Exco: Johor landowners face prosecution if waste dumped illegally

Johor Local Government, Science and Technology Committee chairman Tan Hong Pin (centre) said SWCorp is empowered to nab, investigate and prosecute landowners found guilty of allowing their land to be used as an illegal dumping ground under the existing law. — Pictures by Ben Tan
Johor Local Government, Science and Technology Committee chairman Tan Hong Pin (centre) said SWCorp is empowered to nab, investigate and prosecute landowners found guilty of allowing their land to be used as an illegal dumping ground under the existing law. — Pictures by Ben Tan

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JOHOR BARU, July 10 — The Johor state government and the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) will prosecute landowners who dispose of solid waste illegally, a state executive councillor said today.

Johor Local Government, Science and Technology Committee chairman Tan Hong Pin said SWCorp is empowered to nab, investigate and prosecute not only companies, but also landowners found guilty of having their land used as illegal dumping grounds under the existing law.

“We will not entertain any excuses as the onus is on the respective landowners to monitor their land before we haul them to court.

“My advice to landowners is to check if their land is illegally used as a dumping ground for solid waste,” he said during a media conference at the SWCorp office at Menara MSC Cyberport here today.

Present were Johor SWCorp director Asri Amat and its deputy director Cairul Hisham Jalaluddin.

Tan cited a landmark case on July 8 where a Johor-based construction waste service company was prosecuted by SWCorp and fined a total of RM20,000 for dumping controlled solid waste in Taman Setia Eco Garden here.

“This was the first case of a company being fined and SWCorp intends to pursue other similar cases in future as illegal solid waste dumping is found to be rampant in south Johor,” he said.

On Sunday, the Johor Baru Sessions Court fined a construction waste services company RM10,000 each for two offences of illegal dumping under Section 71 (1) of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) for dumping controlled solid waste on June 13 this year.

The solid waste was identified as home waste and construction waste. The company paid the fine.

On having suitable areas for dumping solid waste, Tan said that there was an issue as many parties claimed that the tipping fees to properly dispose of solid waste for construction were exorbitant.

“The state government will engage the various stakeholders to discuss the matter further and come to a solution,” he said.

Checks revealed that tipping fees for the proper dumping of solid waste cost more than RM70 per tonne. On average, most construction or renovation companies have more than five tonnes of solid waste.

The high prices were among the reasons for the rampant illegal dumping of solid waste in the state.

Asri said there is a total of 326 known illegal dumping hot spots in Johor.

He said that from that figure, 48 of the hot spots were active and claimed their operators have been uncooperative with the authorities.

“We found that 80 per cent from the 48 are located within the Johor Baru and Iskandar Puteri districts,” he revealed.

Tan said the problem was an urban issue as many of the residential and home renovation projects are within the developing Iskandar Malaysia zone.

He said that the state government will soon formulate a plan to tackle the issue.

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