Waste lead acid battery collector and garage owner convicted for illegal collection and handling of chemical waste

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      A scrap metal collector and a vehicle repair workshop owner in Tsuen Wan, who illegally collected and handled chemical waste, were fined a total of $16,000 by Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts today (November 30) and Fanling Magistrates' Courts last Tuesday (November 21)respectively for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation.

     During an enforcement operation in May, Environmental Protection Department (EPD) staff found that a light goods vehicle was collecting waste lead acid batteries (WLABs) from vehicle repair workshops in Kwun Tong. The WLABs were generated from vehicle repairing and classified as chemical waste. EPD staff later intercepted the scrap metal collector in To Kwa Wan and more than 10 WLABs were found in his vehicle.

In addition, during another enforcement operation in April at Heung Wo Street in Tsuen Wan, the department found that a vehicle repair workshop failed to properly label and store chemical waste, including WLABs and waste lubricating oil. Upon investigation, the EPD initiated prosecutions against the two persons respectively according to the WDO and the Regulation.

     An EPD spokesman said, "The EPD has stepped up blitz operations against illegal collection and handling of chemical waste including WLABs. From this January till now, there were 79 convictions for illegal collection and handling of WLABs."

     The spokesman said that WLABs contain sulphuric acid and lead while waste lubricating oil contains mineral oil.

Both are classified as chemical waste. Improper handling or disposal of such waste will pollute the environment and pose threats to public health. For replacement of vehicle batteries or lubricating oil, vehicle owners should engage the services of registered vehicle repair workshops or companies.

Operators engaged in vehicle repairing business should properly label and store chemical waste in accordance with the law. They must also engage the services of licensed chemical waste collectors to deliver their chemical waste to licensed chemical waste treatment facilities for disposal. Anyone who illegally collects, stores or disposes of chemical waste commits an offence and will be prosecuted.

First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment.

     Members of the public may visit the EPD's website for detailed information about the control of chemical waste: http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/guide_ref/guide_cwc.html" target="_blank">www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/guide_ref/guide_cwc.html.

Published on: 2017-11-30

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