Government quiet about waste sites in New Territories

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 May, 2011, 12:00am


The EPD will not reveal the exact location of the 120 open-air storage sites for e-waste products in the New Territories. But it says none has broken any law.

A department 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.

He said that many of the sites were only used for a short time, because the handling of waste followed the changing needs of customers. He said some businesses were doing work, such as gathering electronic goods or taking them apart, that involved no dangerous substances such as chemicals.

Last year the department received 24 complaints about 11 of these sites, mainly about possible pollution, the spokesman said.

He said that while the department's checks on sites did not find that any environmental laws had been broken, the department workers 'reminded the operators of the environmental law requirements in respect of control of dust emissions, noise, waste disposal and wastewater discharges'.

When staff revisited the sites, some had improved and others were now empty, he said.

Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah refused to answer questions about the sites identified recently by the Post as doing work in a way that some people might think was bad for the environment.

Teresa Chiu of the secretary's office would not say whether Yau had raised concerns about the sites, why the government had been slow starting a 'polluter pays' scheme for electronic-goods waste or whether further checks would be carried out on possible dangers of open-air electronic-goods waste sites.