The city risks becoming a dumping ground for old television sets because of a double standard among major suppliers and the lack of a law making it mandatory to recycle waste products, a green group has warned. Eleven out of 20 major television manufacturers or suppliers recently polled by the Friends of the Earth do not enforce any recycling policy. While most said they had international commitments to recycling, none applied the practice locally as it was not required by law. Only two said they would take back old TV sets. Seven, mostly from the mainland, did not answer the poll. The green group warned that the Beijing Olympics, to be broadcast in high-definition mode, might trigger a wave of television replacements and dumping of old sets - in particular cathode ray tube models containing toxic substances. Many TVs could end up at local recyclers, which are often run-down operations in remote areas of the New Territories, or be smuggled to other places, the group said. About 1.5 million items of 'e-waste' - junk from electronic appliances of all sorts - are thrown away every year, and about 20 per cent ended up in landfills, according to official figures. Up to 500,000 sets might be replaced in the first year of digital broadcasting, the group says. Michelle Au Wing-Tsz, the environmental affairs officer with Friends of the Earth, said the lack of a law compelling suppliers to take back used TVs was turning Hong Kong into a dumping ground for the sets. 'This is not something the suppliers cannot do - but they just prefer not to do it. What they need is a push from the government,' she said. Under a waste-reduction framework announced in 2005, the government was supposed to introduce a producer responsibility scheme for e-waste last year. A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department said it would continue to discuss with key suppliers and retailers the feasibility of introducing a voluntary, trade-funded recycling scheme. Electronics giant Sony has said it is willing to take back e-waste if the government makes it mandatory. It says it has supported the department's various initiatives on recycling e-waste. The department has a trial e-waste recovery scheme, in co-operation with the St James' Settlement charity, which accepts old appliances and redistributes them to people in need. Vinci Leung Shu-ki, manager of the charity's recycling scheme, said the number of TVs received had declined, with 249 in the first quarter of this year compared with 307 in the same period last year. Lau Hing-pong, the marketing manager with electrical appliances retailer Gome, said television sales had increased more than 10 per cent since the launch of digital broadcasting. A further increase was expected before the Olympics, as retailers rolled out more promotions, he said. The retailer is now launching a six-month pilot scheme to collect old televisions from their customers to pass on to St James' Settlement. A spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said there was evidence to suggest many people were dumping their old TV sets for high-resolution models. The government would continue to liaise with the industry to promote e-waste recycling, he said.