An overcast sky looms over a mountain in Sri Racha, Chonburi. Birds swoop over a landscape of green. But there is something not quite right about the colour. As the camera pans closer, you see the green form itself into a landmass — a mountain.
The film takes us to explore the area atop the mountain. Amidst gigantic piles of trash, workers are sorting out trash without gloves. An excavator hauls down a huge pile of trash, while a bulldozer tries to even out the ground. The filmmaker narrates that the dumpsite has been operating for more than forty years, covering up 3 million tonnes of trash that has been buried, tucked away and hidden from the public eye.
As the head of Laemchabang’s health and environmental department, Naret (42) deals with the complaints of the strong stench from the villagers and explains that he himself cannot provide a sustainable solution to the odour problems. Meanwhile, the landfill manager Watchara (50) supervises workers showering of deodorizing sprays on the dumpsite.
At an abandoned garbage disposal site in Nong Haen, Chachoengsao, Professor Tanapon (40) measures the water quality of the community pond. The weathered trash that has long been buried are not from the residences but were factory-produced. At the community center, the Professor notifies the villagers that the level of toxic contaminants in the pond has decreased significantly.
A broadcast reports the murder of Prajob Naowa-opas, the former village chief who led protests against a waste recycling company for the illegal dumping of toxic waste in Nong Haen. Despite the loss of his younger brother, Jorn (44) plans to file a complaint to stop the company from extending the licensing of their waste recycling business.
At a petrochemical factory, Professor Tanapon and his assistants collect samples of toxic chemicals from the heavily contaminated pool. Meanwhile, Jorn moderates a regional seminar on waste mismanagement, where villagers voice problems they’ve faced to the state officials.
The next morning, Jorn drives to Ko Khanun, Chachoengsao. After the state licensed new recycling factories, more than twenty were built this past year — a pattern that we have seen before and is continually repeated. Jorn discusses with the villagers the environmental impact of factory-produced toxic waste and encourages them to stand strong and unite against the injustices they must fight against.
Inside a waste recycling plant, the recycling procedure is thoroughly shown from the inspection and classification to the incineration of wastes. A surreal sequence amalgamates images of gigantic mound of trash from landfills across the country. Fire rises from the bottom, breaching layers of rotten garbage, toxic and electronic wastes, and reaches the top.
In Chonburi, heavy rain pours as villagers carry on with their days. The dumpsite is now quiet, without the bustling of people nor the humming of machines. As the rain subsides, a gush of green water streams from underneath the trash mountain. The stream continues to flow into larger bodies of water, and eventually into the ocean.