PUTRAJAYA: Nearly a million tonnes of e-waste is being produced each year in Malaysia, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
Speaking to reporters after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Shan Poornam Metals Sdn Bhd and German firm Andritz MeWa GmbH, he said these would be disposed at landfills if they were not recycled.
“There is a lot of value in e-waste if you recycle them but if they go the landfills, they are wasted and also add to pollution,” he said.
The MoU will see Shan Poornam Metals buying machines from Andritz MeWa which could recycle ‘e-waste’ such as computer parts, used mobile phones and other unwanted home appliances.
Dubbed the first of its kind in South-East Asia, the recycling machines will be operational in mid-2017.
“At present, the machines will be placed at their plant in Penang but there will be over 80 collection centres for e-waste all over the country.
“The method to collect e-waste is still being discussed and the public will be informed about it later. The machines have the capacity to recycle about 100,000 tonnes of e-waste a year,” said Dr Wan Junaidi.
In a report by The Star, it was revealed that there was over 66 million handphones in Malaysia alone that, together with discarded tablets, thumb drives and other kinds of electronics, are posing a danger to the environment.
While these gadgets must be properly disposed of, many just throw them into the dustbin and they end up in landfills, where the minerals and materials inside can leak out.