Ayutthaya recycling plant caught dumping industrial waste

PHOTO: Industrial waste found being dumped in Sara Buri was linked to Aek U Thai recycling plant. (via Thai PBS)

A waste recycling plant in Ayutthaya province was uncovered as the source of a truckload of industrial waste. Thai authorities seized a truck when it was caught discharging industrial waste in Sara Buri, on the land of the Kaeng Khoi industrial estate.

The Pollution Control Department confirmed the truck impound and the payload of industrial waste inside. It had been seized by the Song Khon Tambon Administration Organisation (TAO) in Sara Buri, still loaded with industrial waste.

Last month, another pickup truck suspected to be transporting industrial waste was spotted parked next to the impounded truck. It was seen on February 12 and later suspected of another illegal dumping on February 27 in the Phaichi district. Waste from that dumping was similar to that found in the impounded truck, tying the crimes together.

The pickup allegedly belongs to the Aek U Thai recycling company in Ayutthaya, already suspected of nefarious industrial waste dumping. Management of the industrial estate filed a complaint at Kaeng Khoi Police Station.

Meanwhile, the Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH) Foundation has criticized the Industrial Works Department, claiming they have been negligent in enforcement and regulation that prevent illegal industrial waste dumping.

The foundation blames the department for allowing Aek U Thai to continue accepting waste for recycling despite being temporarily closed. The foundation’s director says that Aek U Thai was closed by the Industrial Works Department on February 16 amid alleged illegal dumping, yet continues to operate.

She speculated that industrial companies may not have even been informed that the company they were using to dump waste material had already been shut down and accused of illegal dumping.

The incident highlights the problem of illegal dumping of hazardous waste in Thailand. Environmental police in Bangkok arrested and charged seven people in December over illegal dumping at 16 sites in the Thai capital.

The team inspected three sites in Lat Krabang and Saphan Sung districts, two sites each in Min Buri, Nong Khaem, and Suan Luang districts, and one each in Prawet, Khlong Sam Wa, Bueng Kum, and Bang Khae districts. The dumping reportedly led to foul-smelling air and the spreading of germs to nearby land areas and water sources.

Environment News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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