Parking attendant turns trash hero in Kuala Perlis

Parking attendant turns trash hero in Kuala Perlis

KUALA PERLIS: Seeing litter scattered on the streets gets to parking attendant, Umat Usman as they are an eye sore to him.

Initially picking up discarded food wrappers, plastic bags and cans and throwing them in the bin was a routine for Umat, 42, to keep the environment clean, but later when he realised there is money to be made from the garbage, the habit took him to another level

“I am not bothered if people call me a weirdo but I have my own reasons for collecting garbage, said Umat fondly known as Pak Long.

“The rubbish may seem worthless but you can earn some money by selling the old bottles, cans and other trash.

“It may not be much and not worth it to others, as I can only earn about RM200 from the 100 kg of garbage that I collect each month, but the satisfaction is I get to save the environment at the same time,”  “Umat told Bernama when met recently.

Umat who starts off on his daily routine right after Subuh prayers has been picking up litter as he walks along Kuala Perlis beach, covering a distance of 10km each day.

“I will continue collecting trash as long as I am capable,” said Umat who suffers from bone cancer.  

He advises the public to stop littering at the beach as the rubbish would pollute the sea and cause hardship to fishermen. 

“Some fishermen here complain they get more rubbish than fish in their fishing nets,” he said.

This gave Umat the idea to use discarded and damaged nets to harvest more garbage to add to his collection.

Umat’s noble act had attracted the attention of a Kuala Perlis resident who posted his photograph commending him as a trash hero. Umat’s concern for the environment has earned him praises from netizens after the post went viral on social media.

Perlis Environment Department (DOE) director, Azman Shah Ismail while lauding Umat’s initiative called on the public to emulate the fine example to help promote environmental sustainability.

“What Umat is doing today is in line with the government’s National Environment Day campaign slogan ‘Environment : Our Shared Responsibility’,” he said when he met Umat yesterday to convey DOE’s appreciation.