Admit it, you probably have some old electrical appliance or electronic gadget lying around at home that have not been used for years. Although electronic products such as computers, printers or scanners are an integral part of everyday life, they can become obsolete fast and hence the problem of disposing them. The United Nation estimates that about 20-50 million tonnes of e-wastes are generated globally every year.
What is e-waste?
“E-waste” is a broken, non-working or old/obsolete electric electronic appliance such as TV, PC/laptop, air conditioner, washing machine and refrigerator. “Household e-waste” means e-waste that comes from household, commercial, or institutional. E-waste is becoming a global issue because of tremendous growth of demands on electrical and electronic equipment and the disposal after use. Disposed e-waste sometimes can cause health and environmental hazard if they are not handled properly. Besides, many of these appliances can be re-used, refurbished, or recycled.
Updated 23 June 2020: Added ERTH to the list.
Recycle For Life (RFL)
Recycle For Life (RFL) is a recycling program that rewards cash through the use of a smart card. The concept was initiated and conceived by Cenviro together with MyKasih Foundation, which is a non-profit organisation with a mission to help impoverished families and students. RFL will collect your recyclable items, weigh them, and credit a cash value into your RFL smart card based on the recyclables’ current market price. Through smart partnerships and collaborations, you can purchase goods at selected hypermarkets, bookshops, or participating partner outlet’s stores. The cool part of this RFL program is that they even have a mobile app for you to access your real-time #trashforcash transaction history, as well as obtain info on their waste collection locations and dates. Items that are accepted for recycling here include paper, plastic, steel, alunimium, and household e-waste (TV, laptop, handphone, washing machine,aircond, fridge, desktop, radio, speakers, VCD/DVD player, camera, modem, fan, blender, etc).
UrbanR Recycle+ is based in Cheras and collects scraps of electronics and electrical devices and “computer stuff” including cables, CDs and cassettes, as well as regular recyclable waste like paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans, drink cartons, old clothes, and batteries. The amount you get back varies, and of course, the condition of said items. They will only charge a collection fee if the items that need to be picked up are large household appliances, such as refrigerators and washing machines. You can also drop the items off at their store, Artemis Space in 1 Shamelin Mall. Besides recycling collection activities, they also host 3R seminars and workshops to increase awareness and educate the public about recycling and being environmentally friendly.
At first glance, you might think ERTH is a unique way to spell Earth, but according to their website, it actually stands for E-waste Recycling Through Heroes; who are dedicated individuals who earn an income while saving our planet. Based in Penang, with a dropoff point in Cyberjaya, ERTH stands out not only because of its various collaborations with MNC companies and organisations, they also offer competitive rates to collect your e-waste, and recycle 100% of the electronics collected with a government-licensed recycling facility. You don’t need to have a huge amount of e-waste to recycle in order for them to collect from you; they’ll pick it up from you with just a minimum of 5 items.
SOLS Tech refurbishes old and unused electronic devices such as computers donated by the public, and delivers them to needy communities in an attempt to close the digital divide. It is a computer refurbishing initiative under not-for-profit organisation, SOLS 24/7. As a Microsoft-licensed refurbisher, they guarantee that “donated computers are refurbished to the highest standard possible, data wiped, and equipped with original software”. Items can be dropped off at their office in Taman Sri Sinar, but do give a call before you visit.
Used Computer Malaysia
If your school or company has a bunch of unused e-waste lying around, this would be a good time to get rid of them and get some cashback in the process. Used Computer Malaysia collects all types of e-waste and handles large scale centralized processing, consolidation, sorting and recycling of e-waste at its facilities in Pulau Indah, Port Klang and has branches in Penang, Sabah and Sarawak. They accept a wide range of IT inventories for trade-in including desktops, laptops, netbooks, LED & LCD monitors, Apple iMacs, and MacBooks, as well as household appliances such as mobile phones, tablets, TVs, washing machines, and microwave ovens. Although the website mentions that it caters to large scale management and disposal of IT and electronics, regular households and small businesses can also get a quote and request for e-waste collection via the handy calculator tool on its main page.
T-Pot Electrical & Electronics
One look at their Facebook page and you may think it’s just another electronics and electrical appliances shop, but it turns out that T-Pot has a “Turn Your E-Waste Into Cash” program which purchases scrap / spoilt / used computer parts and any electrical or electronic waste from corporate business, government bodies and walk-in individuals. They sometimes do trade-in promotions too! The company is certified by the Department of Environment (DOE) Malaysia for e-waste collection and holds a scrap dealer license from the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).
Thanam Industries Sdn Bhd offers secure and certified computer disposal service with collections from anywhere in Malaysia. Items collected are like monitors, CPU, hard disks, printer, laptops or notebooks, servers, network routers and firewalls, motherboards and, other related computer parts and accessories. According to Thanam Industry, most electronic wastes go through a recycling system called WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. WEEE recycles up to 95-98% by weight of all e-wastes passed through it, but also ensures that any data left on hard drives and memories are thoroughly destroyed too. Do note that they mainly deal with big companies or organizations for e-waste disposal, so you may want to contact them first for more enquiries. In fact, they can even help you turn your old junk scrap car into money….
Pertubuhan Amal Seri Sinar (PASS)
You won’t get any cashback from donating your e-waste here, but rest assured it will go to a good cause. PASS has over 300 orange-coloured recycle bins located around the Klang Valley for the public to drop off their e-waste and other recyclables. You can also find them at 26 mobile locations every weekend – which are updated on their Facebook page – or call them to pick up bulkier items.
Apart from providing industrial e-waste recycling service, Meriahtek feels that it should share the responsibility of creating awareness among the public on effective and efficient ways of handling waste electrical and electronic disposal. It has a “Drive Thru and Drop Off E-Waste Centre” located in the parking lot of AEON Bandaraya Melaka where people can conveniently dispose of their e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner.
Last but not least…
If you have old clothes to give away/donate after spring cleaning, you can also bring them to stores like Uniqlo, H&M, and Monki to exchange for discount vouchers. Granted, you won’t receive any cashback for your clothes, but you get to save some money when buying that new blouse or dress you’ve been eyeing, so it’s pretty much the same, right? 😉