GEORGE TOWN: The rubbish-filled Pulau Gazumbo that is located next to Penang Bridge is a tad cleaner now, all thanks to a group of volunteers.
The Star had reported last November that the 3ha island, formed from sand build-up while the bridge was being built from 1983 to 1986, had so much marine litter that it resembled a landfill.
The island, which greets visitors travelling along the Penang Bridge, had become an eyesore with mounds of trapped plastic litter posing danger to the marine environment in the vicinity.
Yesterday, about 40 members of Penang Swimming Club (PSC), Penang Green Council (PGC) and Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (Cemacs) arrived on the island and got their hands dirty from about 9am.They spent over three hours cleaning the shoreline before working their way into the island’s dense copse of trees that hid a collection of plastic waste washed up on the island.
While most of the rubbish collected were plastic bottles, other items ranged from discarded furniture to food wrappings, glass bottles and tin cans as well as over a dozen motorcycle helmets.
They were segregated, counted, weighed and packed into large sacks before being taken off the island by boat.
Among those present at the clean-up were PGC general manager Josephine Tan and Cemacs director Datuk Dr Aileen Tan.