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EPD and schools collaborate in recycling waste electrical and electronic equipment (with photos)

     In the new school year, many students and schools may need to purchase computer equipment. To facilitate proper recycling of used computers, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has launched an initiative to provide a collection service for primary and secondary schools so as to recover the used computers from schools, students, teachers and alumni. The initiative also covers other recyclables such as electrical appliances and rechargeable batteries.

     A total of 143 schools have enrolled for the collection service, including 64 primary schools, 66 secondary schools and 13 through-train and other schools.

     The EPD has sent participating schools promotional materials and related recycling information for organising on-campus publicity activities. Students, teachers and alumni can take in their used computers, electrical appliances and rechargeable batteries according to the arrangements of individual schools. The EPD has made arrangements for free collection for three weeks starting from October 7 and the collected items will be transferred to three recycling programmes supported by the EPD. Refurbished and repaired items will be donated to the needy while the remainder will be dismantled so that reusable components and materials can be recovered.

     An EPD spokesman today (October 13) said, "We have been providing support to housing estates in recycling waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), including computers, rechargeable batteries and fluorescent lamps and tubes, for the past eight years. This year, we are making our first attempt to provide similar support to schools. This can encourage students to follow the 'Use Less, Waste Less' message by recycling replaced computers when they buy new ones. The EPD will consider organising similar activities to further promote recycling at schools."

     The items collected in this event will be transferred to the following three recycling programmes for treatment:

(1) Used computers

     The Computer Recycling Programme is managed by the Hong Kong WEEE Recycling Association and funded by the computer trade. Used computers would be refurbished and donated to those in need via a charity organisation. Computers that cannot be reused will be dismantled by designated recycler Vannex International Limited to recover reusable parts and materials for recycling.

(2) WEEE

     The WEEE Go Green programme organised by St James' Settlement is funded by the Environment and Conservation Fund. Appliances that can be reused are donated to the needy after repairs. Items that are beyond repair are dismantled and their useable components and materials are recovered for reuse and recycling.

(3) Rechargeable batteries

     The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme is managed by the Hong Kong WEEE Recycling Association and funded by the battery trade and manufacturers of electronic equipment. Rechargeable batteries collected would be packaged by type and sent to overseas facilities for recycling.

     To tackle the severe waste problem in Hong Kong, the Government will continue to reinforce the work on waste reduction and recycling, including the implementation of various mandatory producer responsibility schemes (PRSs). At present, the Government is actively working on the legislative proposal on WEEE for submission to the Legislative Council (LegCo) to ensure locally generated WEEE would be properly recycled in Hong Kong. At the same time, the EPD will report to LegCo about the public consultation results and way forward concerning the PRS on glass bottles. According to "Hong Kong: Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022", the Government will progressively study the need for PRSs on other recyclable items, including rechargeable batteries.

Ends/Sunday, October 13, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:00


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