BY Roznah Abdul Jabbar
A month has passed since the waste separation regulation was fully enforced, but many high-rise residents are still clueless over the practice.
The Joint Management Body (JMB) of Perumahan Pantai Permai said some residents are cooperating but most are uncertain on how it actually works.
A representative of the body told Real Spaces that residents have been separating their waste and the domestic waste is being collected daily as usual, but no collection has been done for the recyclable waste.
“We have only two stations for three apartment blocks but the bins are not even full as yet,” he said.
Earlier, the management body of Bangsar Utama apartment expressed their frustration as they are still unclear about how it should be executed.
It said that Alam Flora, which clears the rubbish chutes in high-rises, should have made visitations to these buildings to educate the public on proper rubbish disposal and provide them with the necessary bins for separation of recyclables.
“There is no way the management can control the separation of waste without help from Alam Flora,” it said.
According to the Federal Territory Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) director, Hazilah Gumri, the implementation of mandatory separation of solid waste in several states has gone smoothly except at multi-storey premises.
She said that residents of flats, apartments and condominiums are still confused over the recycling move.
Hazilah said the difference between landed and multi-storey premises is that for landed premises, recyclables should be placed in trash bags beside rubbish bins, which should only contain organic waste. For multi-storey premises, recyclable waste should be put in designated containers provided by the JMBs or be taken to recycling centres.
SWCorp officers will check inside rubbish bags at multi-storey premises, whereby any flouting of the rule will result in a notice or compound issued to the management.
She said managing the recyclable waste at multi-storey premises should be the responsibility of the JMBs.
“For multi-storey premises without a JMB, the management of recyclable waste is the responsibility of the housing developers.
“If they do not take any steps to ensure that residents separate the waste, they will be fined,” Hazilah said.
Earlier last week, former Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said every resident of multi-storey buildings could be compounded even if only one of them fails to adhere to the rule.
He said the building’s management plays an important role in educating its residents and ensuring they separate their waste.
Abdul Rahman’s ministry introduced waste separation last September under the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 or Act 672.
The law makes it compulsory for residents to separate their solid waste into “paper”, “plastic” and “others” when discarding them, or face fines from RM50 to RM1,000.
For high-rise residences, the compound is RM100 for the first offence, RM200 for the second and RM500 for the third, while for landed properties, the fine will be RM50 for the first offence, RM100 for the second and RM500 for the third.
The fourth offence would result in legal action and if charged, one can be fined up to RM1,000.
RCMC Sdn Bhd director Richard Chan said although the idea of compulsory waste separation is laudable, there will be problems with implementation and enforcement.
Chan, who is also a committee member for Building Management Association of Malaysia (BMAM), said that there are no visible improvements in terms of collection since the implementation last year.
“There are some places where residents are being cooperative in segregating the waste but the garbage trucks are putting everything together during collection. This is such a waste of effort by the public,” he said.
Chan said that the government should be concentrating on creating awareness by direct approach to educate the public on how to do it and the benefits thereof.
The law is currently implemented in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Perlis and Pahang.
Enforcement was carried out simultaneously in the affected states on June 1, involving 79 housing areas and almost 10,724 premises with 245 enforcement officers from SWCorp.
The exercise also included the introduction of 120 segregated waste trucks operated by Alam Flora, a concessionaire of SWCorp.
Abdul Rahman said the aim is to achieve a recycling rate of 22 per cent by 2020.