Recycling shop and truck driver convicted for illegally collecting waste car batteries

     A scrap metal dealer in Ngau Tau Kok and a truck driver involved in the illegal collection of waste lead-acid batteries (WLABs), which are classified as chemical waste, were fined a total of $50,000 at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts today (March 23) for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation.

     During a blitz operation in August 2016, Environmental Protection Department (EPD) staff intercepted a truck which was illegally collecting a large quantity of WLABs from a scrap metal shop on Ting On Street, Ngau Tau Kok. Around 70 and 130 WLABs were found on the truck and inside the shop respectively. Upon investigation, the scrap metal dealer was found to have bought and collected waste batteries from garages in Kwun Tong and nearby areas for resale, but neither the dealer nor the driver involved possess a chemical waste collection licence. The EPD subsequently initiated prosecution against them in accordance with the WDO and the Regulation.

     The spokesman said, "The EPD has all along been taking stringent action against the illegal collection, handling, import and export of chemical waste. Waste generators who are involved in repair and maintenance business, including garages, operators of data centres and companies involved the installation and maintenance of telecommunication systems, should handle WLABs properly as they contain sulphuric acid and lead and are classified as chemical waste. They should hire licensed chemical waste collectors to collect WLABs to avoid posing a threat to the public and polluting the environment. It is an offence for anyone to supply WLABs to non-licensed collectors or scrap metal dealer."

     According to the WDO and the Regulation, companies, organisations and premises which produce chemical waste must register with the EPD. Chemical waste must be properly packed, labelled and stored as stipulated by law, and must be delivered to the EPD's licensed chemical waste treatment facilities for disposal by licensed chemical waste collectors. It is an offence for anyone to violate the WDO and the Regulation. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. A maximum fine of $500,000 and six months' imprisonment may be imposed on any subsequent conviction.

Ends/Thursday, March 23, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:30