E-Waste recycling firm ALBA Integrated Waste Solutions Hong Kong, a part of German recycling firm ALBA Group, has held a ground breaking ceremony at its 56,000 tonne per year WEEE recycling facility in Hong Kong today.
The company was joined by officials from the Hong Kong Government and the Environmental Protection Department today as work commenced at the site of its future Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Treatment and Recycling Facility (WEEETRF) at the EcoPark in Tuen Mun to celebrate the ground breaking of the project.
According to ALBA IWS, the plant will be Hong Kong’s first WEEE treatment facility and a milestone in Hong Kong’s development of the Producers Responsibility Scheme (PRS) for WEEE.
The added that the general demand for electrical and electronic equipment is developing fast as it brings convenience to modern life. However, such convenience results in increasing disposal of WEEE. Each year, some 70,000 tonnes of WEEE are said to be discarded from households, businesses and institutions in Hong Kong.
To tackle the problem, the Hong Kong Government signed contract with ALBA IWS in May 2015 to design and build the WEEETRF, provide a collection service and operate the facility until 2027.
It is expected that the new plant will create up to 280 jobs for the people of Hong Kong. The company said that the facility will use state-of-the art technology provided by the ALBA Group to process TVs, computers, washing machines and air-conditioners into valuable secondary raw materials while controlling the management of the hazardous materials that are contained in this equipment.
“We awarded the contract for the WEEE Treatment and Recycling Facility to ALBA-IWS last year,” explained Mr. WONG Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment. “Key partners of this joint venture include ALBA, a large recycling company in Germany, and IWS, a recyclable collector rooted in Hong Kong. We are confident that with their extensive experience in the environmental industry, they will be able to proactively source regulated e-waste within the community for proper treatment at the facility, thus making the mandatory PRS a success.”
Producers Responsibility Scheme
With the introduction of the PRS in 2016, the Hong Kong Government will develop further regulations to enhance control over the storage, treatment, reprocessing and recycling of the regulated electrical equipment.
Consequently, the management, treatment or disposal of any specified WEEE will be subject to regulatory control and a Waste Disposal License must be obtained under the Waste Disposal Ordinance.
Reuse & Refurbishment
Once operational e-waste arriving at the WEEETRF that is still in good condition will be picked out and refurbished for donation to the needy by NGO engaged by the ALBA-IWS.
The e-waste that cannot be refurbished will be dismantled to remove elements of the equipment, for example, compressors, cable, capacitors and coils, for recycling.
ALBA IWS explained that toxic substances, such as refrigerants, mercury-containing backlight of flat panels, leaded glass of cathode ray tube televisions, will be removed in a controlled environment and sent separately for proper treatment.
The remaining recyclable components will then be shredded and sorted into different types of useful materials, such as metals and plastics for reuse as secondary raw materials.
The company said that the facility will transform up to 30,000 tonnes of regulated e-waste into valuable raw materials each year. The capacity can be increased up to 57,000 tonnes by arranging additional shifts for the operation of the facility on a demand basis.
In addition to the operation of the recycling plant, ALBA IWS said that it will also be responsible for the collection of the WEEE materials. The company will establish a series of collection hubs over Hong Kong where the materials will be consolidated for transportation to the facility at the Eco Park.
Upon request by sellers of regulated electrical equipment as part of their take back obligations, ALBA-IWS said that it will provide free removal service to collect old equipment from consumers’ premises. Members of public can hand over the regulated e-waste at all of the collection hubs.
“As a company firmly rooted in Hong Kong, ALBA-IWS will work with the community to address the rising need for waste collection and management and contribute to the development of a greener Hong Kong,” commented Mr. Cheng Chi Ming, Brian, Chairman of Integrated Waste Solutions Group Holdings Limited.
A Video explaining the facility can be viewed below.
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