SEN commends citizens for providing information to help EPD combat illegal waste disposal

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing today (November 10) issued letters of appreciation to two members of the public for fulfilling their civic responsibility by providing detailed information and assisting the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) in combatingillegal waste disposal activity. The department successfully brought prosecutions against two persons and issued another person with a fixed penalty notice.

     An EPD spokesman said that it received a video recording from a member of the public this May showing that waste tyres had been illegally discarded at Kam Tin Road in Yuen Long on a number of occasions between March and May. Using the information and video provided, the EPD traced two lorry drivers and subsequently initiated prosecutions against them in accordance with the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO).

One of the drivers was involved in eight illegal cases, and was convicted and fined $12,000 by Fanling Magistrates' Courts on October 24 for contravening the WDO. The court hearing on the suspected illegal activities of the other driver will be held on December 12.

     In addition, the EPD learned from an online video in early October that some waste was being transported by a private vehicle and discarded on the roadside near Tung Chau Street and Sham Shui Po Park. The EPD also received a report from the public on the case on the same day.

As requested by the EPD, the member of the public provided a video recording and relevant information for investigation. The department then successfully traced the person involved. Upon investigation, the EPD confirmed that he had violated the WDO and he was issued with a fixed penalty notice.

     Illegal disposal of waste not only adversely affects environmental hygiene, but can also cause road obstruction and pose a threat to road safety.

The spokesman urged members of the public to report to the EPD if they witness illegal dumping of construction waste. EPD enforcement staff will conduct investigation according to the information provided and initiate prosecution should there be sufficient evidence. The EPD will also combat illegal disposal of waste by conducting daily inspections and blitz operations.

     The spokesman reminded members of the public, especially those in the transportation and logistics sectors, that they should dispose of waste properly in accordance with the law, otherwise it constitutes an offence.

Reusable materials or waste with recycling value should be collected by recyclers, while non-recyclable waste should be delivered to appropriate waste management facilities, such as designated waste transfer stations, public fill reception facilities or landfills, for proper treatment or disposal.

     From January to September 2017, there were a total of 262 cases on violation of WDO resulted in prosecutions or fixed penalty notices being issued.

     Under the WDO, it is an offence for anyone to dispose of waste at public places, on government land or without the permission from land owners. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. A maximum fine of $500,000 and six months' imprisonment may be imposed on second or subsequent convictions.

In addition, a daily fine of $15,000 may be imposed for a continuing offence.

Published on: 2017-11-10

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