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E-waste law for Cebu City gains support

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag May 14,2015 - 10:24 AM

A PROPOSED ordinance to regulate  the disposal of electronic wastes gained support from a top university during yesterday’s Cebu City Council session.

Prof. Patrick John Lim of the University of San Carlos’ Department of Chemistry, told the council that the city should have a separate disposal unit for electronic wastes.

Otherwise, the waste, which contains toxic metals like mercury, chormium and lead,   can contaminate  groundwater, affecting plants and even enter the food chain, affecting public health.

Electronic wastes refer to discarded computers, office electronic equipment, electronic devices, mobile phones, TV sets and refrigerators.

Lim said potential health risks caused by improperly disposed electronic wastes include deformity of fetus and muscular and neurological disorder due to exposure or ingestion of heavymetals.

Councilor Nida Cabrera, a co-author of the ordinance with Councilor Nestor Archival, said some of the electronic wastes are disposed at the Inayawan landfill.

She said the ordinance will include the proper labeling of storage facilities and vessels, containers or containment of buildings.

The proposed ordinance seeks to establish management schemes for electronic waste generators, transporters, treatment, storage and disposal facilities including the informal recyclers.

These include proper registration and accreditation by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-7) and the City.

The ordinance seeks to create a Hazardous Waste Management Board for enforcement and monitoring.

It also provides an incentive scheme for producers and distributors of electrical and electronic equipment.

In Cebu City, Cabrera said  they have no  baseline data on the volume of e-waste generated in the city.

“The absence of data also means that we have to set guidelines on the management of the electronic waste since we dispose it in an unsound manner,” the councilor said.

The Environment Management Board (EMB) has accredited more than three companies to handle disposal of e-wastes.

“E-wastes are special wastes and they are supposed to be treated separately. The  accredited operators will dismantle and crush these wastes before they recycle and sell them outside,” EMB-7 Regional Director William P. Cuñado said./ with Xavier University Intern Ana Liza Jane Banaynal

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TAGS: Cebu City, cellphone, Inayawan landfill, solid waste management

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