Community, Featured, General, Govt

PRESS: Penangites must shed “garbage culture” to build a Cleaner Greener Penang and channel resources towards other important areas

Press statement issued by Steven Sim while giving out free “Cleaner Greener Penang” car stickers in Bukit Mertajam. Also present were YB Chong Eng, Bukit Mertajam MP, YB Michael Tan, ADUN Padang Lalang and Cllr Oon Neow Aun

The free car stickers are part of an awareness campaign under the “Cleaner Greener Penang” banner to remind the public about the need to stop this “garbage culture” in our home state of Penang. The stickers are printed from allocations of Cllr Oon Neow Aun.

According to reports, Penangites produce an average of 1.2kg of garbage per person per day, which is higher than the national average of 0.8kg-1kg per person per day. This means, on a normal day, the state of Penang produces more than 1,000,000 kg of garbage.

The “garbage culture” is so acute that former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed called Penang, the “garbage state”. The garbage culture not only has serious environmental implications but also requires a lot of resources to manage.

We assume that what we put into the garbage bin disappears from our sight and from our lives, but the bad news is garbage and solid waste do not just disappear. Millions of ringgit are spent to manage the solid waste system, from street cleaning to garbage collection to recycling process to landfills.

The local government has to focus its resources to manage this “garbage culture”, thus limiting investment in other areas.

In MPSP 2012 budget, the top 4 highest cost items are garbage-related:

1. The introduction of the integrated cleaning contract (kontrak pembersihan bersepadu)

2. The upgrade of Pulau burung landfill

3. The upgrade of Ampang Jajar transfer station

4. Purchase of new cleaning & garbage collection vehicles

As such the Urban Services Department (Jabatan Khidmat Perbandaran), the department in MPSP tasked to manage solid waste and cleanliness operation has to increase its 2012 budget about 22.8%.

Out of the 6 Key Result Areas (KRAs) adopted by MPSP, the first KRA “Improve cleanliness” takes up about RM103.6 million or 71.3% of the total budget disaggregated by KRAs.

No. KRAs 2012 Budget
1 Improve Cleanliness RM 103.6m
2 Efficient Implementation RM 15.5m
3 Improve Safety and Security RM 5.4m
4 Beautification RM 4.1m
5 Law Enforcement RM 8.2m
6 Strengthening Organisational Process RM 8.6m

If we can reduce the garbage we produce daily, we not only save our environment but also reduce the cost of solid waste management, and thus allowing the local government to channel the resources to other areas.

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