SHAH ALAM, Dec 9 — The Selangor Department of Environment (DOE) in collaboration with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department detained three containers carrying loads of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) weighing 100 tonnes at West Port, Klang, yesterday.
Its director Nor Aziah Jaafar said an inspection of the containers found that they contained used computer hardware and wires imported from the United States and Spain.
“The inspection also found that the importer had declared the trade material as aluminum scrap to evade the authorities.
“Instruction notices under Section 31(1) and Section 37(1) of the Environmental Quality Act 1975 will be issued to the importing companies to return the containers to the countries of origin under the Basel Convention procedure,” she said in a statement, here today.
Among the main principles of the Basel Convention are that hazardous waste must be disposed of in the country where the waste was produced; cross-border movement of waste is allowed if it is managed in an ‘Environmentally Sound Manner’; cross-border movement of waste is only allowed after obtaining the consent of the importing country and the exporting country must re-import the waste if the exporter’s activities cannot be completed.
Nor Aziah said since January, the Selangor DOE had issued 18 Instruction Notices to importing companies involving 30 containers, to be returned to their countries of origin, including the United States, Latvia, South Korea and Mexico.
He said the 30 containers from various countries contained electronic waste, used plastic, used batteries, and engine components.
“These waste products are brought in to be processed to extract precious metal components by illegal operators.
“What is worrying is that operators who are not licensed by the DOE are using conventional methods (to perform the extraction) and cause odour and river pollution,” she said.
According to her, the Selangor DOE was committed to combatting cross-border environmental crimes, and preventing Selangor from being used as a dumping ground for waste from foreign countries.