Rubbish strewn along the riverbank of Sungai Pendas at Kampung Pendas Baru in Tanjung Kupang. Pic by Roslan Khamis

THREE years ago, some 120 families of Kampung Pendas Laut relocated to a new neighbourhood across Sungai Pendas to make way for a development in Iskandar Malaysia.

The residents live in concrete homes now at the edge of Sungai Pendas in their new settlement called Kampung Pendas Baru in Tanjung Kupang.

Though their living conditions and surroundings have improved, residents are disheartened to live in a sea of rubbish as there are no rubbish trucks to collect their waste since they moved there.

Putu Minah Pahlil, 75, said villagers were each provided with rubbish bins.

“However, no one has come to collect the rubbish since we moved here.

“I have to burn my household waste.

“Some of the residents just throw their rubbish into the sea. If not, what are we going to do with our rubbish?”

Jemiah Awang, 84, who lives next door to Putu Minah, said she has no other complaints besides rubbish collection.

“The village is peaceful and the people are friendly. I’m just curious as to why we were given rubbish bins without any collection service provided.”

A Streets check revealed that household waste comprising polystyrene and plastic were found strewn along the riverbank of Sungai Pendas.

John Chew, 60, a photography enthusiast said the rubbish was an eyesore.

“There are tourists who come to the village to buy fresh fish and the sight of the rubbish is off-putting.

“Can’t the authorities in charge of this development do something about the rubbish before they plan any more developments here?

“The roads are tarred as there are lorries and buses coming in.

“How can a garbage truck not be able to come to the village?

“By not providing garbage collection facilities it will only encourage the dumping of rubbish into the sea.”

Chew, who is also a nature lover, said he could imagine what the rubbish pile-up in the mangrove area was doing to the marine habitat in the river.

SWM Environment Sdn Bhd corporate communications head Shahrul Amir Abdul Rahim confirmed that the company does not send its truck into Kampung Pendas Baru.

“Most villagers have to appoint their own contractors. It is difficult for SWM to send our trucks into a village.

“However, I will ask the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation to review the matter.

“We can propose a large garbage bin to be placed somewhere where our trucks can pick up the rubbish without having to venture into the village,” Shahrul said.

Attempts to get a comment from the Iskandar Regional Development Authority were futile.