[By ELAN PERUMAL and CHOONG MEK ZHIN, The Star Metro]
RECYCLING is a good practice but it becomes a problem when Alam Flora workers start doing it on taxpayers’ time while failing to complete their responsibilities.
This is what residents of Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya, claims is happening in their area.
Resident, Liew Wei Beng, who is also All-Petaling Jaya Selangor Residents Association Coalition (Apac) adviser, said the Alam Flora contractor in the area had been changed sometime in October last year.
“When the workers first started, they were very hardworking and residents enjoyed clean roads and excellent services. They even cleaned up the parks here,” he said.
According to Liew, it was about two months ago that the workers started recycling and that took up their time that should have been spent on other tasks such as sweeping roads.
Good collection: Alam Flora workers with their day’s collection of recyclable items.
“In the morning, before the garbage collection trucks come around, the workers will sweep the streets clean. However, now they go around rummaging through the trash for recyclables,” he said.
He also said that although grass-cutting was carried out in the park, the workers no longer cleared the cut grass.
In the afternoon, the workers can be seen going to recycling centres in nearby Taman SEA to sell whatever they have collected.
It was reported that the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) 2011 budget allocation for Alam Flora services such as drain cleaning, rubbish collection and park cleaning, saw an increase from RM12mil to RM60.38mil.
This is due to the increased number of contractors after a re-zoning exercise to achieve higher efficiency.
Liew: Alam Flora workers now busy looking for recyclable items.
Mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman was quoted as saying that the past two years had seen the MBPJ budgeting only RM48mil while it had to pay AFSB RM60mil.
“In fact, we have not increased the rates since 1997 despite numerous requests from Alam Flora,” Roslan said, adding that the new rates ensured contractors were paid according to an inventory to ensure they did the jobs assigned as opposed to giving them one lump sum.
He also said that the council’s expenditure on waste management was still among the lowest as compared to RM70mil spent by the Shah Alam City Council and the Subang Jaya Municipal Council.
Liew said residents were not getting their value for money, particularly when such incidents of workers shirking their duties took place.
”Alam Flora should be monitoring their contractors properly,” Liew said.