SEEPING into the houses and lives of Taman Saga residents in Ampang is the stench of rotten food waste from an illegal landfill found uphill from the neighbourhood.
Residents have been swarmed by flies and insects, and smell from jumbles of garbage covering an expanse the size of approximately eight football fields over a period of two to three months.
But residents suspect the illegal dumping activities to have gone on long before that, said Zone 23 Residents Committee (JKP) safety department head Alias Abdul Rahman during a site visit yesterday.
Located off Jalan Hulu Langat, the rocky pathway leading to the landfill was heaped on both sides with food and construction waste.
In addition, there were rows of abandoned old taxis and dangerously toxic fluorescent light bulbs.
“Although the dumping ground is located on higher ground, it is only about 44m from Taman Saga.
“You can see trucks going to and fro to dump their loads of waste when it is dark.
“Open burning of the rubbish is also done at night,” he said.
Taman Saga Rukun Tetangga chairman Abdul Razak Abdul Rahman also fears the food waste dumped in the landfill can attract monkeys that eventually may start disturbing residents.
“The problem has been going on for years and it has gotten unbearable over the last few months in both the stench and amount of flies.”
He added that the situation would surely become worse if Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) did not take action now.
“There are mosquito breeding grounds in the area that have pools of stagnant water.
“But thankfully, so far we have not heard of any increase in dengue cases,” said Abdul Razak.
He explained that it would be dangerous for residents to monitor the situation without MPAJ’s helping hand as the people involved with the illegal dumping might be violent.
“The entrance leading to the landfill is blocked by gates that are locked and I suspect the parties who have locked people out are collecting money from the trucks unloading garbage in the area.
MPAJ councillor Mohamad Samot @ Samat who led the site visit said the land and pathway leading to the landfill was owned by several parties.
“When we first heard about the issue, we used a drone to scout the area and find out how far and wide the problem of illegal rubbish dumping had gotten at the site.
“We ask for MPAJ to check up on whether the parties locking the gates are in fact giving these dump trucks access to the landfill.
“Because the impact of illegal rubbish dumping on such a large scale could mean the leachate from waste would seep into the ground, possibly contaminating water sources.
“MPAJ’s course of action also cannot simply be just covering the rubbish with soil.
“They have to remove the waste first,” said Mohamad Samot.
He said the closure of another landfill nearby could have led the culprits to find this area as an alternative spot to dump wastes.
“A big possibility is also that part of the rubbish, such as the remnants of raw fish and chicken feathers found on site, comes from the wet market that is being upgraded because they have not been given a specific skip for them to throw rubbish,” he said.
MPAJ representative said after a check by the council and land office on the landowner’s status, they issued the landowner, a developer, notice to clean up the land within seven days.