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Published: Tuesday January 17, 2012 MYT 12:52:00 PM

Country's first household e-waste collection system in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: Penang will be the first state in the country to implement the household electronic waste (e-waste) collection project, which will commence in June.

Putrajaya Director of Hazardous Substances Division of the Department of Environment, Datin Paduka Che Asmah Ibrahim, said Penang had the largest number of e-waste facilities and that many electrical companies were operating in the state.

"We have 153 e-waste recovery facilities in the country. Out of that, 128 facilities are for partial recovery and 25 for fully recovery. There are 39 recovery facilities in Penang.

"It's good to have part of this project in Penang. Also, the MPPP (Penang Municipal Council) has got some kind of infrastructure for collecting household e-waste," she told a press conference after the launch of a workshop on E-waste Recycling here Tuesday.

She said at the moment, existing recovery facilities had been focusing and handling industrial e-waste.

"This project is about looking at how we can collect e-waste generated by the household. Industrial waste is quite easy to manage because we know the number of industries existing. We need to have some kind of system to collect household e-waste," she said.

Meanwhile, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expert team leader Hideki Wada said the volume of e-waste in Penang was more than 13,000 tones and increasing.

He said the waste should be treated properly or it might threaten the environment.

Precious metals from this waste might also be potentially lost, he said.

"Based on the lessons from the pilot project, some new policies by the Department of Environment will be considered in the future," he said.

The pilot project, titled "Model Development for E-Waste Collection, Segregation and Transportation from Households for Recycling" is funded by JICA and implemented by the Department of Environment with cooperation from MPPP.

The project aims to establish a model for e-waste collection and recycling in Malaysia. - Bernama

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