GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s local authorities made nearly RM40,000 by selling recyclable items from rubbish collected.
All proceeds went back to the respective councils, state Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow revealed today.
Yesterday, Gerakan had asked the Penang government to explain what it planned to do with any money collected from recyclable items, following its strict enforcement of waste separation from June 1, after a year-long trial period.
Chow said RM39,538.75 had been collected since June last year. Of this, RM13,938.40 was collected by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and RM25,600.35 by the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP).
Chow explained how recyclable items were collected from landed properties.
He said council workers would collect these items on Saturdays.
They would be brought to 10 “cleaning depots” across the state, nine of which were in Seberang Perai.
Penang only enforces waste separation into food and recyclable waste.
Chow said most of the waste collected are plastics and paper.
He said for villages, the respective Village Security Development Committees (JKKKs) were tasked with managing the collection and sale of recyclable waste.
He said residents in landed properties had the choice of sending it to a community recycling centre, selling it directly to a licensed recycling collector or leaving it outside their house every Saturday to be collected by MBPP and MPSP.
Chow said the budget for cleaning was increasing every year. MBPP spent RM102 million in 2015 and RM107.8 million last year. MPSP budgeted RM93.6 million in 2015 and RM98.9 million last year for this purpose.
Chow said Penangites dumped 1,800 tonnes of rubbish daily with most of it reusable waste.
He said the Penang government had no intention of getting a profit from the recycling as suggested by Gerakan.
“We only want to extend the lifespan of our only landfill in the state, which is in Pulau Burung (near Nibong Tebal),” he said.