ALOR SETAR, March 29 — The Environment Ministry today said that the source of burning odour which was reported around Sungai Petani came from the Semeling landfill in Bedong and not from a recycling plastic factory.
Its deputy minister Datuk Dr Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad said based on the complaints by the residents on burning odour in the area, the Department of Environment (DOE) branch in Sungai Petani had carried out investigations and identified the source of the pollution.
“The ministry has always been sensitive to the environmental sustainability and ensured that there is no occurrence of environmental pollution, especially during the movement control order (MCO) which came into force since March 18. The investigation found that the odour was emitted from the landfill.
“The burning smell is not caused by the plastic recycling factory that many people are complaining about because the factory in question is no longer operating,” he said in a statement.
He said the landfill often caught fire and subsequently extinguished by firefighters but the site was still emitting smoke.
“The DOE has directed the Sungai Petani Municipal Council (MPSPK) to make sure that the landfill operator to cover the area with soil to eliminate the smoke and smell. Apart from that, monitoring using drones and patrolling will be carried out to ensure no plastic recycling plant is operating.
“The ministry remains committed to the ongoing integrated enforcement of any open burning and illegal plastic recycling factory as well as to ensure that there is no illegal dumping of plastic waste and to prevent pollution from occurring,” he said.
He said all parties should be more vigilant as from April until July the country will experience hot and hazy weather. — Bernama