EPD detects illegal collection, storage and handling of chemical waste by Yuen Long recycling site
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The operator and the responsible person of a recycling site in San Tin, Yuen Long, who illegally collected, stored and handled hazardous electronic waste (e-waste), were convicted and fined a total of $46,000 at Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (February 27) for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation.
During the operations by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) officers in May last year, a recycling site in San Tin, Yuen Long, was caught handling used printed circuit boards (PCBs) and waste lead acid batteries (WLABs) illegally. A total of about five tonnes of chemical waste was found and the total market value was about $500,000. Upon in-depth investigation and evidence gathering, the EPD initiated prosecutions against the recycling site operator and the responsible person.
The spokesman explained that hazardous e-waste, including waste flat display panels, WLABs and waste PCBs dismantled from electrical appliances, contains heavy metals (such as lead and mercury) and other toxic chemicals.
Improper handling of such waste can cause harm to the environment and public health.
The spokesman reminded all waste collectors, importers and exporters and operators of recycling sites that chemical waste producers should register with the EPD in accordance with the WDO and the Regulation. Chemical waste must be properly packaged, labelled and stored, and has to be collected by licensed chemical waste collectors for delivery to licensed chemical waste disposal facilities for disposal. A valid permit has to be obtained from the EPD for importing or exporting such waste (including transshipment through Hong Kong).
It is an offence for anyone to collect, store, dispose of, import or export chemical waste not according to the legal requirements. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. For subsequent offences, offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and two years' imprisonment.
Members of the public may visit the EPD's website for more 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: 2018-02-27
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