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Problems & Solutions

Chemical Waste Management in Hong Kong

Waste Lead-Acid Batteries (WLABs)

What are WLABs?

Waste lead-acid batteries (WLABs) are used lead-acid batteries that need to be disposed of. Lead-acid batteries are commonly used in motor vehicles. They are also used in certain mobile machineries, generators, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) of computer servers and systems as well as emergency lighting and burglar/fire alarm systems in buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waste lead acid batteries from automobiles

Amongst the different usages of WLABs, the major application remains to be in automobiles, while application in UPS is an emerging trend due to the growth in the telecommunication and Information Technology sectors (especially the data centres). With the increasing number of data centres, it is expected that WLABs arising from this sector will continue to increase in the coming years.

Lead acid battery as UPS of computer servers

 

Waste Batteries from emergency lighting

 

Lead acid batteries used in Data Centres

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Legislative requirements for disposal of WLABs

WLABs contain hazardous substances such as lead and sulphuric acid.  If not properly disposed of, they may pose a threat to human health and the environment.  WLABs are classified as chemical waste and controlled under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (Cap.354) (WDO) and its subsidiary Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation (CWR).

i) The users whose LABs are maintained by a service provider:

To many users, the motor vehicles, UPS or other equipment that may produce WLABs are maintained by a service provider.  In this case, the users should ensure the hired service provider, or its subcontractor who actually carries out the maintenance work, has registered with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) as a chemical waste producer (CWP) under the WDO, and the users should not remove the WLABs from the vehicles, UPS or other equipment by themselves. A registered chemical waste producer will handle and arrange to dispose of the WLABs in a proper manner.

ii) The service providers / users who maintain vehicles or equipment in their premises which include removing the WLABs for disposal:

Service providers / users who regularly maintain vehicles or equipment in their premises which include removing the WLABs for disposal, as well as the users who are in possession of WLABs that are already removed from motor vehicles or other equipment, they need to register with the EPD under the WDO as a registered CWP. This is irrespective whether they maintain vehicles or equipment owned by them or provide maintenance service to another party. Being a producer of WLAB, they need to ensure that the WLABs are properly handled in their premises as well as collected by a licensed chemical waste collector for proper transportation and disposal.

 

Further Information

More information on the chemical waste control programme is available at the following EPD webpage. You can also contact the help desk of EPD at 2835 2546 on working days from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Click Here

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q1 :

Should my company, organization or shop register as a chemical waste producer?

A1 :

 

If the vehicles and equipment concerned are maintained by a service provider, normally you need to ensure that the hired service provider, or its subcontractor who actually carries out the maintenance work, is a registered chemical waste producer. You can request the hired service provider or its subcontractor to provide you with a copy of the relevant trip ticket, if necessary, to ensure that the WLABs have been properly disposed of.

However, if you regularly maintain vehicles or equipment in your premises which include removing the WLABs for disposal, you need to register with the EPD under the WDO as a registered chemical waste producer.  This is irrespective whether you maintain vehicles or equipment owned by you or provide maintenance service to another party. Being a producer of WLAB, you need to ensure that the WLABs are properly handled in your premises as well as collected by a licensed chemical waste collector for proper transportation and disposal. This also applies on the case if you are in possession of WLABs that are already removed from motor vehicles or other equipment. 

Q2 :

My current service provider is not a registered chemical waste producer. Can I continue to use that service provider?

A2 :

 

You should change to a service provider with the status of a registered chemical waste producer or a provider who could ensure its sub-contractor who directly involves in removing the WLABs for disposal is a registered producer. If you do not want to change, you must immediately request your current service provider to register with the EPD as a chemical waste producer and ensure that the WLAB so produced will be handled and disposed of in a proper manner.  Otherwise, you and your service provider may have committed an offence under the WDO.

Q3 : What should I do if I have computer appliances (including UPS) for disposal?
A3 : You can contact a recycler who has already registered as a chemcial waste producer to collect the unwanted computer appliances. You need to request the recycler to provide you with a copy of the relevant trip ticket, if necessary, to ensure that the WLABs have been properly disposed of. If you suspect that the recycler fail to comply with the legal requirements, you should contact EPD at 2835 2546.

Q4 :

What are the steps to register as a chemical waste producer?

A4 : You need to register with the EPD. More information on application for registration is available at the following EPD webpage. Click Here For further assistance, please contact the help desk of EPD at 2835 2546 on working days (Monday - Friday) from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Q5 :

Where can I find licensed chemical waste collectors and how can I know whether my maintenance service provider is a registered chemical waste producer?

A5 :

A list of licensed chemical waste collectors is available from the following webpages of EPD - Click Here. If you want to check whether your maintenance service provider is a registered chemical waste producer, you may contact the help desk of EPD at 2835 2546 on working days (Monday - Friday) from 9:00am to 5:00pm or email enquiry@epd.gov.hk.

Q6 :

Apart from hiring a licensed chemical waste collector to collect and transport WLABs, are there other obligations for a registered chemical waste producer?

A6 :

A chemical waste producer should arrange proper packaging, labelling and storage of chemical waste before transportation to disposal facilities as provided in the “Code of Practice on the Packaging, Labelling and Storage of Chemical Wastes” (CoP).  The CoP is available at EPD’s webpage - Click Here.  The producer should also keep records of the quantities of WLAB produced as well as the trip tickets pertaining to the consignments of WLABs for at least 12 months.  EPD may inspect these records as and when needed.

Q7 :

What are the steps to become a licensed chemical waste collector?

A7 :

To ensure that a licensed chemical waste collector is capable of handling, collecting and transporting WLABs in a proper manner, there are requirements in set up, qualification and training to be met, as well as strict operational and record keeping requirements to be observed.  For details please contact the help desk of EPD at 2835 2546 on working days (Monday - Friday) from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

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Enquiries

 

Tel: 2835 2546

E-mail: enquiry@epd.gov.hk

User review date: 
Monday, 27 June, 2016