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EPD awards contract for waste electrical and electronic equipment treatment and recycling facility (with photos)

     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has awarded to ALBA Integrated Waste Solutions Hong Kong Limited (ALBA-IWS) a contract to design, build and operate a waste electrical and electronic equipment treatment and recycling facility (WEEETRF) at the EcoPark in Tuen Mun. Representatives of the two sides signed the contract today (May 8).

     "The WEEETRF is an essential facility in support of the new producer responsibility scheme (PRS) that is being progressively implemented to manage the e-waste generated from five types of regulated electrical and electronic equipment. To be equipped with relevant technologies for necessary detoxification, dismantling and recycling process, the WEEETRF will be capable of treating 30,000 tonnes of regulated e-waste annually, turning the waste into reusable raw materials such as plastic and metals," an EPD spokesperson said.

     The Government has earmarked about $550 million for the building of the WEEETRF at the EcoPark in Tuen Mun and its operating cost, which is payable in accordance with the volume of e-waste collected and treated in the facility, is estimated to be about $200 million a year.

     ALBA-IWS was awarded the WEEETRF contract following an open tender. ALBA-IWS is a joint venture comprising two internationally renowned companies specialising in the operation of recycling and environmental service (ALBA Asia Ltd) and provision of waste recycling technology (Erdwich Vertriebs GmbH) and a local company with experience in recyclable collection (IWS Environmental Technologies (Global) Company Ltd).

     The EPD spokesperson added that upon commissioning (tentatively by 2017), the WEEETRF would increase the overall technology standard and handling capacity of the local recycling industries which would in turn provide green jobs. Coupled with enhanced publicity and public education as well as other relevant measures under the new PRS, more people would participate in e-waste recycling, through which new opportunities may be created for local recycling industries.

     In order to provide a statutory regulatory framework for the PRS, the Promotion of Recycling and Proper Disposal (Electrical Equipment and Electronic Equipment) (Amendment) Bill 2015 was introduced into the Legislative Council in March 2015 and has since been scrutinised by a bills committee. The Bill proposes to include air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and television sets as well as computers and certain associated devices including printers, scanners and monitors (collectively referred to as regulated electrical equipment) in the PRS. Manufacturers and importers of regulated electrical equipment will be required to register as registered suppliers and pay a recycling fee for regulated electrical equipment that is distributed in Hong Kong. The Bill also proposes the following measures in relation to the collection, recycling and disposal of regulated e-waste:

* a seller must arrange, after distribution of regulated electrical equipment, a removal service for consumers free of charge so that the old equipment can be delivered to a competent recycler;

* any person who is engaged in the storage, treatment, reprocessing and recycling of regulated e-waste must obtain a waste disposal licence;

* a permit is required for the import and export of regulated e-waste; and

* regulated e-waste will no longer be accepted at landfills for disposal.

Ends/Friday, May 8, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:07


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