Sri Lanka launches countrywide E-waste collection project

Post offices around the country will collect E-waste starting from October 5 to October 11 to prevent harmful materials being released to the environment by recycling the discarded electronic devices.

Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera told reporters yesterday that the programme will be launched under the theme “A country that breaths, Sri Lanka without E-waste,” to coincide with Postal Day.

E-waste will be collected from all 653 main post offices around the country starting from October 5 to October 11 from 8 am to 5 pm.

Amaraweera said that the Ministry has understood that the harm done by E-waste to the environment is higher than by other types of waste because there are no proper methods to effectively recycle this type of waste in Sri Lanka.

Amaraweera said E-waste poses the risk of releasing dangerous materials such as Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Arsenic which are harmful to the environment.

Moreover, he said that there is a rapid increase of E-waste in the country in recent years as more and more people are using and disposing of electronic devices.

He added that in the case of mobile phones users discard their old phones as the latest model comes on the market.

“There are more mobile phones than people in the country. No one has an idea of what is happening to the discards,” he said

The Minister said that the government expects to recycle some of the E-waste materials such as Iron, Aluminium and plastic which could be recycled in the country, while other materials which cannot be dealt with in the country will be sent overseas.

The recycling process within the country will be given to institutions which are registered under the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) which will also supervise the process.

The items that will be collected at the main post offices are as follows:

TV, Cassettes and radio, fans, desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones and accessories, fixed telephones, fax machines, grinders, blenders, toners, rice cookers, printers, batteries, air conditioners, washing machines, CD and DVDs, DVD players, electric kettles, electric heaters, electric stoves, electronic sports items, electronic exercise machines, CFL machines, CRT monitors and other electronic devices.

The items which will not be collected are:
Refrigerators, tube lights, electronic devices which have been broken to parts or devices where internal parts are removed, devices covered in sand and mud, large scale E-waste from industries and shops.



By Imesh Ranasinghe

Source: Economy Next


October 14, 2020