Plastic recycling site in Shui Lau Tin in Yuen Long convicted of generating excessive noise

     A plastic recycling site in Shui Lau Tin, Yuen Long belonging to Eastone Investment Limited generated excessive noise, causing a nuisance to nearby residents. The company was convicted and fined $10,000 at Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (January 7) for contravening the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO).

     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) received a complaint from a member of the public earlier about the above-mentioned plastic recycling site causing a noise nuisance. After carrying out an investigation and a noise assessment at the scene, EPD officers confirmed that the plastic recycling site generated excessive noise at night. The EPD then issued a noise abatement notice to the operating company of the plastic recycling site, mandating the implementation of effective noise mitigation measures with the aim of ensuring that noise generated at the site is lower than the relevant statutory limit.

     During a follow-up inspection, enforcement officers of the EPD discovered that the plastic recycling site did not comply with the requirements of the notice by generating noise reaching 58 decibels (dBs) at night, exceeding the relevant statutory limit by 8 dBs. The noise generated at the site caused a great nuisance to nearby residents. Subsequently, the EPD prosecuted the operating company of the plastic recycling site in accordance with the law.

     A spokesman for the EPD reminded operators of plastic recycling sites that they must properly design their workshops and install suitable as well as effective pollution control and noise abatement equipment. They must also arrange for experienced technicians to carry out regular inspections and maintenance of their equipment with a view to avoiding the day-to-day operation of such equipment causing a nuisance to nearby residents.

     In addition to strengthening law enforcement, the EPD will hold briefings in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Recycling Fund on guidance about the recycling of plastics. The EPD will also produce a leaflet (see Annex, in Chinese only) to explain to members of the plastic recycling sector the related matters of environmental protection with a view to helping them avoid illegal activities.

     According to the NCO, anyone not complying with the requirements of a noise abatement notice commits an offence. Offenders may be liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 on first conviction. A maximum fine of $200,000 may be imposed on a subsequent conviction.

Ends/Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Issued at HKT 16:27