Companies operating open yard and site manager convicted and fined for illegal collection and storage of waste lead-acid batteries

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Two companies and a site manager involved in the illegal collection and storage of waste lead-acid batteries at an open yard were fined a total of $25,000 at Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (January 12) for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation. The Court also ordered the confiscation of more than 9 000 waste lead-acid batteries seized with an estimated total market value of $450,000.
     An Environmental Protection Department (EPD) spokesman said that a truck transporting waste lead-acid batteries was intercepted in Tuen Mun on February 26 last year, leading to the seizure of more than 9 000 waste lead-acid batteries at an open yard in Yuen Long. Based on the evidence collected during the subsequent investigation, the EPD initiated prosecutions against those involved.
     The company, which had illegally collected waste lead-acid batteries at the open yard, the company who rented the open yard and the site manager pleaded guilty today and were fined $25,000 in total.

Earlier, the transport company, the driver and the truck porter involved in transporting the waste lead-acid batteries had already pleaded guilty at Fanling Magistrates' Court and were fined a total of $45,000.
     The spokesman said, "The EPD has all along been taking stringent action against the illegal collection, storage, import and export of waste lead-acid batteries. The EPD has also stepped up blitz operations against such illegal activities to protect the environment. The EPD will strictly enforce the law and initiate prosecution against those involved if there is sufficient evidence.

In this case, the defendants, having collected and stored a large quantity of waste lead-acid batteries at the open yard for export purposes, seriously violated the ordinance. The transport company, driver and truck porter convicted earlier also violated the law by transporting the waste lead-acid batteries to the open yard."
     He said the EPD is glad to see the successful convictions of all those involved in the case, and that the Government will not tolerate such illegal activities.
     The spokesman reminded those engaged in the businesses of vehicle repair, recycling, data centre operations and the installation and maintenance of telecommunication systems that waste lead-acid batteries contain sulphuric acid and lead. They are classified as chemical waste and must be handled and disposed of properly in accordance with legal requirements.
     According to the Waste Disposal Ordinance and Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation, companies, organisations or premises which produce chemical waste must register with the EPD.

Chemical waste must be properly packed, labelled and stored as stipulated by law, and must be delivered to the EPD's licensed chemical waste treatment facilities for disposal by licensed chemical waste collectors. It is an offence for anyone to collect, store, dispose of, import or export chemical waste in a manner not in accordance with legal requirements. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment.

Published on: 2017-01-12

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