KL plans waste takeover

Thursday, 17 June 2010

By Foong Pek Yee

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Government is taking over solid waste management, promising ratepayers better services at no extra charge.

“Problems like dirty garbage trucks plying the roads and irregular collection will be a thing of the past.

“I have full confidence that it (the takeover) will work though there are people who are sceptical

about it,” said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung.The Federal Government would pay three concessionaires – Alam Flora (central zone), E-Idaman (northern zone) and Southern Waste (southern zone) – to do the job, he told The Star.He said the people would get better services while paying the existing assessment rate.He added that the local authorities would have to pay the Federal Government since the job would no longer be undertaken by them.

Even then, Chor said the Federal Government would have to subsidise operations because the amount expected to be collected from the local authorities would not be enough to pay the concessionaires.

He declined to reveal the amount the Federal Government would have to pay the concessionaires when the takeover begins next year.

The idea to privatise solid waste management was mooted 12 years ago.

The plan has since been carried out on an interim basis.The concessionaires took over the job from the local authorities, pending the ironing out of several issues, like how to calculate the new charges and who should bear them.

Proposals include charging the people by the amount of garbage they dispose of and that garbage must be packed in special plastic bags.

The proposals, more often than not, did not go down well with the people.

Chor said the concessionaires did not do a good job during the interim period because of the low and irregular payments from the local authorities.Selangor privatised its services more than 10 years ago, followed in stages by other states.The Penang government has stated it is not keen on the idea.

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