UNWANTED electronic and electrical items like computers, washing machines and refrigerators should be discarded properly as the parts can be used for recycling.
Despite living in the technological era, many people are still unaware of how to dispose of and recycle electronic waste or e-waste.
Unlike other household recyclables such as paper, plastic, glass and aluminium containers, e-waste needs to be handled properly as the parts must be dismantled before they can be recycled.
“If they are not recycled properly, e-waste can be a danger to human health and the environment as there may be accidental leakage of hazardous substances from the electrical or electronic products, ” said Selangor Environment Department (DOE) director Nor Aziah Jaafar after facilitating e-waste collection at a recycling centre in Section U13 in Shah Alam.
She cited an example of how a printed circuit board used in various e-waste products contained toxic substances like lead, cadmium, mercury and other chemical materials, which could be hazardous to health if not disposed of properly.
In Selangor, the DOE has been working with 15 companies that act as collection centres for household e-waste.
Some of these centres are popular shops such as Senheng, SenQ, Alam Flora, iCycle Malaysia and other electrical companies that can be found in residential areas.
There are six categories of e-waste, namely cellphones and tablets, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, computers, television and air-conditioners.
“It is crucial that e-waste is sent to the right places as they have the technology to recycle the waste while protecting the environment at the same time, ” said Nor Aziah.
She said DOE, through an online tracking system called Electronic Scheduled Waste Information System (Eswis), would monitor e-waste sent to its licensed recycling centres.
The system tracks the amount of items collected and recycled at the respective premises.
This way, the department could keep track of the e-waste and ensure that these recycling centres operated in observance of rules and regulations, she elaborated.
She said scrap metal dealers tend to collect e-waste for recycling, which was illegal.
“We are working with all local councils to clamp down on illegal operators, ” she added.
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