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Recycling site operator, exporter and lorry driver convicted and fined for illegal collection and export of waste lead-acid batteries
     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (April 25) said that a recycling site in Sheung Shui, an import and export company and a lorry driver involved in the illegal collection, storage and export of waste lead-acid batteries (WLABs), which are classified as chemical waste, were convicted and fined a total of $41,000 at Fanling Magistrates' Courts on April 18 and today for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation (the Regulation).
     Acting upon intelligence, EPD staff conducted a blitz operation in Sheung Shui last September, in which a large quantity of WLABs were found illegally stored at a recycling site pending export. After investigation, EPD officers successfully traced the driver who illegally delivered WLABs to the recycling site, and intercepted at the Kwai Chung Container Terminals two cargo containers containing WLABs pending export, which were delivered from the recycling site. The EPD subsequently prosecuted all relevant parties using the evidence collected. Around 2 800 WLABs, which had neither been delivered to licensed chemical waste treatment facilities for disposal as stipulated by law nor been granted an export permit were involved in total, with an estimated market value exceeding $250,000.
     An EPD spokesman said, "The EPD has all along been taking stringent action against the illegal collection, disposal, import and export of chemical waste including WLABs. From 2016 till now, there have been 58 successful convictions of such offences. The EPD will continue to closely collaborate with relevant government departments to strictly combat these illegal activities."
     The spokesman reiterated that WLABs contain sulphuric acid and lead, and are classified as chemical waste. He reminded those chemical waste producers, including garages, recycling companies, operators of data centres and companies involved in installation and maintenance of telecommunication systems, should not sell or pass WLABs to non-licensed collectors including scrap metal dealers. Otherwise, it will constitute an offence.
     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 or 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/Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:43
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