Holidaymakers leave a trail of trash in Penang, Southeast Asia


GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR / ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – They came, they partied and they threw garbage.

After four days of merrymaking last weekend, popular tourist spots in Penang were looking like dumps, thanks to reckless vacationers.

While the garbage collection during the three-day break around Awal Muharam’s holiday on August 8 was 1,591 tons, the Penang Island City Council had to work harder last weekend because the collection from 1 to 7 November was 5,256 tonnes, in part because of the relatively long holidays during Deepavali last Thursday (4 November).

Xavier Sebastian, director of the city council’s urban services department, said the increase was due to the influx of people to the island during the holiday season.

“We noticed that there was an overflow of garbage in popular places of Karpal Singh Drive, Gurney Drive, Teluk Bayu, the Esplanade, Batu Feringghi, near the Queensbay Mall, and under the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu Bridge. ‘adzam Shah, a popular picnic spot, “he said.

Mr Sebastian said most of the waste left behind consisted mainly of plastic food containers, water bottles and newspapers.

“We anticipated this problem and added more bins in these areas and increased the frequency of collection, for example twice a day,” he said.

The town hall has also extended its opening hours and uses “pickers” three times a day from 7 am to 5 pm, and at night from 8 pm on public holidays.

“In addition to organizing education and awareness programs, we will not hesitate to send compound notices to garbage bugs,” he said.

Mr Sebastian added that the city council has used social media to raise awareness about waste and, at the same time, hoped everyone would cooperate by throwing the rubbish in the appropriate bins.

“We hope that everyone, whether Penangites or visitors, will cooperate with us to keep the city clean, especially during the coming Christmas and New Year celebrations,” he said.

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