How far should a wastepaper recycling factory be away from schools and houses? Banting residents and lawmakers disagree. In this second of two stories, Aurora Tin reports arguments from both sides of the fence.
In Banting, Selangor, the students at a religious primary school recite their prayers just tens of meters away from the grey walls of a huge wastepaper recycling factory. Tall chimneys behind the walls emit gasses day and night.
The factory, owned by Best Eternity Recycle Technology Sdn Bhd (BERT), has a record of breaching regulations: it was fined at least four times by the Department of Environment (DOE) and Kuala Langat Municipal Council (MPKL) in the last 3 years.
Residents concerned about potential health and environmental damage have been protesting the factory. They argue that the approval of a heavy industrial plant so close to schools and residences had breached buffer zone regulations.
(Photo: An illustration showing various distances between school and residences and the BERT facility. | Pic by Long Long)
The Best Eternity Recycle Technology Sdn Bhd paper recycling facility brings jobs and investment to Kuala Langat, but also health concerns for the communities. In this first of two stories, Aurora Tin reports on the facility’s economic values and potential impact.
Suhaizam Mohd Kassim, or Zam for short, is the third generation of his family to live in Taman Periang, Banting, about 45 km west of Kuala Lumpur. He was among the first cohort of students at a local religious primary school his grandfather helped build. Decades later, Zam enrolled his children at the same school too.
Behind that school is a patch of government land where locals grow fruit trees and vegetables. Past the trees are high grey walls, behind which rose chimneys and buildings with green roofs. The construction of the facility started in 2019. It emitted pungent odours and disturbing noises, but residents had little idea what it produced.
(Photo: Residents living next to the BERT paper recycling facility, whose twin chimneys can be seen from a nearby playground, are worried about potential health impact from the operations. | Pic by Irene Yap)
[ICCB 2019] TWO CORPORATE executives and two conservationists walked into a room. They initially appeared to cross swords. “If we continue with chemical components in our plastic, we will endanger our health,” declared Fabien Cousteau, ocean activist and filmmaker.
But is biodegradable plastic “the magic bullet?” countered Wee Ching Yun, Chairperson, sustainability sub-committee of the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association. “Will it eliminate all the pollution?”
(Photo: How can different segments of society tackle the plastic pollution crisis that is devastating marine wildlife? Credit: SL Wong)