NST Online » Local News 2007/09/18
Reported By : Ranjeetha Pakiam
Posted by NEO SEP 060157
Priority to safe closure of landfills
KUALA LUMPUR: The closing of the country’s 16 most polluting landfills will be done in the safest and most environment-friendly manner possible, the deputy prime minister said.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said consultants had been engaged to conduct site investigations and devise safe closure methods.The closure of the 16 landfills will start next year at an estimated cost of RM160 million.The 16 critical landfills are in Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Pahang (one in each state), and Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Johor (four each).They are among the hundreds of landfills near water intake points, along rivers or by the sea without leachate treatment plants.
"The government is committed to taking positive steps to protect our environment," he said after officiating at the completion of the safe closure of the Taman Beringin landfill in Jinjang Utara, Kepong, yesterday.Najib expressed his approval of the methods employed by Cypark Sdn Bhd, through its environmental arm CyEn Resources Sdn Bhd, to close the Taman Beringin landfill and rehabilitate the area.Asked if Cypark would be chosen to close the 16 landfills, Najib said the government would decide later but added that the company had "made a strong bid for it".The Taman Beringin landfill was the subject of complaints due to its proximity to residential areas and development projects.
Cypark, one of the largest integrated landscape development services firms in Asia, was appointed by City Hall in March 2004 to engineer the safe closure of the landfill.According to Cypark Group chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail, the 14ha landfill at Taman Beringin had received around eight million tonnes of rubbish since 1984."The height of the dumpsite was about 40 metres from the ground and it was estimated that the rubbish went another 40 metres underground, as it was on disused mining land," he said.
CyEn commenced work on Aug 20, 2004 and transformed the "waste mountain" into a mound covered with grass.The restoration process included engineered capping, leachate collection and management, master planning for after-care and post-closure use, monitoring and beautification.The project initially cost RM24 million but Cypark Group chief executive officer Daud Ahmad said RM33 million was spent after new areas for rehabilitation were identified and a RM7 million leachate treatment plant was set up at the former landfill.