Imagine how quickly new versions of electronic gadgets are released regularly. From smartphones to wearable devices and wifi enabled printers and other new models supporting Internet of Things. Such trends encourage consumers to ditch the old and embrace the new.
Although trade of used items remains brisk, it’s often unavoidable that there are those approaching end of their usefulness are thrown away into the growing pile of electronic wasteland.
In fact Hong Kong households and organizations throw away 70,000 tons of computers, electrical and electronic equipment. Many of these items could be repaired and extend their lifespans. But in a city where repair costs can sometimes exceed price of brand-new ones, there is little incentive and plenty of disadvantages when bringing a broken item to the repairman.
While the government has its own program that helps reduce waste computers and electrical and electronic components, many people might not be aware it exists.
The Environmental Protection Department launched the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling Program in 2005 which addresses the situation by encouraging reuse and recycle instead of disposing of these materials.
In 2010, St James’ Settlement got the funding from the Environment and Conservation Fund to implement, the WEEE GO GREEN program to enhance the service and move to a larger recycling facility at EcoPark WEEE Recycling Centre, enabling it to recycle items such as television sets, refrigerators, washing machines, video or audio equipment, microwave ovens, fans, water heaters, rice cookers, air-conditioners, heaters, electronic games and mobile phones. Other items are dismantled and recycled. It is estimated that to date the programme has donated over 25,000 pieces of refurbished equipment to some 7,800 needy families.
How to participate in this scheme?
1. Collection service
A hotline 2676 8888 operated by ALBA-IWS is available for members of the public to call to arrange e-waste.
Alternatively, if you live in Shatin, Eastern, Yuen Long or Kwun Tong district, Community Green Stations are now available — see address below — to drop off electrical appliances, computers, glass beverage bottles, compact fluorescent lamps and tubes, rechargeable batteries, etc.
Other locations are in planning, deliberation and construction stages.
|Sha Tin CGS||Christian Family Service Centre||10 On Ping Street, Shek Mun, Sha Tin||Operation commenced|
|Eastern CGS||Po Leung Kuk||30 Oi Shun Road, Shau Kei Wan||Operation commenced|
|Kwun Tong CGS||Christian Family Service Centre||27 Sheung Yee Road, Kowloon Bay||Operation commenced|
|Yuen Long CGS||Hong Chi Association||65 Tin Wah Road, Tin Shui Wai||Operation commenced|
|Sham Shui Po CGS||Po Leung Kuk||Between Yen Chow Street and Tonkin Street, underneath the West Kowloon Corridor||Under construction. Operation expected to be commenced in mid-2017|
|Kwai Tsing CGS||Not yet tendered||Tam Kon Shan Road, near Tsing Yi Northeast Park||Planning is in progress|
|Tai Po CGS||Not yet tendered||Between Ting Kok Road and Dai Wah Street||Planning is in progress|
|Sai Kung CGS||Not yet tendered||Po Lam Lane, near Po Hong Road and Po Lam Road North, Tseung Kwan O||Planning is in progress|
|Tuen Mun CGS||Not yet tendered||Tuen Yee Street||Planning is in progress|
|Tsuen Wan CGS||Not yet tendered||Hoi Shing Road, near Hoi Kok Street||Planning is in progress|
|Wan Chai CGS||Not yet tendered||Junction of Wan Shing Street and Hung Hing Road||Planning is in progress|
|Wong Tai Sin CGS||Not yet tendered||Junction of Yuk Wah Street and Po Leung Lane, Tsz Wan Shan||Planning is in progress|
|Islands CGS||Not yet tendered||Junction of Yu Tung Road and Chung Mun Road, Tung Chung, Lantau||Planning is in progress|
|Yau Tsim Mong CGS||Not yet tendered||Site to be confirmed||Views of District Council being followed up|
|Southern CGS||Not yet tendered||Site to be confirmed||Views of District Council being followed up|
|Kowloon City CGS||Not yet tendered||Site to be confirmed||Views of District Council being followed up|
|Central and Western CGS||Not yet tendered||Site to be confirmed||Site search is in progress|
|North District CGS||Not yet tendered||Site to be confirmed||Site search is in progress|
Photo credit: www.wastereduction.gov.hk
The EPD’s mobile collection vehicle continues to collect electrical appliances, as well as computers, rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent lamps and fluorescent tubes. Just contact EPD at 2838 3111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Donation Service
If your home appliance is still serviceable or require minor repair, it can be donated to families in need. Air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and televisions will be donated after checking and refurbishment.
3. Dismantling Service
While the typical procedure is to get an old home appliance picked up by the same delivery personnel who brought in the newly-bought replacement, there’s a better and more responsible way of handling junk.
By coordinating with ALBA-IWS for the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling Program dismantling service, such electronic waste can be dismantled and serviceable parts recycled. Once the facility is launched, it can handle up to 30,000 tons of e-waste every year, a big chunk of the yearly pile of computers, appliances and electronic parts thrown away every year by households and businesses in Hong Kong.