The Malaysian Department of Environment (DOE) launches the automotive treatment facility pilot project to realise sustainable vehicle disposal methods
Earlier this month, the Minister of Environment and Water launched the Authorised Automotive Treatment Facility (AATF) Pilot Project in a ceremony held virtually.
AATF is a facility that will carry out the disposal of components, especially components that contain scheduled waste from vehicles that have been deregistered by the Ministry of Transport Malaysia. The components will be segregated for reuse, recycling or recovery and final disposal. This facility is licensed by the Department of Environment (DOE) under Section 18, Environmental Quality Act 1974.
This sustainable initiative was introduced by the DOE to address the issue of abandoned vehicles which is gaining public attention because it is seen to have the potential to cause environmental pollution if not managed properly.
Based on complaints received by the Public Complaints Bureau (BPA) related to the problem of abandoned vehicles, a total of 15,019 cases were recorded for the period 2014 to 2017. While the increase in the number of registered vehicles has also contributed to the increase in idle vehicles in the country.
In 2019, based on information from the Road Transport Department (JPJ), there will be at least 60,000 abandoned vehicles nationwide. Factors that cause this problem are obsolete vehicles, difficulty in obtaining spare parts and vehicle owners are not knowledgeable about the process of disposing of these vehicles.
These abandoned vehicles contain wastes such as lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries, electronic components, asbestos brake pads, used engine oil, engine coolant and so on that need to be properly managed to ensure environmental sustainability. All these wastes need to be managed and disposed of properly at facilities licensed by the DOE.
If not addressed properly, this issue is expected to continue to cause problems as the number of motor vehicles in the country increases every year.
To date, a total of eight companies have been identified for the success of this pilot project and with the existing licensed automotive treatment facilities, this can be a benchmark to the development of other licensed automotive treatment facilities in the future.
These efforts will also catalyse the application of aspects of green technology to drive low carbon development in the country. It is in line with the National Automotive Policy 2020 that with the increase of more vehicle manufacturing and assembly plants in the country in the future.
Potentially, this DOE initiative opens up opportunities towards the implementation of the economic cycle concept which AATF is also an important input in the waste to wealth approach through recycling, reuse and recovery activities from this industry.