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EPD prepares for implementation of Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (with photos)

     The Environmental Protection Department's (EPD) preparatory work for the implementation of the Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS) on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is making good progress, with the Chinese New Year (CNY) WEEE Recycling Collection Services just concluded and funding for the development of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Treatment and Recycling Facility (the facility) recently approved by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council. The related bill will be introduced to the Legislative Council later this month.

     The EPD has all along been arranging voluntary recovery activities to encourage proper disposal of WEEE in the community. Year-end recovery activities have now been organised for nine consecutive years to help the local community handle its WEEE, including items such computers, rechargeable batteries and fluorescent lamps and tubes, after the year-end clean-up.

     A spokesman for the EPD today (March 1) said, "About 600 housing estates signed up for the CNY WEEE Recycling Collection Services organised by the EPD. This year the number of participants increased by 50 per cent compared with last year. All public rental housing estates under the Housing Authority and housing estates under the Housing Society took part in the programme. The response is overwhelming and it also shows that public awareness of waste reduction has been enhanced. The recovery programme has been completed successfully. About 6,100 pieces of WEEE have been collected and delivered to three supporting organisations for treatment. The collected items will be repaired and refurbished and then donated to the needy. Some items will be dismantled so that reusable components and materials can be recovered."

     The EPD is planning to develop a treatment and recycling facility which has sufficient treatment capacity to handle WEEE generated in Hong Kong. With the funding approval of the Finance Committee on February 27, the EPD will complete the tendering process to appoint a Contractor as soon as possible in order to commence the design and construction of the facility for its commissioning within 2017.

     The spokesman said, "The facility will be located at the EcoPark in Tuen Mun and will handle WEEE including washing machines, refrigerators, air-conditioners, television sets and computer products. These five types of WEEE (regulated electrical equipment) will be included in the scope of regulated products under the PRS on WEEE. The replaced WEEE will be collected and transported to the facility for proper treatment including detoxification, dismantling and recycling, in order to turn waste into valuable resources."

     The planned facility will remove hazardous substances from WEEE and provide proper treatment. Most regulated products contain reusable materials, such as plastic and metals, which will be converted into raw materials for reuse through shredding and separation.

     The spokesman added that the treatment of any WEEE containing hazardous substances is subject to regulatory control and a Waste Disposal Licence must be obtained under the Waste Disposal Ordinance. With the introduction of the PRS, the Government will further legislate to enhance control over the storage, treatment, reprocessing and recycling of regulated electrical equipment. The bill also includes the following legislative proposals:

ĄŻĄ@To be in line with the "polluter pays" principle, the Government will collect a recycling fee from suppliers of regulated electrical equipment;
ĄŻĄ@The registered suppliers will provide recycling labels to indicate the regulated electrical equipment under the PRS;
ĄŻĄ@The suppliers will collect old products with recycling labels from consumers for free;
ĄŻĄ@The import and export of regulated WEEE will be controlled through a permit system; and
ĄŻĄ@The disposal of regulated electrical equipment at landfill will be prohibited.

     The Government will introduce the bill to the Legislative Council in March this year. Relevant details will be announced in due course.

     Please visit the Hong Kong Waste Reduction website ( or download the "Waste Less" mobile app for more information about waste recycling.

Ends/Sunday, March 1, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:02


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