others.

According to a spokesman from the Drainage and Irrigation Department’s (DID) Klang River basin office, this was a common sight at the log boom.

“We have even found things like sofa sets, mattresses, refrigerators, washing machines and motorcycle frames.


“Many take the easy way out by dumping everything into rivers, even though they know very well that this will pollute our rivers.

“This log boom itself (in Batu River) traps more than a tonne of rubbish monthly. It’s worse during the rainy season because more garbage gets washed into the rivers,” he said.

A log boom is a barrier placed in a river that is designed to collect or contain floating garbage.

Last year, 205 tonnes of rubbish were collected just from the Klang River and its many tributaries – 75 tonnes from gross pollutant traps (GPT), 60 tonnes from log booms and trash rakes and 70 tonnes from manual cleaning.

From January to April this year, 85 tonnes of rubbish have already been collected.

The spokesman said river cleaning was done using various methods such as installation of river traps like gross pollutant traps, log booms and trash rake, manual cleaning and the use of manpower and machineries.

He said GPTs were provided at the downstream end of drains or engineered waterways which discharge to sensitive rivers, water quality control ponds or urban lakes to reduce sediment load, litter, oil and chemicals.

“In the Klang Valley, the River of Life (RoL) project was initiated to transform the Klang-Gombak River corridor in Kuala Lumpur into a vibrant and liveable waterfront generating economic value.

“This project is focused on cleaning up and beautifying the polluted rivers in the Klang Valley.

“This initiative is led by DID with the support of 26 agencies across four ministries, including local authorities such as Selayang Municipal Council, Ampang Jaya Municipal Council and DBKL.

“DID has exceeded its target by completing the construction of 369 gross pollutant traps, log booms and trash rakes,” said the spokesman.

He added that the Government had allocated RM3bil since 2011 for the project until 2020.

The Government had also allocated RM114mil to rehabilitate rivers under the “One State One River” programme from 2006 to 2007.

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River , rubbish