DOE: No exclusive rights given to scheduled waste disposal

PETALING JAYA: There are no exclusive rights given in the licensing of premises that handle scheduled waste in the country, says the Department of Environment.

Director-general Norlin Jaafar says the department has issued licences for the reacquisition, management and scheduled disposal involving 406 licensed scheduled waste facilities and 343 waste transporters across the country to ensure the management of waste disposal remains effective and that they adhere to the Environment Quality Act 1974.

“DOE is not involved in fixing any costs in scheduled waste disposal, and any charge applied to the producer of the waste is fixed by the waste disposal businesses,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Last week, nearly 1.2 million consumers in the Klang Valley were affected by a water cut after four treatment plants had to be shut down due to pollutants dumped into Sg Gong, which flows into Sungai Selangor.

The authorities have since traced the source of pollutants to a factory in Rawang and arrested six men to facilitate investigations.

Following this, a rumour was circulated, including on Facebook, claiming that government policy was to be blamed as companies purportedly had to engage only certain operators that were given the exclusive right to dispose of scheduled waste.

Norlin said all industries and sources that produced scheduled waste must handle it effectively in terms of notification, waste information, storage, labelling, inventory and movement information.

“All of these need to be recorded inside the system or via eSWIS (Electronic Schedule Waste System) in accordance with the requirements under the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005,” she said.

She said exclusive rights which was once awarded by the government for the operation of the centralised integrated scheduled waste management centre, which was to Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd for a period of 15 years beginning March 1, 2000, had expired on Feb 28, 2015.

“In this regard, the government plans to build five integrated waste management facilities in Johor, Perak, Terengganu, Sabah and Penang to ensure a better management of scheduled waste,” she said.

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