PETALING JAYA: Slow and disappointing these are the words used by several partners of the Department of Environments cellular telephone battery recycling programme to describe the publics response to it.
One of the partners, Alam Flora Sdn Bhd, has collected only 34kg of batteries from its five recycling bins placed at major shopping centres and neighbourhoods in the Klang Valley since December.
Most Malaysians are still unaware that mobile phone batteries are recyclable and should not be thrown away with household waste, said Rozita Musib, assistant manager of the environmental management division in Alam Flora.
The DOE embarked on the recycling programme in October as many mobile phone batteries contain cadmium, a toxic heavy metal shown to cause chronic health problems such as gastrointestinal tract and liver disorders, anaemia and cancer.
Battery casings that end up in landfills can also deteriorate, resulting in the contents leaking into the soil, groundwater and rivers.
Sony (M) Sdn Bhd, another participant in the project, collected only 40 batteries in the two bins at its headquarters in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya.
More needs to be done to let people know that these recycling facilities exist, said Ng Kian Hooi, a member of Sonys environmental committee.
He said the company would begin promoting the programme in a few months.
A DOE spokesman said 60 collection bins had been distributed to DOE state offices to be placed in major shopping centres around the country. However, the collection so far has not been tallied.
The spokesman said the DOE would soon hire a contractor to store the collected batteries and ship them to a recycling facility in either China or France.
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