GEORGE TOWN: Penang may become the first peninsula state to opt out of the national privatisation of solid waste collection and disposal services as it feels its two municipal councils can perform a better job.State Local Government and Traffic
Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said
the state government was not convinced of the ability of a third party to undertake the job effectively.
He said a final decision would be made after the completion of a study by the Social Economic and Environmental Research Institute and the state Local Government division which was expected to be completed next month.Chow said under the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation Act, a state government could choose to accept or reject the privatisation proposal.
Under the Act which was passed in 2007, all local authorities in the peninsula are encouraged to privatise rubbish collection and disposal to four regional entities as it was felt that local authorities could not sustain such services effectively.In the northern states of Perlis, Kedah and Penang, a company called E-Idaman Sdn Bhd, which is a joint venture between Metacorp Bhd and UEM Environment Sdn Bhd, was appointed.
The company took over the services in Kedah last November but Penang has resisted the move.Chow said some councils spent close to 50% of their annual operating expenditure on solid waste collection and disposal.
“Proper solid waste management is important to ratepayers. They cannot be bothered about who is responsible as long as it is done well.“When something goes wrong, they will usually blame their assemblymen and state government. The Federal Government has yet to convince us that their appointees can do a better job.”Selangor privatised its collection and disposal services to two companies about 10 years ago.