Posted on June 28, 2011, Tuesday
KUCHING: Department of Environment (DOE) plans to enact a special regulation to encourage manufacturers or importers of electronic and electrical goods to take back used products to be treated, recycled and disposed off.
Minister of Environment and Public Health Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh said this was meant to minimize pollution from e-waste such as defunct electronic and electrical items like computers, washing machine, handphones, batteries and refrigerators.
“E-waste is classified as scheduled waste and they are hazardous and contain heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, mercury,arsenic and chromium that are non-biodegradable and very harmful to human beings.
“Some of these waste also produce gold and silver, which can give good business returns,” he said in his winding-up speech yesterday.
Wong said DOE had issued 153 licenses for e-waste recovering of processing facilities throughout Malaysia with seven located in Sarawak including two full e-waste recovering centres in Mambong, Kuching and Sibuti, Miri.
Under the second rolling plan of 10th Malaysia Plan, he said new sanitary landfills for Mukah, Sri Aman, Samarahan, Sarikei, Mulu, Lundu and Tanjung Manis had been proposed.
“These proposals are still pending consideration from the federal government.” He conceded that some rivers in the state “are polluted with coli form bacteria due to direct discharge of solid waste and untreated black water from overflowing septic tanks, hanging toilets and suspended solids from landbased activities.”
However, he said DOE is currently monitoring 21 river basins at 100 river monitoring stations.
Out of these, he added that only four river basins namely Batang Kemena, Sungai Miri, Batang Rajang and Sungai Niah were classified as slightly polluted.