Rash of waste container fires stumps JASTRe

National 1 minute, 34 seconds


FIRES set to rubbish in waste containers belonging to the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) continue to be a problem, with the latest sighted last Friday evening in Labi.

Rubbish in the sole container at the Labi I dump site located 40 kilometres inland from Sg Liang was seen up in flames shortly before 7pm.

Acting Penghulu and Village Head of Labi I Hanapi Siput said this wasn’t the first time a fire had been set to rubbish in a container, noting a similar one last year. But he said no suspects had been found on both occasions.

JASTRe, who are forced to cover the costs of repairing the fire-damaged containers, have also been unable to find the culprits.

“We’re still looking into the causes of this irresponsible behaviour which costs us time and money to fix the skips (waste containers),” said a JASTRe environmental officer.

She pointed out that such fires aren’t only restricted to JASTRe containers in Labi but also around Kuala Belait and even more so in Tutong.

“The frequency is actually higher in Tutong than it is in Belait; especially the area of Bukit Beruang,” she said, adding that JASTRe empties the skips either every day or every other day.

Hj Hanapi said some form of supervision would help deter the irresponsible setting of fires, but Labi’s remote location may prove difficult to justify any permanent stationing of supervision.

“Having a security guard at the dump sites like they do in Brunei-Muara would be effective, but Labi is a long drive from any town.

“A more immediate solution is for the neighbourhood watch to patrol the area, but we may only be able to temporarily deter it unless we’re able to catch them (the offenders) red-handed,” he said.

Any sightings of open burning can be reported to the Darussalam hotline at 123.

The Brunei Times