Perak Environment Dept says unsure about origins of recyclers’ plastic waste cited in BBC report

Director Norazizi Adinan said the plastic waste in Perak was actually kept in a premises that processes plastic May 27, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Director Norazizi Adinan said the plastic waste in Perak was actually kept in a premises that processes plastic May 27, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, May 28 — The Perak Department of Environment (DoE) said today it could not ascertain where a recycling company obtained its waste from, amid a report claiming imported waste from the UK was dumped here.

State DoE director Norazizi Adinan said the department’s jurisdiction only covers the companies which provide waste to Resourceco Asia (M) Sdn Bhd.

“As to where the recyclers obtain their waste from, it is beyond us. That will come under the Housing and Local Government Ministry and the Customs Department,” he said.

Speaking to reporters at the site where Resourceco keeps its waste before it is recycled into process engineered fuel, Norazizi said some of the recyclers who provide plastics for Resourceco are located outside of Perak.

“We do not discount the possibility that some of the plastics may have been imported,” he added.

The controversy came to light following a report by Mail Online, the website of UK tabloid Daily Mail, written based on an upcoming documentary by UK state broadcaster BBC, that claimed 6m-high plastic waste — including trash from British supermarkets and local council recycling departments — has been dumped in Perak.

Mail Online claimed that the waste stretching as far as the eye can see can be found in a “Malaysian jungle” near the town of Perak capital Ipoh. There are no jungles near Ipoh.

Norazizi confirmed that Resourceco provides DoE a list of waste it receives.

“The waste they received are not toxic or hazardous,” he added, pointing out that the site was located at IGB industrial area in Tasek.

“This is an industrial zone... we are next to Ipoh and not a jungle as reported,” he said.

State Education, Science, Environment and Green Technology Committee chairman Abdul Aziz Bari, who was also present during the site visit, said the site was a temporary storage area for Resourceco.

“The foreign media came to take a footage and did not get response from Resourceco,” he said.

Abdul Aziz did not discount the possibility that the action of the foreign media may be to pressure its own government to do something about exporting waste.

Resourceco managing director Pavel Cech said the site was a temporary storage area pending the completion of a warehouse in its processing plant that is located 800m away from the site.

“The site is with the knowledge of DoE,” he said, adding that the company only deals with locally registered recycling companies.

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