DOE puts a stop to illegal battery recycling at former plastic factory

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Penang Environment Department (DOE) has issued an Equipment Operation Detention order to a facility that was recycling batteries illegally at Ara Kuda here.

State DOE director Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab said the facility, a former plastic manufacturing factory, was found recycling used cadmium and lithium batteries.

It was raided by a team of enforcement officers from the state DOE on Thursday (Aug 18).

“The order has been imposed on the factory operator under Section 38 (1)(a) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 for processing and acquiring use of cadmium and lithium battery activities without a licence,” she said in a statement on Friday (Aug 19).

She said the order was issued immediately to prevent air pollution caused by heating and waste incineration.

She added that 250 bins containing lithium and cadmium waste were also seized in the operation.

“Initial investigation found that the waste material was brought in as air cargo to avoid strict inspection of sea routes,” she said, adding that the owner of the premises was believed to be a Chinese national.

She said the case was being investigated under Section 18 (1) of the Act for operating without a licence, and Section 34A(A) for conducting recycling activity of scheduled waste material without an environment impact assessment report and approval.

She added that the premises will be subjected to further investigation under other sections of the Act.

During the raid, a total of 93 compound notices amounting to RM186,000 were issued to the premises operator.

“The state DOE would like to remind the public that stern action will be taken against irresponsible parties who commit environmental crime or violate the Act and the rules contained within,” she added.