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EPD steps up enforcement against illegal collection and trading of waste lead-acid batteries (with photos)

     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has stepped up surprise inspections to enhance enforcement against illegal collection and trading activities concerning waste lead-acid batteries, which are classified as chemical waste.

     On February 26, a truck carrying waste lead-acid batteries was intercepted by EPD enforcement officers and some 9 000 waste lead-acid batteries were subsequently seized at an open storage ground in Yuen Long. The EPD suspected that the case may involve illegal collection and storage of chemical waste, in this case waste lead-acid batteries, for export trading. The estimated market value of the seizure was about $500,000. The EPD is now conducting thorough investigation into the involved parties and will continue to collect evidence for prosecution.

     An EPD spokesman said today (March 3), "Waste lead-acid batteries contain sulphuric acid and lead. They are classified as chemical waste and must be properly handled to avoid causing harm to the environment and public health."

      According to the Waste Disposal Ordinance and Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation, the collection, storage and disposal of chemical waste, including waste lead-acid batteries, must be handled by licensed chemical waste collectors for delivery to the EPD's licensed chemical waste treatment facilities for treatment and disposal. It is an offence for anyone to collect, store, handle, 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.

     Lead-acid batteries are widely used in vehicles and large-sized powered machine equipment, large-scale telecommunication systems and backup power supply for computer server systems and data centres. The EPD reminds members of the trade in vehicle repair, powered machine equipment and computer and data systems to comply with relevant legal requirements. Waste lead-acid batteries must be handled by licensed chemical waste collectors. Anyone engaging in the collection, storage and disposal of chemical waste must obtain a license from the EPD and strictly comply with requirements of the regulations.

     More information about the control of chemical waste is available on the EPD's website:

Ends/Thursday, March 3, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:30


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