BEING neighbours with four recycling centres that emit stench and cause a string of hygiene issues is no walk in the park.
The four centres that do not display any signage are located in Jalan Sungai Jerluh 32/196, Bukit Kemuning, facing the Bukit Kemuning Industrial Park in Shah Alam.
With stench permeating the air daily, the community of the industrial park has likened the place to a giant dumpsite.
Each day, staff from 17 factory lots in the area are greeted by the foul smell ever since the centres started operations a year ago.
The presence of the recycling centres is also affecting about 300 households there, including terrace units and the Kemuning Aman Apartment.
The Bukit Kemuning Industrial Park community said the odour was always horrible in the morning and worse after rain.
On top of that, the area is now infested with termites and rodents as well as crows.
A worker there, who declined to be named, said the community had to call in a pest control company to treat their factories' wooden structures for termite infestation.
He believed that the infestation was caused by a stack of wood collected by one of the recyclers.
“We even found dead crows in our factory compound. We are not sure why they died, but they usually circle above these centres and scout for food at the place the recyclables are dumped,” he added.
The factory owners are also worried that leachate from these dumped items will contaminate the soil and a stream behind the recycling centres, affecting their health in the long run.
One of the businesses there is a company dedicated to environmental sustainability, which has also been observing the activities of the four recycling centres.
“We wanted to do a soil and ground water analysis but that will cost almost RM40,000, which is too much for us to bear,” he added.
To make matters worse, lorries of the recycling operators are now using the industrial area’s main access road and damaging it in the process.
Their own access is a dirt road that is uneven, so they tore down the fencing put up by the community and now use the main access, which is a tarred road.
The community conceded that they did not dare confront the recycling operators as the actions of their workers were intimidating.
“They are blatant enough to tear down the fences we put up for our industrial park. We are pooling money to ensure all these safety measures are in place but with them, it does not seem to work,” he added.
Businesses at the industrial park have also been affected as customers complained about the stench.
Many of them urged the business owners to fix the problem, prompting them to consider relocation.
Moving would be a daunting task as each lot cost them a minimum RM4mil to set up, and relocating would mean an even bigger burden for them.
They have collectively and individually complained to the relevant authorities, including the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA), the Department of Environment (DoE), as well as to the late Sri Muda assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafiei.
However, MBSA and DoE have yet to get back to them on the complaint.
“We do not mind them running their recycling businesses there, but they have to do it professionally and follow environmentally-friendly standards,” added the complainant.
It was learnt that MBSA’s waste management and public cleansing department conducted a check in the area with one centre being issued a notice under the Local Government Act 1976 for leaving the lot dirty and unmanaged.
MBSA corporate communications head Shahrin Ahmad said another notice was also issued under the Collection, Removal and Disposal of Waste Materials Law (MBSA) 2007 to the operator renting the lot.
“MBSA also ordered the land owner to negotiate with the tenant to clean up the area within 14 days.
“If they fail to fulfil the order within the stipulated time, MBSA will take follow-up action. We have also informed the Klang Land and District office to issue a notice to the land owner,” he added.
Shahrin also reminded land owners to ensure their vacant lands are closed off from intruders so that their land would not be misused.