Preventing Adverse Impact on Human Health and the Environment from Household Electronic Waste Disposal

Press Statement by Teh Yee Cheu, Tanjung Bungah State Assemblyman and Director of Penang Green Council on 9 August 2015 for the “Trash2Treasure Campaign” at Tanjung Bungah Wet Market.

Do you know how many types of material can be recovered from the hard disk? As an effort of promoting Zero Waste Network, Penang Green Council has organised a series of Household Electronic Waste (e-waste) Collection & Awareness Campaign with the collaboration of Shan Poornam Metals Sdn. Bhd., one of the contractors with full recovery facilities appointed by Department of Environment, Malaysia.

Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP) Initiative is a partnership of United Nations organisations, industry, governments, non-government and science organizations.  The StEP e-waste world map database shows that Malaysia produced 415,000 metric ton of electrical and electronic equipment in 2012, and generated e-waste amounting to 289,320 metric ton or 9.96kg per inhabitant. By 2017, all of the year’s end-of-life refrigerators, TVs, mobile phones, computers, monitors, e-toys and other products with a battery or electrical cord worldwide could fill a line of 40-tonne trucks end-to-end on a highway straddling three quarters of the Equator.1

A lot of e-waste is not properly disposed of and some has been partially disposed illegally every day. For instance, CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) – refrigerant used in refrigerator was released in the air by the recyclers without off-site recovery facilities which caused the ozone layer depletion.

Household e-waste is electrical and electronic appliances which are not in use by the original user and doesn’t bring any value to the user.  For example: PC, TV, radio, refrigerator, washing machine, air-conditioner, printer, mobile phone and etc. Because e-waste is ignitable, corrosive, reactive and toxic characteristic, they are listed as one of the scheduled wastes with the code SW 110 under Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2015, Environmental Quality Act 1974 in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, e-waste is collected and treated only at licensed facilities by the Department of Environment. By the end of February 2013, 18 full and 128 partial recovery facilities of e-waste had been licensed to perform the recovery process of precious (gold, silver, and platinum) and valuable (copper, aluminum, and nickel) metals. These facilities are also expected to simultaneously handle the hazardous elements found in e-waste, such as heavy metals (cadmium, lead, mercury), to prevent them from polluting the environment and risking human health and manage the recyclable items, such as plastic and glass.2

Public are encouraged to dispose of household e-waste through legal contractors appointed by the Department of Environment, Malaysia.
For those who are interested to set up e-waste collection centre, please contact:

Penang Green Council (PGC Strategies Sdn Bhd)
Tingkat 46, KOMTAR,
Pulau Pinang 10503 Malaysia.
Tel: 04-2503321
Fax: 04-2503323
Email: [email protected]

Shan Poornam Metals Sdn Bhd
Plot 34 (No. 1479), Lorong Perusahaan Maju 6,
Kawasan Perindustrian Perai, Fasa 4,
13600 Perai, Pulau Pinang
Tel: 04-5084841
Fax: 04-5084843