Separate waste or face fines, FT folk told

PETALING JAYA: Residents in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya must start separating waste into recyclables and non-recyclables or risk facing a compound.

Federal Territories Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) director Ummi Kalthum Shuib said the enforcement, in line with the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) which makes it mandatory for waste segregation at source, has started this year.

For non-landed properties, the compound will be issued to the joint management bodies (JMBs) or management committees (MCs) at RM100 for the first offence, RM200 for the second, and RM500 for the third.

For landed properties, the premises owners will be liable for a compound of RM50 for the first offence, RM100 for the second and RM500 for the third.

If the compound is not paid, one can be prosecuted and those found guilty can be fined up to RM10,000.

For the fourth and subsequent offences, no compound will be issued and offenders will be prosecuted in court.

“We are doing enforcement and engagements. A letter of instruction or non-compliance will be given to JMBs and MCs and they have to ensure that they adhere to all instructions of improvement.

“If the JMBs or MCs fail to do so, compound will be issued,” she said when contacted.

Ummi Kalthum added that the Federal Territories SWCorp will decide whether to compound if the JMBs and MCs do not make enough arrangements to promote separation at source (SAS).

The Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya are among those that have adopted Act 672, along with Pahang, Johor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Perlis and Kedah.

Besides facing punishment for failing to implement SAS, JMBs and MCs can also be fined not more than RM1,000 for offences such as failing to provide a waste disposal facility of sufficient size for all residents, failing to maintain waste disposal facilities such as waste chutes and refuse rooms, or failing to ensure that all residents dispose of their household solid waste at the designated areas.

Ummi Kalthum said stricter enforcement is crucial to reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfills.

Federal Territories SWCorp data revealed that for Kuala Lumpur, over 99% of waste ended up on the landfill and less than 1% is recycled.

This is according to the data on waste collected at the Kuala Lumpur Transfer Station before being send to Bukit Tagar Landfill in Selangor.

From January to November 2023, of the 772, 347 tonnes of waste collected, only 1,292 tonnes, or 0.17% was recycled, while the remaining 99.83% was sent to the landfill.

This showed an incremental improvement from the previous years.

In 2022, 99.85% out of the 799,079 tonnes of waste collected were sent to the landfill, compared to 99.88% out of 772,234 tonnes in 2021, 99.96% out of 752,157 tonnes in 2020 and 99.98% out of 833,910 tonnes in 2019.As there are no landfills in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, waste from Kuala Lumpur is sent to the Bukit Tagar Landfill in Selangor while waste from Putrajaya is sent to the Tanjung 12 Landfill in Dengkil, Selangor.

Both are sanitary landfills, or disposal sites with technology for treating wastewater and disposed solid waste.

Ummi Kalthum said that some RM2bil a year is spent by the government for waste management and public cleansing at the seven states that adopted Act 672 while RM200mil per annum is paid for tipping fees and waste treatment plants.

Retiree Joyce Kwan, 64, said she supported the move to compound JMBs and MCs that fail to implement SAS as she has been advocating for recycling to be done at her condominium.

“I’ve written many times to the management to implement recycling as currently, it is voluntary and so few residents bother to separate their waste.

“With this strict enforcement by the authorities, hopefully the condo management will get to task to make residents separate their waste as I’m sure the JMBs and MCs do not want to be fined,” said Kwan.

A business owner, who only wanted to be known as Rahman, 37, also agreed that issuing a compound to those who fail to separate their waste was the right move.

“Recycling is a norm in many developed countries. We cannot advance as a nation if people enjoy living in filth and do not care about the environment,” said Rahman, who lives in landed property in Kuala Lumpur.

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