Rubbish woes persist in Seria

National 2 minutes, 26 seconds


RUBBISH reappeared at the Lorong Tengah National Housing Scheme in Seria, with bags of litter left on the road and trash thrown over the bushes in the surrounding area.

Two residents recently informed The Brunei Times that an empty plot of land adjacent to the housing scheme and its accompanying road had been strewn with litter in the past few months, claiming that some have grown accustomed to dumping rubbish indiscriminately as there is no public dump site in Seria.

“Residents here have two proper ways of disposing their rubbish, either they leave it at the nearest public dump site in Lumut, about 15 to 20 minutes away, or they enlist a private company to make regular pick-ups,” said the resident, who asked for anonymity.

He said other residents, including himself, have enlisted a private company to pick up rubbish three times a week for as low as $15 a month.

“Residents (who dispose rubbish properly) are growing frustrated that some members of our community cannot fork out a little bit every month to make our area cleaner and safer,” he added.

Another resident pointed out that some illegally throw their waste nearby at the Seria Wet Market's rubbish dump made exclusively for vendors and shops.

He also said remedial action had been taken to clean the area after residents made complaints to the 123 Darussalam hotline, but waste continued to pile up soon after.

“Soon after we called the hotline, we noticed some people and a truck was dispatched to the area to clean up all the rubbish which we were grateful for. However those who dump do not learn their lesson and continue to dump,” he said.

Penghulu of Seria Hj Jamail Hj Linap acknowledged the current situation as “continuously challenging” given his experience in dealing with similar waste disposal problems elsewhere in the district.

“The main problem, in my experience, is that there are those who are just unwilling to chip in and contribute, even just a little bit of money, for a service that the whole community can use,” he said.

He provided an example of his mukim consultative council drawing up a plan to have a specific site for waste disposal, which would be cleared on a regular basis by a private company.

“This solution is cost-effective, as each resident only has to pay between $2 and $5 a month. But when we go collecting this small amount door to door, we have many residents who complain and are just too stubborn to contribute,” said Hj Jamail.

The penghulu cited a more successful option practised by government barrack housing, where the cost of rubbish pick-ups are made mandatory with monthly rental, as a potential alternative.

According to an official from the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation, there are nine public dump sites across Belait under their jurisdiction, but none in Seria town itself.

The Belait District Office did not comment on the issue when contacted.

The Brunei Times