Environs Ministry, Home Ministry to enhance cooperation to curb illegal processing of e-waste, says Nik Nazmi

KLANG: The Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES) Ministry will enhance collaboration with the Home Ministry (KDN) to intensify enforcement measures against the illegal processing of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste).

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the matter would be brought to the Cabinet soon, following the surge in e-waste smuggling into the country, which contributes to environmental pollution.

"Apart from our collaboration with the police, we’ve also coordinated efforts with the Customs Department and the Department of Environment (DOE), but the current situation necessitates us to strengthen the enforcement aspect to effectively regulate and address waste processing activities.

"This is because since China tightened its regulations on the entry of these waste products in 2018, these activities have shifted to our country and neighbouring nations,” he told reporters after inspecting an illegal e-waste processing premises in Jalan Kebun here today.

Meanwhile, he said the inspection was conducted in response to complaints about e-waste processing activities at the premises, which allegedly resulted in odour and air pollution, affecting the residents in the area.

Nik Nazmi said DOE’s preliminary investigation conducted on Jan 5 found that the premises were involved in partial scheduled waste recovery activities for e-waste and used batteries, which included procedures like separation and dissolution.

He said that apart from solid waste, the premises, which were operating without approval from the DOE and the local authority, were also found to be used as a storage facility for plastic waste and metal scrap.

According to Nik Nazmi, the premises were subject to the Equipment Operation Detention (POK) action under Section 38 (1) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (AKAS 1974), which required the cessation of all scheduled waste recovery activities.

The owner of the premises was also given a Notice of Instruction under Sections 31 and 37 of AKAS 1974 to dispose of the scheduled waste at facilities licensed by the DOE under Section 18(1) of AKAS 1974, he said.

He added that the DOE is in the process of preparing investigation papers to pursue legal action against the premises for operating without a licence. - Bernama

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