International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 4 Issue 4 2014- January 2014    Pages: 444-457  <<Previous    Next>>

E-waste management: An emerging global crisis and the Malaysian scenario

Author Information:

Ahmad-Faisal Alias1, Mohd Bakri Ishak2, Siti Nur Awanis Mohamad Zulkifli1, Rusamah Abdul Jalil1

1- Department of Town and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) (Perak), 32610 Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia.

2- Department of Environmental Management, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

ABSTRACT

Rapid progress in standard of living and advances in information and communication technology (ICT) has generated an enormous amount of end of life electrical and electronic equipment which eventually become e-waste. Although it represents a small percentage of total solid waste, e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world, with most of them flowing from developed to developing countries for the purpose of recovery and recycling activities. However, poor recovery and recycling facilities produce toxic residues which were eventually landfilled or openly incinerated with severe negative effects on human and environmental health. Although the Basel Convention and other legislations were introduced by nations to limit the global trans-boundary shipment of the highly toxic e-waste, the illicit trade is difficult to trace and regulate due to multiple loopholes. Consequently, only a small fraction of generated e-waste finds its way to licensed material recovery facilities (MRFs) for recycling purposes, while the rest is recovered by the informal sector in the developing countries. One of latest e-waste reduction strategies introduced is the extended producer responsibility. Although the issue of e-waste is quite new in Malaysia, the country is also grappling with the crisis and has become one the main destinations of the global e-waste trade.

Keywords, electronic waste, toxic, environmental impact, Basel Convention, extended producer responsibility

DOI:10.6088/ijes.2014040400001

© 2013 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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