The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) will launch an electrical and electronic waste collection programme in 40 locations in the Western Province on January 28 and 29.
Accordingly, 17 locations in the Colombo District, 13 locations in Gampaha and 10 locations in Kalutara will be maintained, said Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.
He was speaking at a media briefing at the Central Environmental Authority.
Minister Amaraweera said that the decision to implement such a programme was taken due to the significant environmental damage and serious impact on public health caused by electrical and electronic pollution. About 95,000 metric tons of electrical and electronic waste is dumped in our country annually and by 2021 it will be increased to 121,000 metric tons.
He also emphasised the need for an information system to implement a national policy for the disposal of electronic and electronic waste, control over imported electronics and electronics and launch a programme for the control of new equipment, according to a report released by the Department of National Audit in 2019.
The public prefer to keep expensive electric and electronic equipment in their homes, even if they are dilapidated after use. But, some of the radioactive substances contained in these devices pose a risk of skin disease, skin cancer and a number of other conditions.
Therefore, the Minister requested that such inactive devices not be kept in houses but handed over to these places.
The Minister also said that large batches of water are being polluted due to the discharge of batteries from inactive mobile phones. A disposable mobile phone battery has the potential to pollute 30,000 litres of water.
Therefore, the Minister requested all media institutions to support this programme to mitigate environmental damage and health problems caused by the improper disposal of electronic and electronic devices we dispose of into the environment. Secretary to the Ministry of Environment – Dr. Anil Jasinghe and Central Environmental Authority – Siripala Amarasinghe were also present.