Millions of dollars' worth of poor-quality bathtubs and sinks are being ripped out of Home Ownership Scheme flats and dumped. A South China Morning Post investigation has found piles of discarded bathtubs, sinks, toilets and cisterns outside numerous estates, many of which end up in the territory's already bulging landfills. Frustrated residents and legislators say the problem stems from a long-standing Housing Authority practice of using low-quality fixtures in home ownership flats. They complain the fittings are almost useless and have to be immediately ripped out and replaced. 'I can use one word to describe them: bad,' said Chiu Po-shan, who lives at Yuk Ming Court in Tseung Kwan O. 'Everything is of such poor quality. We will have to dump everything.' Fellow resident Chu Cheuk-lun said: 'The bathtub is simply not practical - It's just three feet long. How can we use it? We have planned to dump everything and renovate all over again.' 'It doesn't feel right. I have spent $1.2 million just to get stuff of this poor quality,' said Cheung Sik-wing, moving into his flat at Tung Hei Court, Shau Kei Wan. Democratic Party legislator Lee Wing-tat supported calls for flats to be sold as a shell, allowing residents to choose their own fixtures. 'The present arrangement is a waste of money. It's also not environmentally friendly,' said the Housing Authority Home Ownership Committee member. 'When we talk to the flat owners, they ask: 'Why don't they just leave the kitchen and bathroom empty?',' he said. A series of questions lodged by the Post with the Housing Authority on Thursday has so far gone unanswered. But the authority's newly released review of the Home Ownership Scheme acknowledged the removal of fittings was wasteful and if done improperly could threaten the structure of the flat. The possibility of offering buyers 'the choice of upgraded fittings or no fittings at all' had been discussed but was 'not feasible'. The report cited building regulations requiring that bathroom and kitchen fittings 'must be provided to a prescribed standard before [an] occupation permit can be issued'. Other Housing Authority literature claims ownership scheme flats are 'built to standards comparable with good private developments'. About 200,000 flats have been sold since 1978, but Mr Lee estimated fittings had been ripped out of 15 to 20 per cent; others claim the figure is considerably higher. Flats were often sold more than a year before occupation, leaving ample time for personal fittings to be installed, he said. And if residents could buy the flats empty, purchase prices would drop. Families with incomes of up to $25,000 a month can apply to buy the units, sold at about half their market value. Buyers are guaranteed a mortgage of at least 90 per cent and preferential interest rates. It is not uncommon for the flats to be 10 times oversubscribed when they go on sale.