'Rubber hill' leaves behind a heap of problems in Lim Chu Kang

The "rubber hill" comprising scrap rubber materials was once meant for tyre-derived fuel and to be used in power plants and paper mills. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
The "rubber hill" comprising scrap rubber materials was once meant for tyre-derived fuel and to be used in power plants and paper mills. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

Nearly 3,000 tonnes of scrap left for more than four years at Sarimbun Recycling Park

A heap of scrap rubber materials weighing nearly 3,000 tonnes has been reportedly left for more than four years at a site at Sarimbun Recycling Park in Lim Chu Kang.

A report by Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao yesterday said that the "rubber hill" comprised scraps of abandoned old tyres, as well as pieces of material that running tracks are made from.

Mr Parry Yeo, chief executive of recycling company Morelastic Green Resources, told The Straits Times that his company used to occupy two units in the recycling park and that the materials had been left there because there was "no one to manage them".

He added that his company collected scrap tyres from all over the island with the intention to make tyre-derived fuel that could be used in power plants and paper mills.

In 2004, about 80 per cent of the tyre recycling company's shares were bought over by cement firm Lafarge Malayan Cement Berhad.

According to Mr Yeo, when Lafarge sold all its shares in 2014, it stated that it would remove the "rubber hill" from the park within weeks. However, it was unable to secure a permit from the authorities in Malaysia, and was unable to remove the scrap tyres, added Mr Yeo.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, Lafarge acknowledged that the company was previously a shareholder of the tyre recycling company, but had since sold its shares in the business. It maintained that the heap of scrap rubber materials did not belong to it.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, a spokesman for the National Environmental Agency (NEA) said that it conducted regular checks on Sarimbun Recycling Park and is aware of the rubber heap in the park.

The tyre recycling company was a tenant of the recycling park from 2004, but its tenancy was terminated earlier in January this year after the company defaulted on rental payment, said NEA.

Mr Yeo, however, told ST that he had been given an extension on his rental till last Saturday.

NEA stated in Lianhe Wanbao that according to the tenancy agreement, the tenant is obligated to remove the scrap materials before vacating the premises, and that the dispute between the company and its shareholders is a private matter.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2019, with the headline ''Rubber hill' leaves behind a heap of problems'. Print Edition | Subscribe