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Government Orders Recycling Factory Shutdown

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A recycling factory in Vientiane’s Xaysettha district ceased operations yesterday after the government recently ordered the owner to close down, but the facility is expected to move to a new location.

The factory will not be allowed to continue operations at the site any longer, because it releases clouds of smoke and dirty water that give off bad odours, with villagers directly affected by the pollution coming from the plant.

Lao Economic Daily newspaper reported yesterday that Government Spokesman and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Prof. Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher, along with local officials, visited the recycling factory on Tuesday in Doung village, Xaysettha district, after the local community’s vocal complaints about their suffering. When they surveyed the area they found the residents’ complaints to be justified, the newspaper reported.

Consequently, the government ordered the factory owner to cease operations in line with the Vientiane Department of Industry and Commerce’s announcement dated September 9.

The announcement also mentioned the business’s illegal authorisation and the residential area not being zoned for such an industrial activity.

The government has also ordered the factory owner to stop receiving materials from a brewery, with material already ordered to be sold to other plants.

Local officials said the villagers had been directly affected by pollution coming from the plant which processed waste from a brewery. It has been operating for over one year releasing fumes and dirty foul smelling water.

According to the newspaper, the owner claimed he ran machines from 8am until 5pm while nearby residents said the factory worked until midnight.

Doung village Chief, Mr. Sinakhone Khottaphom said the factory had been operated regularly and ran at full capacity at night causing greater environmental impact than in the day.

Some 1,750 people in 325 households live in the area around the factory and 160 households have been seriously affected by the plumes of smoke and dirty water.

Locals say the smell has affected their breathing and caused sore throats and eyes but the factory owner rejects these complaints

 

Source: Vientiane Times