Your Title

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10: The illegal importation of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) following the high demand from local industries has raised fear that Malaysia would become a dumping ground for the world’s e-waste.

Department of Environment (DOE) director-general Norlin Jaafar said from 2018 to Nov last year, 75 containers containing e-waste were detected entering the country to be processed illegally and not in an environmental-friendly manner and have been sent back to their countries of origin.

“It is against the DOE policy because e-waste which is categorised as scheduled waste is not allowed to be imported into the country, especially for the purpose of reprocessing or disposal,” she told Bernama.

Norlin said the entry of e-waste will result in a short lifespan of solid waste landfills and lead to illegal premises that do not equip with air pollution control system to carry out disposal activities.

“Usually, the parties involved will dispose of these electrical and electronic goods by burning them to get to get valuable metal in the items.

“However, the burning process has great potential to release harmful gases such as dioxins and furans which could affect the body’s immune system as well as internal organs, if inhaled and cause environmental pollution,” she said.

Norlin said the government was in the midst of drafting a new law to regulate the disposal of e-waste in the country and prevent illegal e-waste disposal activities.

Meanwhile, she said the department would carry out the E-Waste Collection Day campaign on the last Saturday of every month to enable e-waste to be disposed of in an environmental-friendly or environmentally sound management (ESM) method.

The public can send their unwanted electrical and electronic goods, including mobile phones, air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators to 123 collection centres and 21 registered recovery facilities throughout the country.-Bernama