Computer and mobile phone waste on the rise

Electronic equipment makes daily tasks easier, but when they start to malfunction, the leftover waste increases.

Aisyah Basaruddin
Aisyah Basaruddin
12 May 2024 10:00am
Among the electrical and electronic appliances disposed of and collected at the landfill site.
Among the electrical and electronic appliances disposed of and collected at the landfill site.
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PUTRAJAYA - Computers, fans and mobile phones are among the electronic waste (e-waste) items that are increasingly being disposed of or sent to landfills.

Other equipment, such as microwaves, ovens, air conditioners, televisions and refrigerators, were either given away for free or sold for recycling.

Alam Flora Environmental Solution Sdn Bhd (AFES) project manager Ismi Azura Istear Khan said they would purchase e-waste items starting from RM1 per unit for items like printers and vacuum cleaners, up to RM15 for air conditioners and laptops.

"From our observation, the increase in e-waste is possibly due to the lifestyle of people who constantly use gadgets.

"Electronic equipment makes daily tasks easier, but when they start to malfunction, the leftover waste increases," she told Sinar.

Meanwhile, Ismi said that improper disposal of e-waste could have a significant impact on humans, such as through air pollution, which could affect health.

She said that if not disposed of properly, hazardous materials such as mercury or bromine could seep into the soil, disrupting the ecosystem of flora and fauna.

She added that the disposal method for e-waste requires more detailed attention compared to regular waste such as cooking oil, hence the handling costs are inevitably higher.

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"Therefore, besides encouraging the public to send e-waste to disposal sites, we also promote recycling practices or repairing old items before disposal.

"This does not mean that if e-waste items are slightly damaged, they should be discarded immediately.

"Repair them first so that we don't need to use new resources to create new items.

"Additionally, return them to the manufacturers as done in developed countries that follow the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)," she said.