Resource from The Star

PETALING JAYA: About 240 dumpsites in the country are being investigated for polluting water resources and the environment.

The Department of Environment has collected samples from the sites to determine the extent of pollution caused by these garbage centres.

Based on the analysis, it will make recommendations to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry on the suitability of the dumpsites in their existing locations.

DOE director-general Rosnani Ibrahim said the aim of the analysis was to find ways to prevent these dumpsites from causing pollution.

“Initial studies showed that the dumpsites are causes of pollution to water and the environment, in addition to indiscriminate open burning,” she told The Star.

On Monday, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said all open dumpsites other than landfills be closed and existing ones moved to the closed sites.

Azmi said the proposal would be tabled at the next Cabinet committee’s meeting headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said there is a need to ban the existing system as it is not satisfactory except if the operators use the landfill method.

This comes in the wake of recent reports about health hazards caused by these sites.

Under the proposed policy by the Cabinet Committee on the Environment, state governments will be directed to close existing sites posing environmental and health concerns.

New sites will have to follow the environmental quality specifications set by the policy, which is a long-term solution to the problem of river pollution from landfills.

Bernama quoted Azmi as saying that Rela members would be mobilised to monitor the indiscriminate dumping of toxic waste, which was becoming rampant.

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