Waste collectors remain dedicated to keeping environment clean

17 Jul 2023 02:29pm
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
SEREMBAN - Collecting over six tonnes of garbage daily is no easy task for SWM Environment waste collectors as they also have to tackle various challenges, including the negative attitude of some public members, in keeping the environment clean.

Sharing his experience, compactor and Roro (Roll-on, Roll-Off) truck driver Halim Munap, 52, said workers need a high level of patience because they are often faced with uncooperative people, especially when collecting waste in narrow lanes.

He said those covering the city centre had to navigate through heavy traffic and be cautious when stopping as vehicles would closely follow their machine from behind while they carried out their work.

"Some people even speak rudely to us, but we must remain patient and continue our work. We also had to allocate more time at one location if the garbage disposed of by traders was scattered and not put in the bin properly,” he told Bernama.

The retired Armed Forces personnel said workers also had to deal with some members of the public who carelessly parked their vehicles outside of designated spaces, forcing the team to go elsewhere and then return to collect the waste.

A general worker at Solid Waste Unit, V. Ramesh, 37, shared that he was scolded with abusive language for asking people to move their vehicles or not to litter.

"Some people looked down upon 3D workers (dirty, dangerous and difficult) and ignored when I told them not to throw rubbish all over the place while the bins are close to them,” he said.

He also stressed that broken glass items should be packed well and separated so that they do not mix with other waste to prevent the workers from being injured while on duty.

"This may seem trivial to some, but it endangers our safety and the machinery can also be damaged when there are items such as glass and wood that are simply thrown away in the bins provided,” he said, adding that they sometimes had to clean up after waste pickers who rummaged through trash bins for bottles and cans.
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Meanwhile, SWM Environment Sdn Bhd (SWM Environment) corporate affairs general manager Mohd Norlisam Mohd Nordin said it was working with various parties, including Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (SWCorp), local authorities, traders associations and non-governmental organisations to promote awareness on solid waste management.

According to him, the cleaning staff collects garbage daily from 6 pm to midnight, with an estimated waste collection of six to seven tonnes per day.

Mohd Norlisam also said that separation at source is the best way to reduce waste at landfills, adding that SWM Environment has launched the KITARecycle initiative to encourage the public to recycle.

Another effort is to promote sustainable solid waste management as one of the Communications, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) agenda through the practice of waste separation at source and 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) - BERNAMA