Department refuses to give locations of depots for e-waste

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 May, 2011, 12:00am


The Environmental Protection Department will not disclose the exact locations of the 120 open-air e-waste storage sites in the New Territories, and says none has violated any laws.

A spokesman said the sites were mainly in rural areas of North District and Yuen Long, including Ta Kwu Leng, Hung Lung Hang and Ha Tsuen.

'Many sites are temporary in nature with transient business operations to suit market needs,' he said, adding that the nature of operations could change from time to time. 'Some of them also engage in baling and simple dismantling operations that involve no processing of chemicals or other hazardous substances.'

Last year the department received 24 complaints about 11 of these sites, 'concerning mainly potential pollution nuisances', the spokesman said.

'While our site inspections did not find any violation of environmental law requirements, we reminded the operators of the environmental law requirements in respect of control of dust emissions, noise, waste disposal and wastewater discharges,' he said.

When staff revisited the sites, some had improved and others had become vacant, he said.

Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah refused to answer questions about the sites identified by the Post last Sunday as having questionable work practices.

Teresa Chiu from the secretary's office did not provide responses to questions on whether Yau had raised concerns about the sites, why the government had fallen behind schedule starting a 'polluter pays' scheme for e-waste or if further investigations would be carried out on the potential dangers posed by open-air e-waste sites.