SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government is looking into extending the tenure of a Dutch river rubbish extractor.
Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said this was because the Interceptor had been very successful in removing rubbish from Sungai Klang since August.
It is on loan from non-profit organisation The Ocean Cleanup at no cost to the state government for a year.
The state government is also considering having another Interceptor in its rivers.
The RM3.2 million Interceptor, which was invented by The Ocean Cleanup, is one of two deployed outside the Netherlands.
“After Sungai Klang, we are looking into having one more Interceptor, most probably in a river in Kuala Langat,” said Amirudin today.
“We will look at the data by The Ocean Cleanup which shows red dots in rivers that indicates that it is most polluted with plastic waste.
“We will look into its feasibility and we will get feedback from Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas).
“I am happy to see the Interceptor docked in Sungai Klang.
“It complements our own river cleaning efforts where in 2016, seven logbooms were installed to trap rubbish.
“Within these four years, the amount of rubbish in Sungai Klang has reduced to about 800 metric tonnes from 1,200 metric tonnes monthly.
“Now with the Interceptor, more rubbish are rid off from Sungai Klang and this goes in tandem with our efforts to make the river clean and the water quality has improved.
“Probably one day we can also swim in it.”
Amirudin said this after a briefing with Netherlands Ambassador Aart Jacobi on Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG), an initiative to clean and rehabilitate Sungai Klang’s waterways and rejuvenate areas along the riverbanks in Klang.
The Interceptor has the capacity to trapping 100,000kg of rubbish, which is collected by KDEB Waste Management Sdn Bhd to be sent to landfills or recycling centres.
The Ocean Cleanup chief executive officer Boyan Slat said the organisation was founded in 2013 with the mission to find a solution to get rid of and prevent plastic from entering the ocean from rivers.
He said the collaboration with Selangor came about after the discovery that Sungai Klang was heavily polluted with plastic waste.
“We also saw that the local stakeholders and state authorities recognised the issue and have been working to resolve the problem since 2016 to rejuvenate the river. So, I feel we can work hand in hand.
“We are a non-profit organisation and our only goal is to clean the ocean.
“We do not earn money and our objective is to reduce plastic waste in the ocean and help any country to do it.
Jacobi said this was the first time a Dutch innovation has been brought in to work with Selangor.
“We were approached by The Ocean Cleanup in Sept, last year, which wanted to know if we have any contacts within Malaysia.
“We went to the Department of Irrigation and Drainage and was referred to Selangor.
“Selangor already has the SMG running that we can cooperate with and the collaboration did not take long to be realised between the two both parties,” he said.