Integrated solid waste management study done, implementation next — Penguang

Datu Dr Penguang Manggil

SIBU: The integrated solid waste management study conducted across Sarawak has reached completion, says Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datu Dr Penguang Manggil.

According to him, the implementation will be carried out in stages.

“Cabinet has already approved the recommendations stated in the study.

“In Sibu, of course, the Kemuyang landfill will be upgraded to Level 4. This means that this landfill will be able to hold more waste and incorporate some of the treatments, especially on the leachate,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday.

Asked on the present number of landfills in Sarawak, Penguang said except for Kuching, Miri, Sibu, Serian and Bintangor, the other areas under the jurisdiction of local authorities (LAs) had open dumpsites.

When interviewed in October last year, the assistant minister said the study included assessing the amount and types of waste generated, transported and treated, as well as the condition of existing treatment facilities (dumpsites and landfills) in all 26 LAs across Sarawak.

A SMC personnel helps to put out fire at the landfill. — Photo courtesy of SMC chairman Clarence Ting

Meanwhile, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sibu acting chief Wan Kamarudin Wan Ahmad said the operation to extinguish the underground fire at the closed Seng Ling dumpsite continued yesterday.

“There was a downpour just now and we hope it would assist us (in putting out the flames),” he said.

For the record, the Seng Ling Road landfill here was officially closed in April this year, after having served its purpose over the last 18 years.

A trench was dug across the access road leading to the landfill to stop vehicles from entering the area.

In early March this year, a total of 32 squatters, including six children from 11 families, were left homeless after the area was struck by fire.

In September 2011, then-Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King had said that the Seng Ling Road landfill might continue to burn, as the fire had reached into peat soil underneath where waste had been accumulating for years.

Tiong had said then that fire had broken out twice at the Seng Ling landfill, with the previous one occurring in 2005.

It is said that since its setting-up in 2001, the landfill had been frequented by scavengers – a number of whom eventually became squatters there.

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