Garage in Wan Chai and illegal waste car batteries collector fined

     A garage in Wan Chai and an illegal waste batteries collector were fined a total of $23,600 at Eastern Magistrates' Courts today (January 23) for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation. The prosecutions were brought by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) for the illegal disposal of waste lead acid batteries (WLABs).
     During a blitz operation in Wan Chai in June last year, EPD officers intercepted a truck which was illegally collecting WLABs from a garage. A total of 60 WLABs were found on the truck. After investigation, it was found that the garage had not registered as a chemical waste producer with the EPD, and handed its waste batteries to an illegal collector who did not possess a chemical waste collection licence. The EPD subsequently initiated prosecution against the garage and the illegal waste batteries collector for violating the WDO and the Regulation. The two defendants pleaded guilty today.
     An EPD spokesman said, "The EPD has stepped up inspections and blitz operations to combat the illegal collection and disposal of WLABs. To date, including 2016, there have been 22 cases of illegal collection and handling of WLABs which were intercepted by the EPD at various locations across the territory, with five cases involving garages illegally handing their waste batteries to non-licensed chemical waste collectors. Up till now, nine cases have already been convicted, while the remaining cases are either pending trial by the court or under investigation."
     The spokesman reminded those engaged in the businesses of vehicle repair, recycling, data centre operation, and the installation and maintenance of tele-communication systems that WLABs contain sulphuric acid and lead. They are classified as chemical waste and must be handled properly and strictly in accordance with legal requirements.
     According to the WDO and the Regulation, companies, institutions or premises which produce chemical waste must register with the EPD. Chemical waste must be properly packed, labelled and stored as stipulated by the law, and must be delivered by licensed chemical waste collectors to the EPD's licensed chemical waste treatment facilities for disposal. It is an offence for anyone to collect, store, dispose of, import or export chemical waste in a manner not in accordance with the legal requirements. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment.

Ends/Monday, January 23, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:56