The Selangor Department of Environment (DoE), with the assistance of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, has detained three containers carrying 100 tonnes of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) at West Port, Klang on Thursday (8 December).
According to Bernama, Selangor DoE director Nor Aziah Jaafar said they found that these containers carried 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.
According to the main principles of Basel Convention, hazardous waste must be disposed of in the country where the waste was produced and cross-border movement of waste is allowed if it is managed in an ‘Environmentally Sound Manner’.
In addition, countries are required to obtain the consent of the importing country and that the exporting country must re-import the waste if the exporter’s activities cannot be completed.
Not only US and Spain is doing it
Meanwhile, Nor Aziah said the department 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 since January this year.
She 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.
Nor Aziah said the Selangor DoE is committed to combat cross-border environmental crimes and prevent Selangor from becoming a dumping ground for waste from foreign countries.