21 May 2010

Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh

Of all the "new" things we would have to adjust to in Ipoh, one of the unexpected ones is the rubbish disposal and collection by the Ipoh Municipal Council (Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh; DBI).

The way our house is located, DBI will not come to our gate to collect the house refuse. Instead, we have to walk out to the main road and place our bags of garbage on the road shoulder.

I notice that a DBI worker would pull a large trolley - it looks more like a black, round tub on wheels - along the roads and put all the bags of garbage into his trolley. Then he would deposit everything into piles at designated spots along his route. The DBI garbage truck would then come round to pick them up.

It seems like double work to me. Back in PJ, MBPJ's truck would just move around slowly and the team of MBPJ workers would walk ahead of the truck, pick up the bags of garbage and throw them into the back of the truck. Here in Ipoh, the poor guy has to place the bags into his trolley and then unload them onto the ground, after which the truck would pick them up. That's 3 steps compared to just 1 practised in PJ. (creating more employment?)

But that's not the problem I have. My problem is with one particular DBI worker whose job, it appears, is to ride around on his motorcycle in my area and pick up random rubbish strewn on the road or the side of it with a long pincher. He doesn't have anything to do with the residential garbage bags.

But somehow, he has taken a keen interest in our garbage bags. We use various types of plastic bags - the big black ones and the ones I recycle from the supermarkets. More of the supermarket bags because we don't generate enough waste to warrant using the big black plastic bags. But the DBI guy insists that we must use the big black bags and has waited for my maid several times in the morning, to admonish her for not using the black bags.

Admonishment bordering on harassment. He even says things like "tauke awak tak ada wang nak beli bag hitam, ah?" (your employer can't afford to buy the black plastic bags?) My maid became increasingly irritated with him and they exchanged words more than once.

So I called DBI and asked if Ipoh specifically insists on black plastic bags. The DBI refuse department officer said it was not necessary, as long as the bags were neatly tied. So, there.

Have you been harassed by your friendly neighbourhood DBI worker?

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