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Cheung Sha Wan clinic convicted of illegal disposal of clinical waste including syringes
     A private clinic in Cheung Sha Wan, Doctor Fung Kin Wah's Clinic, which mixed clinical waste items with general refuse for illegal disposal was fined $50,000 at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts today (June 22) for contravening the Waste Disposal (Clinical Waste) (General) Regulation. The EPD is considering referring the case to the Medical Council of Hong Kong for its follow-up action.

     During a blitz operation last December, Environmental Protection Department (EPD) staff intercepted an employee of a clinic at Castle Peak Road for mixing its clinical waste with general refuse for disposal at an alley nearby. A total of 85 syringes with needles, 45 needles and 26 used ampoules were found. Prosecution was subsequently initiated against the responsible person who operates the clinic.

     An EPD spokesman said that the department is very concerned about the improper disposal of clinical waste by individual medical institutions. Since 2015, over 700 blitz operations have been conducted from time to time throughout the territory at locations including Chinese and Western medical clinics, veterinary clinics, medical laboratories and nursing homes. Two other convictions for similar prosecution cases were recorded during the period.

     The spokesman said that improper handling of clinical waste not only pollutes the environment but also endangers the public, as clinical waste may carry infectious materials. Cleaning workers and scavengers may also be injured by needles or other sharp items mixed with general refuse. The EPD will continue to conduct surprise inspections at medical institutions to deter illegal acts. Prosecution will be initiated if any illegal disposal of clinical waste is detected.

     According to the Waste Disposal (Clinical Waste) (General) Regulation, clinical waste must be collected by licensed clinical waste collectors or self-delivered by healthcare professionals to the licensed Chemical Waste Treatment Centre at Tsing Yi for treatment. It is an offence to mix any clinical waste with general refuse for disposal. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000.

     Members of the public and property management offices may report any suspected illegal disposal of clinical waste to the EPD at 2835 1055.
Ends/Thursday, June 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:00
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