January 7th, 2017 by Seputeh Office
PETALING JAYA: City Hall has rejected claims by restaurant owners that the grease trap fee of RM1,500 a year is too high.
The owners need to pay this amount when renewing their permits.
This new regulation came into effect on Jan 1. It will require a restaurant owner to fork out RM125 a month, which works out to a total of RM1,500 a year.
Failure to do so will result in the businesses becoming illegal and City Hall shutting them down.
A restaurant owner said together with the RM400 to renew the permit, they needed to pay a total of RM1,900 to operate.
“That is a lot. It is an additional cost to us. The consumer will feel the pinch as we may need to increase the food prices.”
He said he was given short notice as he was only informed last month.
He questioned why City Hall wanted to regulate the maintaining and cleaning of the grease trap when this could be done by the restaurant.
City Hall’s Health and Environment director Dr Hayati Abdullah, in response, said cleaning and maintaining the grease traps at restaurants would be done three times a month, or once every 10 days.
She said this will only cost a restaurant RM4.10 a day.
“What is RM4.10? Some restaurants charge their customers 50 sen for a glass of plain water. A plate of rice costs RM2. Some also operate 24 hours a day.”
She said some contractors the restaurants hired had charged RM50 every time they cleaned the grease trap.
Hayati said City Hall was not making any profit through this exercise as all the money paid for the grease trap maintenance fees went to the contractors themselves.
“We do not take even one sen. We just collect it and later disburse to them so we have it on record and can monitor the contractors and shops.”
She advised restaurant owners to not only care about profits but also the cleanliness of the restaurants and the environment.
City Hall has engaged nine contractors to take care of 6,000 restaurants in Kuala Lumpur.
“We have to start somewhere. These nine were already with us and we know how they work and their capacity to do the job.
“We will add more contractors as and when there’s a demand for more.”
Hayati said DBKL had given restaurants ample time since 2005 to clean their grease traps regularly but many had failed to do so satisfactorily.
She said these owners did not realise that grease or oil waste not only would dirty rivers but could cause flash floods when they clog up drains.
This grease trap regulation is part of City Hall’s efforts to clean up rivers.