Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ18: Fluorescent Lamp Recycling Programme

     Following is a question by the Hon Audrey Eu Yuet-mee and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, at the Legislative Council meeting today (July 7):


     Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and fluorescent tubes have been more commonly used by the public in recent years, but such products contain mercury which may cause pollution if they are improperly disposed of.  The Government launched a Fluorescent Lamp Recycling Programme (the Programme) on March 15, 2008, aiming to recycle 400,000 used CFLs and fluorescent tubes and deliver them to the Chemical Waste Treatment Plant at Tsing Yi for treatment.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of CFLs recycled each year since the implementation of the Programme;

(b) of the quantity of mercury-containing waste treated last year by the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre at Tsing Yi;

(c) whether the authorities have, since the implementation of the Programme, considered increasing the number of collection points and extending the network of collection points to include the estate offices of the Housing Authority in various districts, courts of the Home Ownership Scheme and offices of District Council members; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(d) whether it has considered extending the types of participating companies in the Programme to those in the catering and retailing industries, as well as property management companies of commercial buildings; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(e) whether it has compiled statistics on the quantities of CFLs and fluorescent tubes disposed of at landfills in 2008, 2009 and 2010 (from January till to date); if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(f) whether it knows the respective quantities of CFLs and fluorescent tubes imported into Hong Kong in each of the past three years; and

(g) of the projected quantities of CFLs and fluorescent tubes to be discarded in Hong Kong in the coming three years; if a projection has not been made, of the reasons for that?



     The Fluorescent Lamp Recycling Programme (the Programme), launched by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) in March 2008, provides households with free collection and treatment for all used fluorescent lamps, including fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and high intensity discharge lamps.  The objective is to reduce the environmental risk from improper disposal of these lamps and to recover useful materials for recycling.

     Our reply to the various parts of the question is as follows:

(a) The quantities of used fluorescent lamps recovered under the Programme as at April 2010 are as follows:

Year              Quantities recovered (no.)*
2008 (from March)              164,000
2009                           312,000
2010 (as at April)             106,000
* Including fluorescent tubes, CFLs and high intensity discharge lamps

(b) In 2009, the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre in Tsing Yi treated 192 tonnes of mercury-containing chemical waste.

(c) The EPD provided 53 public collection points for the community when the Programme was launched in 2008.  With our continuous efforts, the number of public collection points has increased to 68.  Recently, a chain housewares store has agreed to join the Programme.  The number of public collection points will further increase to 124 this August when 56 outlets of the store begin to place collection bins at the shops.

     Besides, a total of 788 housing estates have joined the Programme.  They include 157 public rental housing estates under the Housing Authority, 57 Home Ownership Scheme estates, 38 Housing Society estates, 58 Government quarters and 478 private housing estates (including 17 Tenants Purchase Scheme estates).  Separately, our mobile collection vehicles collect used fluorescent lamps in different areas weekly.  On the whole, the Programme covers all 18 districts to provide collection service to the residents.

(d) In addition to collecting used fluorescent lamps generated by average households under the Programme, the EPD has set up the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre in Tsing Yi to provide collection and treatment of used fluorescent lamps directly to commercial and industrial entities, including caterers, retailers and commercial property management companies.

(e) As used fluorescent lamps disposed of at landfills have usually been mixed with other waste, we do not have the data concerned.

(f) The Census and Statistics Department's figures show that the net imports of fluorescent tubes and CFLs stood at 13.7 million in 2007, 21.1 million in 2008 and 17.9 million in 2009.

(g) The Government has not projected the quantities of used fluorescent lamps to be discarded in the coming three years.  With the increasing public awareness on energy saving, we anticipate a rise in the use of such products as CFLs by the public.  We will continue through implementation of the Programme to encourage the public to properly dispose of the used fluorescent lamps so as to prevent the disposal of these lamps at landfills.

Ends/Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Issued at HKT 11:57


Print this page