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Deal signed with Japanese agency to tackle electronic waste

Sep 28. 2019
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By The Nation

A Japanese agency is joining hands with the Thai government to implement a demonstration project for an energy-saving resource circulation system to utilise electronic and electrical equipment waste (WEEE) in Thailand. Japan seeks to invest Bt130 million in the construction of a high-tech waste disposal project in Thailand that can recycle 400,000 tonnes.

Thailand’s Department of Industrial Works (DIW) signed a memorandum of understanding with the New Energy Development Organisation and Industrial Technology Japan (NEDO) for cooperation in waste and used electronic equipment management.

The move marks the revival of cooperation between the two agencies after an earlier attempt in 2015.

Improper treatment of WEEE has become an important issue as there are concerns that it may harm workers’ health and cause water and soil contamination.

Thongchai Chavalitphichet, director-general of the Department of Industrial Works, said that with the signing of this cooperation NEDO has requested funding from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and encouraged the private sector of Japan seeks to invest Bt130 million per month in the construct a 100-tonne waste disposal facility. ABIZ Corporation and Hidayakago Enterprise have been selected to operate the project as a pilot project or a prototype of recycling of used electrical products business in Thailand.

Currently, Thailand has about 148 electronic recycling plants, which is not enough for the amount of electronic waste generated in Thailand. Data from the Pollution Control Department in 2018 found that the remains of used electronic products from the community amounted to 414 billion tonnes and were expected to increase continuously.

"If we handle electronic waste incorrectly, regardless of whether we bring it to waste dumping area or hire people to sort or burn them, it will cause broad pollution. Therefore, there should be a selection of high-value electronic waste by using technology for recycling,” he said.

Investment in the waste management business was expected to increase in the future, especially to deal with electronic waste problems likely to arise from future industrial activities in the Eastern Economic Corridor.

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