Monday, September 21

Youth Green X-Change: Managing the city’s waste

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EXCELLENT SERVICE: The teams from the company’s Logistics and Services Division with their ‘Outstanding Safe Team (Municipal Waste) Performance Award, comprising (seated, from left)Ricky Rejug, Busarah Abang and Jeriko Durah, as well as (standing, from left) Daud Angi, Zawawi Sedi, Chang Lui Foh, Alexis Bayoi, Johas Rened and Idrus Seruji.

KEEPING a city clean is a responsibility shared by all who live in it. Each member of the communities, city administrators and appointed service providers plays a key, distinct role in creating a clean living environment. In Kuching city, waste collection service is carried out by the Logistics and Services Division of Trienekens (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd.

A typical day at Trienekens’ head office and depot at Sungai Tapang starts as early as 2am, when the collection services and compactor teams clock in before proceeding with their rounds.

Others personnel may start at a different time as the division has three different shifts for its compactor staff. In total, it has 160drivers and loaders assigned to certain areas,according to planned schedules and routes. Eachteam, led by the driver,carries out routine inspection of their trucks before leaving the depot.

“The main objective of the day is to complete all collection rounds as timely and efficiently as possible,” says Trienekens’ senior manager for logistics and services Sarius Lee. “To do so, the trucks must in be in good condition and all equipment in working order before every round. Should the team encounter any problem with their trucks or systems, a report must be submitted to the maintenance team for immediate remedial actions.”

Trienekens currently services areas under the jurisdiction of Kuching North City Commission (DBKU), Kuching South City Council (MBKS) and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP), based on a twice-weekly collection frequency for households. The frequency for commercial areas, particularly the wet markets and highly-populated business addresses, is higher– between twice-weekly and daily –as the volume of waste generated is more than those in residential areas.

“Our teams do encounter some challenges during the course of their work,” Lee notes. “The common problems include traffic obstruction and limited accessibility. If a road is blocked due to irresponsible parking, our truck will not be able to access and service the area on time.

“Sometimes, we also encounter problems such as improper use of or lost bins, indiscriminate disposal of refuse, spillage or residents forgetting to wheel out their bins for collection. Still, we are able to solve these (problems)through discussions with the councils or residents.”

According to Lee,the most challenging periods are during festive seasons such as Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Aidilfitri. A normal day records an average of 400 to 500 tonnes of municipal waste but during festive periods, the figure can increase up by 50 percent.

In this respect, Lee and his team of supervisors would optimise a pre-festive planning and strategy in collaboration with the councils to ensure that all areas would be serviced effectively during the season, including the extension of the collection time and provision of extra bins at waste ‘hotspots’.

As are they are inspected before the collection round every morning, all trucks must be washed before upon their return to the depot. This is done after all the waste gets unloaded at the Kuching Integrated Waste Management Park (KIWMP) in Mambong, about a half-hour drive from Kuching.

Every year, the company recognises their teams’ hard work and commitment by presenting deserving staff members with work and safety excellence awards as well as incentives.

“I’m proud to say that our compactor teams are the best there are out there. They are really hardworking and dedicated. Rain or shine, they do their level best to keep the city clean despite the challenges, shortcomings and negative perception associated with this line of work,” Lee underlines.

“With cooperation from the public, we strive to be a proactive member of the community,ensuringthat our city would always remain clean and become a healthy environment for all to live in.

The Youth Green X-Change is a programme by Natural Resources and Environment Board Sarawak, Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia, Environment Sarawak Department, Teacher’s Education Institute- Batu Lintang Campus and Trienekens ( Sarawak) Sdn Bhd.