Sunday, August 1

Mechanism sought to regulate disposal of household e-waste

Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

SIBU: A legal framework and guideline including proper management mechanism to regulate disposal of household electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) is being drawn up.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said as there was no law governing how household e-waste should be disposed, unwanted handphones, transistor radios and other smaller electronic gadgets had ended up in landfills.

He warned that indiscriminate disposal of e-waste could pose harm to health and the environment.

“At the moment, it (legal framework and the proper management mechanism of household e-waste) is still being studied by the ministry and the Department of Environment (DOE). Presently in the peninsula, we have the disposal (system) for industrial e-waste but not for domestic e-waste. Obviously there is a vacuum there.

“Household e-waste refers to TV sets, air-conditioning units, washing machines and refrigerators, among other things, that we have at home. In future when the law is formulated, households will be required to dispose of their e-waste properly like what is being practised in Japan.

“Of course the law will have to be fine-tuned or undergo certain kind of modifications and amendments because it has to suit the local condition,” Wan Junaidi told The Borneo Post.

The minister was asked if there were plans to set up more e-waste collection centres nationwide.

Wan Junaidi pointed out that the ministry was not just looking at the collection centres but the entire system of e-waste flow.

He explained the system of disposal included where the collection centres would be, who would collect and the funding aspect.

The system would involve everyone — manufacturers, the industry players with the government and DOE — as the main motivator for the e-waste management system.

He disclosed that the ministry was working with a Japanese international organisation which had wide expertise on the matter.

The minister recently launched the ‘Household Waste Management’ in the Malaysia Web Portal and Info Kit in Putrajaya.