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Progressive implementation of producer responsibility scheme to boost e-waste recycling
     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) announced today (August 4) that as the implementation of the producer responsibility scheme (PRS) on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is making good progress, the various services provided under WEEE Go Green (WGG) programme operated by St James' Settlement will gradually be succeeded by the services of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Treatment and Recycling Facility (WEEETRF) under the PRS or by other services to further assist people in recycling their e-waste.

     "The Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) has since 2010 been providing funding support to St James' Settlement for the operation of the WGG programme. In the past six years, the different types of WEEE collected through the programme amounted to about
1 600 tonnes in total, all of which have been reused or recycled. The programme has allowed us to accumulate relevant experience to prepare for the PRS," said an EPD spokesperson.

     The WGG programme provides regular collection services for some 500 residential housing estates. E-waste items that are still serviceable are donated to the needy for reuse after checking and refurbishment. Other items are dismantled and recycled. It is estimated that to date the programme has donated over 25 000 pieces of refurbished equipment to some 7 800 needy families.

     In February last year, the Legislative Council (LegCo) approved funding for the development of the WEEETRF through the "Design, Build, Operation" contractual arrangement. The facility is expected to be commissioned by mid-2017. Thereafter, it will have the capability to handle 30 000 tonnes of e-waste annually, turning it into resources after a series of detoxification, dismantling and recycling processes. At present, the facility is under construction. The operator is also making the necessary preparations for the "Operate" phase, including the progressive establishment of the collection network.

     The ECF's funding support for the second phase of the WGG programme will expire by October this year. In view of the implementation of the PRS on WEEE, the EPD and St James' Settlement had further discussions and jointly came to the view that the programme has successfully completed its targets and that the various collection, donation and dismantling services under the programme will be succeeded by other replacement services. Details are set out at the Annex. For enquiries, please call 2676 8888 or visit the EPD's website:www.wastereduction.gov.hk/en/workplace/weee_intro.htm.

     The EPD spokesperson said, "St James' Settlement is our key partner in the preparation of the PRS on WEEE. We are grateful to the WGG staff for their major contributions to e-waste recycling and the full implementation of PRS."

     In March this year, the LegCo also enacted the Promotion of Recycling and Proper Disposal (Electrical Equipment and Electronic Equipment) (Amendment) Ordinance 2016, providing the legal framework for the PRS. The Government is engaging the trade and relevant stakeholders to finalise the various operational details and will introduce proposals for the necessary subsidiary legislation.
Ends/Thursday, August 4, 2016
Issued at HKT 14:15
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