Electrical and Electronic Waste

e-Waste is a term used to cover items of all types of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and its parts that have been discarded by the owner as waste without the intention of re-use.
Source: StEP

e-Waste may be categorised by product type, product size or even treatment technology. United Nations use the following categorisation.

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Temperature exchange equipment
Commonly referred as "cooling and freezing equipment", comprised of refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, etc.

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Lamp
Which includes all types of straight fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, fluorescent lamps, high intensity discharge lamps and LED lamps.

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Screen
Including televisions, monitors, laptops, notebooks and tablets.

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Small IT and telecommunication equipment
Which includes products such as mobile phones, GPS devices, pocket calculators, routers, printers, telephones, etc.

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Small equipment
Typically comprised of vacuum cleaners, microwaves, fans, toasters, electric kettles, electric shavers, video cameras, etc.

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Large equipment
Which typically includes products such as washing machines, dish washers, electrical stoves, copying equipment, etc.

For Mobile e-Waste programme, we focus on the collection of small IT and telecommunication equipment such as smartphones, tablets, camera and power bank along with its chargers and accessories.

e-Waste Arising

e-Waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in developed as well as in developing countries. The amount of e-Waste in Asia has risen by close to 63% in five years. Malaysia produced 243 kilo tonnes of e-Waste in 2015 alone and the amount of e-Waste we generated has grown by 39.7% from 2010 to 2015.

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Dangers of e-Waste

Ever wondered what happened to old devices that are thrown out?

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Discarded mobile devices & accessories are transported to landfill

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Non-biodegradable toxic components accumulate

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The more mobile devices discarded, the more serious pollution becomes

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Toxic materials leak into the environment, for example groundwater

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Toxic contaminants cause health issues within the community

Electrical and electronic devices are made of hazardous, non-biodegradable components such as lead, cadmium and mercury that could potentially harm your health and pollute the environment. That is why these devices have to be properly disposed of by a certified facility when it’s no longer useful.

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e-Waste and Health

Improper disposal system as well as rudimentary and uncontrolled processing methods of e-waste often result in substantial harmful chemical exposures that could cause adverse health effects.

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Central nervous system
Affected by antimony, arsenic, beryllium, lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)

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Digestive and urinary system
Affected by antimony, cadmium, lead

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Reproductive and endocrine system
Affected by brominated flame retardants, dioxins and furans (PCDD/PCDF), DDT, lead

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Respiratory system
Affected by arsenic, chromium, mercury, vinyl chloride

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Blood
Affected by lead, mercury

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Skeleton
Affected by cadmium, lead

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Immune system
Affected by dioxins and furans (PCDD/PCDF), DDT, PCB

Source: UNEP

e-Waste Recycling

During the recycling process, your mobile devices will be dismantled into several components such as casing, battery, screen and circuit board.

The unusable materials will be disposed properly while reusable ones are extracted to manufacture new products. This process is known as urban mining.

Metals extracted from e-waste are up to 40 to 50 times richer than the ore extracted from mines. For example, one tonne of gold ore yields about 5 grams of gold, but one tonne of phone circuitry yields about 150 grams, 30 times as much!

Source: United Nations University

Urban mining makes clever use of the materials that are already there and is a valuable part of the Circular Economy.

All recovered materials will be further processed or sold to relevant manufactures. However, the recovery process must be done in a certified facility that follows standard procedures.

Items that can be produced from the recovered resources include stainless steel, batteries, plastic shipping pallets & gold ingots.

Recycling partner:
Mobile e-Waste recovery process is carried out by Shan Poornam Metals Sdn. Bhd.

A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles.

Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Benefits from Proper e-Waste Management

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