Dumping your handphone, fridge or TV? Govt mulling new rules for that

The proposed amendment to the law is aimed to reduce harm to the environment and public health that arises from improper disposal of e-waste. — AFP pic
The proposed amendment to the law is aimed to reduce harm to the environment and public health that arises from improper disposal of e-waste. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Putrajaya plans to make it mandatory for unwanted electrical and electronic items to be sent to places licensed to handle e-waste, The Star reported today.

The proposed amendment to the law is aimed to reduce harm to the environment and public health that arises from improper disposal of such waste, which the Department of Environment (DoE) said the e-waste is currently being recycled in the informal sector, such as house-to-house collectors, community bodies and non-governmental groups.

In a statement to the English daily, the department said it would be the consumer’s responsibility to discard or send e-waste only to registered retailers, collectors, recycling facilities or recovery facilities.

“The DoE has drafted a specific law for the six controlled item,” the statement was quoted as saying.

The six items were; televisions, air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, personal computers, and mobile phones.

“In the drafted regulation, these items generated from households, institutions, commercial and others are listed to be regulated,” the report added.

The handling of such waste by informal sectors that are of little expertise and resources would rip apart the appliances and devices and burn some components to extract materials that can be resold, which the DoE said was done with little thought for health and environmental effects.

“The specific legislative provisions to control the management mechanism of the items are important to ensure that they do not pollute the environment or cause any harm to human health,” it said.

The DoE said the draft regulation was still under review by the Attorney-General’s Chambers and does not have to be tabled in Parliament.

The current management and control of e-waste is regulated under the Environment Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005, which was enforced since August 15, 2005.

Under the regulation, such waste is categorised as scheduled waste.

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