KLANG: The biggest challenge faced by the relevant authorities in Selangor is preventing the indiscriminate dumping of garbage into the Klang River.

The sad state of the river even caught the attention of Selangor princess Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who posted pictures of the garbage there on Instagram.

“Plastic trash, plastic pollution, a never-ending story, sadly. Despite the extraordinary efforts put into cleaning up our Klang River, it seems that from the latest photos, the heart-breaking struggle is real,” she said in her post.

Tengku Zatashah added that the two Interceptors tasked with cleaning up the river had dredged up so much rubbish.

The Interceptor is a boat-like device created by Dutch inventor and entrepreneur Boyan Slat to clean up plastic garbage in bodies of water.

Two Interceptors have been placed at the river in a collaboration between his organisation The Ocean Cleanup and the Selangor government.

The collaboration is managed by state-owned company Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd and is an integral component of the Selangor Maritime Gateway’s river management solution.

Tengku Zatashah also said that people had to reduce plastic trash and stop littering.

“We are all responsible, ultimately. We all play a part. And we can all make a difference,” said the princess, who kicked off an awareness campaign by creating the #SayNo2plastic hashtag on Instagram in 2016.

Klang Municipal Council’s Environmental Services Department director Zaireezal Ahmad Zainuddin agreed that garbage was still being dumped indiscriminately into the Klang River.

Some factories dump their waste material into the drain, which find its way into the rivers during downpours.

Zaireezal said the council conducts regular enforcement work and seizes lorries found dumping garbage illegally.

“We seized 119 lorries in 2019, 48 lorries in 2020 and 10 lorries so far this year,” he added.

However, the amount of garbage in the Klang River had been reduced drastically after the Interceptors were installed, said Zaireezal.

He said the council also works with non-governmental organisations to create awareness within the local communities.

Landasan Lumayan managing director Syaiful Azmen Nordin said the Interceptors were part of the progressive Klang River ecosystem and further drives Selangor’s vision of rejuvenating the river.

He added that there were many positive changes after the Interceptors were installed.

“Before 2016, a boat could not travel for more than 500m along the Klang River before it would stall, its motor stuck with plastic and other floating waste.

“Today, we can travel the entire length from Pangkalan Batu to Port Klang without stopping.

“This is a great indicator that most of the waste is being caught by our seven log booms and the Interceptors,” added Syaiful Azmen.

He said the positive development indicated that the Interceptors and Landasan Lumayan’s seven log booms can catch most of the waste that finds its way into the river.