ALOR SETAR: The Kedah Department of Environment (DOE) is closely monitoring the cleanup of 40,000 litres of latex that spilt after a trailer carrying the load skidded into a ditch at KM41.2 (southbound) from Hutan Kampung to Alor Setar on the North-South Expressway (NSE) last Saturday.

Its director, Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab, said the DOE received a report about the incident through the ‘e-aduan’ system at 6.59pm on the day of the incident, which prompted its officers to go to the scene for an investigation.

“The incident is believed to have occurred at 6.40pm when a trailer carrying two containers with 40,000 litres of latex veered into a ditch. The accident caused the latex to spill into nearby drains and ditches, affecting an estimated 500 meters of the area, with some entering padi fields.

“The trailer is believed to be transporting latex from Thailand to Penang Port. Sandbags were deployed by NSE staff to stop the latex spill along the drains in order to lessen its potential to spread into the nearby river,” she said in a statement on Tuesday (July 2).

She said that on the day of the incident, DOE already instructed the company involved to appoint a contractor to carry out cleanup operations.

“The appointed contractor company from Penang began pumping out the latex waste yesterday after the trailer was removed on Sunday.

“As of yesterday, three lorries have been used to transport the pumped latex waste, totalling 36 tonnes. Pumping works are ongoing and are expected to take another two to three days to complete,” she said, adding that the latex samples have been collected.

Sharifah Zakiah also said that continuous monitoring is being carried out to ensure thorough cleanup and the waste will be transported to a licensed rubber recycling facility in Penang. – Bernama