Data from project will be used to draft green bill A tax on electronic waste would cost consumers as little as HK$20 per computer, according to a pilot recycling programme led by the government and the computer industry. The Environmental Protection Department and the Chamber of Hong Kong Computer Industry ran a six-month campaign to collect and recycle computers. They collected 6,600 at 13 sites across the city. The department classified the computer units into two categories: those that could be reused and those that could not. The reusable units, 19 per cent of the total collected, were resold and the rest were sold as parts. The parts that were not sold were sold for recycling. The programme cost more than HK$735,000 and the resales raised HK$346,000. With department and chamber subsidies totalling HK$388,000, each recycled computer cost about HK$60. The Eco-Product Responsibility Bill to be introduced next year at the earliest will provide a framework for levying taxes on individual products such as plastic bags, tyres and electronic waste, to possibly fund environmental schemes, such as recycling. Chamber chairman Jacky Cheung Yiu-shing said he believed the levy would consist of three tiers: consumers, manufacturers and retailers. Each would bear a portion of the tax, making the cost for each set as low as HK$20. Principle environmental protection officer Lawrence Wong Tung-kong said: 'We first expected the cost to be HK$100 to HK$150. But now with HK$60, and each bearing only HK$20, I think we would accept such a level.' The data from the pilot scheme will be used to draft the bill on electronic waste, but he could not say if the data would reflect the levy the government was aiming at. 'Our colleagues responsible for it will also compare the levels in other countries. But these are indeed valuable data,' Mr Wong said. Mr Cheung said about 500,000 computers were sold in a year, so it was reasonable to assume that the same number were being ditched. Mr Wong said they faced one major difficulty when running the programme - competition from existing computer recyclers. The department and the chamber also hope to use the campaign to encourage the public to recycle.