The Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department has awarded ALBA Integrated Waste Solutions a $550 million contract to design, build and operate an e-waste treatment and recycling facility (WEEETRF) at the EcoPark in Tuen Mun.
The WEEETRF will be able to treat 30,000 metric tons of e-waste annually, turning the waste into reusable raw materials such as plastic and metals. It is expected to be online in 2017.
The EPD says the WEEETRF will help support the new producer responsibility scheme to manage e-waste generated from five types of regulated electrical and electronic equipment.
The proposed producer responsibility scheme would include air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and television sets as well as computers and certain associated devices including printers, scanners and monitors.
Manufacturers and importers of regulated electrical equipment will be required to register as registered suppliers and pay a recycling fee for regulated electrical equipment that is distributed in Hong Kong. Under the proposal regulated e-waste will no longer be accepted at landfills for disposal.
Less than one-sixth of last year’s e-waste is thought to have been diverted to proper recycling and reuse, according to the United Nations University, the UN’s think tank, which says global e-waste topped 41.8 million metric tons of electrical and electronic products in 2014.