KUCHING: The Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng called on the people of Sarawak especially in Kuching to partake in electronic waste management.
This is meant to protect the environment from pollution due to e-waste, he pointed out.
In doing this, the public could implement it through disposal of discarded and unwanted electrical including electronic devices and appliances.
“There are serious environmental risks if we send e-waste to a landfill.
“Disposal of e-waste at landfills could cause pollution of the surface and ground water as the heavy metals dissolve in the soil as well as bringing a negative impact on humans, animals, aquatic and marine life.
“Besides, in e-waste, there are precious metals that can be recovered and reused as to reduce dependence on natural resources that need to be mined.
“Environmentally friendly e-waste management could help the government to reduce e-waste at our landfills,” he said when officiating at the launching ceremony of E-Waste Collection Campaign 2022 or Pelancaran Kempen Pengumpulan Buangan Elektrikal dan Elektronik (BEE) 2022 at MBKS Community Hall today.
The campaign is an initiative of the Sarawak government aimed at fostering collaboration between the community and government agencies to create awareness of the importance of safe and environmentally friendly e-waste disposal, Wee stressed.
Held in conjunction with Earth Day 2022, the programme is a call for
governments, businesses and individuals to invest in a better future for the planet. Its theme for this year is ‘Invest in Our Planet’.
“This campaign is one of the ways to address e-waste by collecting e-waste at targeted places for disposal purposes and in compliance with the provisions of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 or locally known as Akta Kualiti Alam Sekeliling 1974 (AKAS 1974).
“In addition, this effort is also in line with the state government’s requirement that all e-waste is managed in accordance with existing regulations and disposed of safely by a licensed company registered with the Environment Department (DOE).
“It is important for us to take care of Sarawak, so that it is always clean and healthy for current and future generations,” he said.
As part of efforts to ensure the well-being of the environment, Wee said the Sarawak government through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Urban Development is in the process to develop a mechanism to manage e-waste effectively in the state.
He also said the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) enforces a number of laws, in addition to implementing policies, programmes and activities towards achieving the vision.
A sustained and continuous public awareness campaign is being carried out to draw public attention of their equal responsibility in safeguarding the environment, Wee pointed out.
“I believe that our local efforts (such as this campaign) in protecting our environment will contribute towards global initiatives in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and combating global warming. This initiative will be a catalyst for environmental sustainability in Sarawak.
“The government’s intention to address various environmental issues will not succeed without the involvement and support of all stakeholders, namely the government agencies, private sector, business communities, NGOs and civil society.
“Our continuous efforts to address various environmental issues will ensure that the wealth we enjoy now can be shared with our future generations,” he added.
Wee said local councils statewide had given their best effort in order to tackle the problems caused by wastes especially household waste.
For instance, in MBKS, he said they offer an avenue for public to dispose recyclable items and offer them coupons to trade it for household items.
The organic waste collection from local markets in Kuching South City Council are converted to compost through the Bio-Mate Compost (high speed composting) as well as black soldier fly composting method, he said.
“We only have one earth as our home. If we spoil what we have here, we will suffer the consequences of our actions.
“If we take care of nature, then nature will also take care of us in return. This is a major reason why we should take care of the earth. Together, we must invest in our planet. Because a green future is a prosperous future!” stressed the mayor.