The Ministry of Environment has placed disposal bins for used batteries at an additional eight supermarkets in Phnom Penh to encourage people to avoid throwing them away with their regular garbage because batteries are technically classified as hazardous waste.
The ministry said that the disposal bins are now in place at markets such as the Sorya Shopping Mall, Plaza, Lucky Supermarkets, Exchange Square Eden Garden, Olympia, Stung Meanchey Thmey, TK and the Marts at Total and Tela gas stations.
“In the future, the Ministry of Environment will continue to expand the scope of disposal bins for used batteries in more important locations in provinces across the country. The ministry also calls on all people to continue participating in and helping to promote this battery waste collection project so that our environment has no battery waste,” the ministry added.
In July, the ministry set up battery disposal bins at locations such as Chip Mong NORO Mall, Chip Mong Bak Touk, Borey Peng Huoth Boeung Snor, PTT Gas Station & Cafe Amazon near Olympic Stadium, Star Mart at the Bokor traffic light and at Phsar Toch.
The ministry said battery waste is classified as hazardous because it contains heavy metals such as mercury, lead, zinc, and nickel.
Sophal Laska, director of hazardous substance management under the general directorate of environmental protection at the Ministry of Environment, said that heavy metals in batteries can seriously harm human health and the environment when the substances spread into the environment because they are not stored properly.
“Hazardous substances in waste batteries cause harmful effects to human health, including kidney damage, osteoporosis, neurological damage, memory loss, infertility, infant and child development problems as well as many other chronic diseases,” he said.
He said putting battery waste in these designated disposal bins was a way for every person to do their part in the mitigation of battery waste impacts in Cambodia.
The environment ministry issued the first prakas on safe battery management in 2016, laying out specific guidelines on the collection, storage, treatment, delivery and disposal of batteries by households and businesses alike.
According to the prakas, those who violate the guidelines could be punished under the Law on Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Management.