Kadoorie Animal Hospital in Mong Kok convicted of dumping clinical waste on pedestrian walkway

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Kadoorie Animal Hospital, a veterinary clinic at Soares Avenue in Mong Kok, was caught mixing clinical waste with general refuse for illegal disposal on a pedestrian walkway. It was fined $30,000 at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts today (March 8) for failing to comply withthe requirements on clinical waste disposal as stipulated by the Waste Disposal (Clinical Waste) (General) Regulation.

     During a blitz operation in September last year, Kadoorie Animal Hospital was caught red-handed by Environmental Protection Department (EPD) staff discarding its clinical waste, which included six plastic bottles with animal blood and used syringes, together with general refuse on the pedestrian walkway outside the clinic at Soares Avenue in Mong Kok. Prosecution was subsequently taken against its operating company, Hong Yi Animal Medical Company Limited, for contravening the Waste Disposal (Clinical Waste) (General) Regulation after investigation and evidence collection.

     An EPD spokesman said that the department is very concerned about illegal disposal of clinical waste by medical institutions.

In 2017, EPD enforcement officers conducted some 300 blitz operations at various premises, including Western and Chinese medical clinics, veterinary clinics, medical laboratories and nursing homes. In addition to today's conviction, there were four convictions on illegal disposal of clinical waste in 2017, while the prosecutions of a further two suspected cases are under way.

     The spokesman said that improper handling of clinical waste poses a threat to public health and the environment. Some clinical waste may carry infectious materials, while mixing syringe needles and other sharps waste with general refuse is dangerous to cleaning workers and the general public.

The EPD will continue to conduct blitz inspections against suspicious medical institutions to combat illegal disposal of clinical waste.

     According to the Waste Disposal (Clinical Waste) (General) Regulation, clinical waste must be collected by licensed clinical waste collectors or self-delivered by healthcare professionals to the licensed Chemical Waste Treatment Centre at Tsing Yi for treatment. It is an offence to mix any clinical waste with general waste for disposal. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000.

The EPD reminded all responsible people and staff of medical institutions that they must collect, handle and dispose of clinical waste properly in accordance with the legal requirements. Members of the public and property management offices may report any suspected illegal disposal of clinical waste to the EPD at 2835 1055.

Published on: 2018-03-08

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