Lau Fau Shan recycling site fined $60,000 for illegal storage of hazardous electronic waste

     A recycling company and its responsible person, who were involved in the illegal storage of a large quantity of hazardous electronic waste, were fined $60,000 in total for contravening the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation at the Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (December 16).

     An Environmental Protection Department (EPD) spokesman said that during an enforcement inspection in March this year, its officers found that an open waste recycling site at Lau Fau Shan in Yuen Long stored large quantities of hazardous electronic waste, with about 12 000 waste cathode ray tubes (CRTs), with an estimated market export value of about $250,000.

     The EPD subsequently initiated prosecutions in accordance with the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation against the company operating the recycling site and the responsible person who were in possession of the above chemical waste. The company and the responsible person were convicted today and were fined $60,000 in total.

     The spokesman stressed, "The EPD has all along been taking stringent action against recycling sites involved in the illegal collection, storage, disposal, import and export of hazardous electronic waste. The EPD has also stepped up blitz operations and prosecuted the violators to protect the environment."

     CRTs found in waste old-fashioned television sets and computer monitors are regulated as chemical waste because they contain various toxic substances and heavy metals, including lead and its compounds, while improper handling of CRTs will cause harm to the environment and people's health. In this regard, any recycling site involved in the collection, storage, disposal or import and export of CRTs is regulated by the Waste Disposal Ordinance and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation. General use and normal sale of old television sets and computer monitors will not constitute danger or violate the law.

     The EPD reminds operators of the recycling trade that they should register with the EPD in accordance with the law if they produce chemical waste (including CRTs). Chemical waste must be properly packed, labelled and stored as stipulated by the law, and must be collected by licensed chemical waste collectors for delivery to the licensed chemical waste disposal facilities for disposal. Otherwise, it will constitute an offence. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment.

Ends/Friday, December 16, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:40