Frequently Asked Questions

MCMC are aware of the increasing usage of mobile phones in Malaysia as the result of an extensive development in the communication and multimedia industry since the introduction of mobile broadband in 2009. The growth of users is indicated by MCMC's statistics where there were 43.9 million mobile phone subscribers with a penetration rate of 141.3 per 100 inhabitants in Malaysia by the end of 2016.

Research by the US Environmental Protection Agency indicated that the average life span of a mobile phone is between 18 to 24 months. Based on this consideration, as well as the data obtained from SIRIM QAS, there are an estimated 65.7 million units of mobile phones in the Malaysian market from 2009 to 2014, which can be categorised as e-waste. This figure does not include handsets that are not registered and not certified (underwater mobile phone).

*Note: The number of mobile phones released from 2009 to 2016 amounted to 98.2 million units.

Most users still keep their old phones or throw it away like the rest of the household waste. Such disposal method is very dangerous because the toxic materials generated from burning activities at the landfill will pollute the environment and affect human health.

Mobile e-Waste programme was officially launched in August 2015 with the aims to educate all levels of society about the importance of disposing and recycling of mobile e-waste in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

Subsequently, it is the program's aspirations to raise awareness about the importance of public contribution and participation towards the 3R culture, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, in all aspects of life to ensure the Earth sustainability.

The program is also one of the MCMC initiatives in support of Malaysia's commitment in reducing up to 45 percent of greenhouse gas emission intensity of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 compared with 2005 production levels.

  1. Environmentally safe disposal and recycling of end-of-life (EOL) mobile devices.
    • According to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (The Star, 19 Julai 2016), Malaysia produced nearly a million tonne of e-waste annually.
    • MCMC want to ensure that none of these e-waste is discarded to landfill or incinerators which will result in environmental pollution.
  2. Awareness on the potentially hazardous effects on health and environment due to improper disposal of mobile devices.
    • The materials in mobile devices are not biodegradable and contain hazardous components such as lead, mercury and lithium.
    • By recycling the e-waste, we can prevent toxic substances from accumulating at the landfill which could pollute the environment and cause health complications.
    • The health effects from improper disposal of e-waste includes lung disease, kidney damaged, memory impairment and damage of the central nervous system.
  3. Education on the steps you can take to recycle and refurbish your old mobile devices.
    • According to the Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Malaysia has a low recycling rate of which only 15% of the country's citizens are recycling (Bernama, 4 February 2016) and there are concerns that millions of devices are being thrown away or stored.
    • Mobile e-Waste programme provides a conducive and relevant platform that will help the public to understand why we must manage e-waste in an environmentally sound manner, how they can take action on e-waste in their own life and where they can find the collection boxes.
  4. Adoption of circular economy concept where waste generated in our country is recycled to usable material within the economy.
    • Through the Mobile e-Waste programme, your mobile device will be separated into several components. Unusable materials are safely disposed of while reusable materials are extracted for the manufacture of new products. The extraction process is known as "urban mining".
    • Proper recycling process can recover over 90% of the materials used in mobile devices and accessories.
    • Based on research by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for every 1 million recycled mobile phones, 16 tons of copper, 350 kg of silver, 34 kg of gold and 15 kg of palladium can be recovered.

Public can drop-off or dispose their old mobile devices and accessories into Mobile e-Waste collection boxes located at the participating outlets and Pusat Internet 1Malaysia (PI1M). The complete list of participating outlets can be viewed at Mobile e-Waste Collection Box

The recyclers will collect and transport the collected devices to the Full Recovery Facility (FRF) to ensure proper disposal and recovery of useable material. The recovered materials from this process will be used to manufacture new products.

The term e-waste or Waste Electrical & Electronic Waste (WEEE) covers all types ofelectrical & electronic appliances that have been discarded.

Mobile e-Waste specifically refers to all types of waste generated from SIM-based devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, phablets, laptop computers, including power banks, chargers & accessories.

Donors are responsible for personal data in their mobile phones. Before drop-off into the collection box, you need to erase the data in your mobile phone.

If it is impossible due to malfunction, rest assured your devices will undergo data wiping process at the FRF that will delete your data completely. Furthermore, the device will be dismantled during recycling, thus any remaining data will not be accessible.

E-waste matters are part of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 12, to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

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