‘Blitz Enforcement Operation’ Tackles Non-Compliant Recyclers : Fines Following Raid on Illegal E-Waste Recycling Facility in Hong Kong

Hong Kong EPD ewaste weee hazardous waste recycling
© Hong Kong EPD

A recycling site in Yuen Long, Hong Kong, which illegally handled hazardous electronic waste has been raided during an inter-departmental ‘blitz enforcement operation’ in January by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has been formally convicted.

The company concerned, Mei Wah Environmental (Hong Kong) Company Limited, was convicted at Fanling Magistrates' Courts on 7 August for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation and was fined a total of $130,000. The same company was also fined $41,000 in May this year for contravening the WDO and the Regulation.

An EPD spokesman explained that a blitz operation was jointly conducted with the Police at various recycling sites at Shan Ha Tsuen in Yuen Long.

It was found that a recycling site operated by Mei Wah Environmental (Hong Kong) Company Limited illegally stored waste printed circuit boards (PCBs) and LCD monitors, which are classified as chemical waste.

Around 6700 waste LCD monitors and five bags of waste PCBs weighing about 1.2 tonnes were found during the operation, with a total market value of approximately $800,000.

Upon investigation and evidence gathering, the EPD initiated prosecution against the operator of the recycling site concerned in accordance with the Regulation.

The spokesman stressed that dismantled or destroyed PCBs, LCD monitors and cathode ray tubes are hazardous e-waste, containing heavy metals and other toxic substances. They are classified as chemical waste and are regulated under the existing laws on chemical waste disposal.

The EPD said that it is committed to combating the illegal collection, storage, handling and import and export activities of hazardous e-waste.

Anyone who violates the above laws is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment for the first conviction. For subsequent offences, offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and two years' imprisonment.

More information about the control of chemical wastes in Hong Kong can be found HERE

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