Sabah must have full recovery centres for e-waste

Posted on July 16, 2010. Filed under: Waste |

-Borneo Post Online- KOTA KINABALU: Department of Environment (DOE) Sabah director Haji Abdul Razak Abdul Manap sees a need to set up partial recovery and full recovery centres for electronic waste (e-waste) in Sabah.He pointed out that there are currently no facilities nor collection centre to handle e-waste in Sabah.

Only one contractor, PetroJadi Sdn Bhd, is licensed as a transporter to ship the e-waste for processing in Peninsular Malaysia.

“They are not licensed to undertake collection, recycle or recovery activities.”

Examples of e-waste include air-conditioner, computer, washing machine, mobile phone and battery, refrigerator and television. E-waste is categorized as scheduled waste under the DOE.

He also pointed out that DOE offers competent operator course to train locals in handling scheduled waste in its Institute of Environment Malaysia (EMAS).

However, only one managed to pass the test in Sabah as it was a tough course, he said at a seminar on e-waste organized by the  Environmental Action Centre (EAC) Sabah at Promenade Hotel here yesterday.

“We urge private companies to send their staff to join the course.”

In Malaysia, there are 15 licensed facilities that conduct full recovery of acquired e-waste, in addition to 126 facilities that partially recover e-waste that can be processed by the 15 full recovery centres.

To date, there were six transport contractors licensed to carry scheduled waste, and five licensees for the combustion of scheduled waste.

Meanwhile, Professor Dr Jamal Hisham Hashim from the International Institute for Global Health said metal made up the largest portion of the type of residue generated from repair and second hand shops, followed by plastic.

Jamal pointed out that e-waste could lead to health hazards, such as cadmium, found in semiconductors and infrared detectors could result in damage to the kidneys, leading to itai-itai disease in Japan, or bone deformation. It also causes lung and cardiovascular diseases.

On the other hand, lead found in circuit boards and glass panels of cathode ray tubes in computer monitors, has negative effects on children’s IQ.

“Lead is known to cause damage to the blood system, central and peripheral nervous systems and kidneys in humans.”

“There seems to be no safe level of lead.

“It is already happening in Malaysia. If disposed improperly, it can cause tremendous effect on children,” he stressed.

Also present were organizing chairman William Baya, Perak Executive Council member Datuk Hamidah Osman, Amir Hafizi Mohamed Sood from Malay Mail Sdn Bhd and Environment Protection Department director Yabi Yangkat.

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