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Inter-departmental efforts in combating illegal collection of hazardous electronic waste result in successful prosecutions against recycling site operators and workmen
     The operator and workmen of two recycling sites in North District, who illegally produced, stored and dismantled hazardous electronic waste (e-waste), were convicted and fined a total of $27,000 by the Fanling Magistrates' Courts on May 2 and today (May 9) for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation.

     A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said that during a joint operation entitled "Operation Dawn" in September 2016, the EPD and relevant law enforcement departments conducted surprise inspections at open recycling sites in North District in the New Territories. A large quantity of regulated hazardous e-waste was intercepted at four recycling sites, including over 4 000 waste LCD monitors and waste lead-acid batteries, with a total estimated export market value of around $2.4 million. Following a thorough investigation and the completion of evidence collection, the EPD initiated prosecutions against the operating companies and responsible persons of the four recycling sites for contravening the WDO and the Regulation. In addition to the two aforementioned convicted recycling sites, the prosecution cases for the remaining two sites have been scheduled for court trials in late May.

     The spokesman said, "All along, the EPD has been very concerned about the illegal collection of hazardous e-waste in recycling sites. To protect the environment, we will continue to conduct surprise inspections and joint enforcement operations to strictly combat the illegal collection, storage, disposal, import and export of hazardous e-waste by recycling sites. Prosecution against offenders will be carried out should there be sufficient evidence."

     The EPD reminded operators of the industry that they should strictly comply with the relevant legal requirements. They shall register with the EPD in accordance with the law if they produce chemical waste such as waste LCD monitors and waste lead-acid batteries. Chemical waste must be properly packed, labelled and stored as stipulated by the WDO and the Regulation, and must be collected by licensed chemical waste collectors for delivery to the licensed chemical waste disposal facilities for disposal. Importing or exporting chemical waste without a permit from the EPD constitutes an offence. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment.

     Members of the public may visit the EPD's website for more information about the control of chemical waste: www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/guide_ref/guide_cwc.html.
Ends/Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:20
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