Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Eco group warns LGUs about ‘e-waste’ disposal

Destroyed illegal gambling paraphernalia can still be harmful, especially to the environment.

Environmental groups are now calling for Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and other local government officials to be careful in disposing electronic equipment. The Manila mayor recently led a team in destroying “video karera” TV sets as part of efforts to crack down on illegal gambling among the youth.

“We laud and support the unfaltering drive to stop addictive gambling activities that deflect youth attention away from their school and family responsibilities. But we call the attention of Mayor Lim to the hazards of crushing or burning the confiscated gambling paraphernalia,” said actor Roy Alvarez, president of the EcoWaste Coalition, in a statement.

Information sheets from the group revealed that television sets contain hazardous chemicals such as brominated flame retardants, cadmium, lead, mercury and several other chemicals, which can damage the nervous, gastro-intestinal and immune systems.

The group warned that smashing television screens would release toxins and glass shards detrimental to public health.

The city Department of Public Services told the group that the broken TVs were brought to a sanitary landfill in Barangay Tanza in Navotas City.

But the coalition advised that “e-waste,” or electronics waste, due to their toxic components, should not just be thrown away like any other garbage. “These are better sent to government-accredited electronic recyclers and dismantled in controlled conditions that will minimize the toxic discharge into the environment,” the group said.

Manny Calonzo of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives also warned against the burning of painted game boards “which releases toxic fumes, including cancer-causing pollutants.”


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