KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 : As much as 535 kilogrammes of garbage were collected in three hours from 100 metres of the Klang River in front of the Mid Valley Megamall here this morning.
The exercise by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage as Phase 5 of the Public Outreach Programme of the River-of-Life began at 8 am today.
Spanning a total distance of 500 metres, the programme was an initiative of the ‘Friends of Sungai Klang Mid Valley (FoSK MV)’, a collaboration of six non-governmental organisations comprising associations of nature lovers, residents associations as well as corporate bodies.
RoL Public Outreach Phase 5 Programme project manager Dr K. Kalithasan said 150 volunteers took part in the cleaning programme of 500 metres of the Klang River in front of the Mid Valley Megamall and Abdullah Hukum Apartments.
He said 50 kilogrammes of the garbage which was collected could be recycled, comprising 41 kilogrammes of plastic bottles, seven kilogrammes glass and two kilogrammes of metal objects.
“We try as much as possible to minimise the waste that is sent to the disposal sites and try to recycle it for environmental sustainability,” he told reporters after the Klang River cleaning programme here today.
He said the objective of the programme was to increase awareness among the public not to see rivers and riverbanks as garbage bins.
“Previously, each NGO had operated independently but now their expertise have been brought together to get the best results.
“With the involvement of the residents and operators along the Klang River, it will indirectly foster a greater love of the river and add to a sense of ownership among them,” he said.
Dr Kalithasan said the public should not leave it totally to the authorities to preserve the cleanliness of the river, but all parties should play their part by not throwing rubbish indiscriminately.
“For instance, along the 500 metres of the Mid Valley Klang River area, there are places which could be transformed into small farms, so besides keeping the river clean, we also want to beautify the area into becoming recreational areas for city folks,” he said.
Meanwhile, FoSK MV programme manager Shayley Hing said the programme will be a weekly event which includes beautifying the river banks and keeping them free from rubbish.
“We will also put some banners on the awareness of not throwing the rubbish into the river and urge the local government to prepare more dustbins for the public, as there are no dustbins along the walkaway from the Abdullah Hukum Apartments to Mid Valley Megamall.
“The attitude and behaviour of the locals play a major role in sustaining the RoL initiative and through their participation, we hope to boost their awareness so as not to treat the river and its banks as rubbish binsor dumping grounds,” she said.