BUTTERWORTH (Dec 8): The Department of Environment (DOE) on Thursday ordered a container suspected of carrying electrical and electronic waste from the United States that arrived at North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) here to be sent back to its country of origin.
Penang DOE director Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab said DOE and the Customs Department (JKDM) carried out an inspection of the container after there was suspected false declaration, whereby it was declared (in the manifest) as “aluminium alloy”.
“After inspection, it was found that there were 38 pellets in a 12.2-metre (40 feet) container that was loaded with scrap waste from printed circuit boards (PCB), internal hard disk drives, CPUs and other electronic components categorised as scheduled waste code SW 110 ( e-waste) First Schedule, Environmental Quality Regulations (Scheduled Waste) 2005,” she said in a statement.
She said a Notice of Instruction under Sections 31 and 37 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 was issued to the importer with an address in Klang, Selangor, for the return of the container to the country of origin and failure to do so could be subject to court action according to Section 34B of the same Act.
Sharifah Zakiah said DOE also conducted sampling of evidence, as the illegal importation of electrical and electronic waste or e-waste from abroad is against the law and the international (Basel) Convention.
“Illegal disposal and processing can have negative implications for the environment and health, especially when the majority (waste) may be sent to unlicensed premises for illegal processing or worse if disposed of by burning or burial,” she said.
She said electrical and electronic waste produced in Malaysia should be sent and processed only in (recycling) plants licensed by the DOE.