The construction of the main building started in January 2016 and the facility is expected to be operational by mid-2017. Key partners of this joint venture include Alba, a recycling company in Germany, and IWS, a recyclable collector rooted in Hong Kong.
On 21 January 2016 Alba Integrated Waste Solutions Hong Kong Ltd. (Alba IWS), joined by officials from the Hong Kong Government and the Environmental Protection Department, has hosted a ceremony to celebrate the ground breaking of the project. The future Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Treatment and Recycling Facility (WEEETRF) will be located at the EcoPark in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong. According to the German-based company, the ceremony marked the start of the construction of the first WEEE treatment facility in Hong Kong and a milestone in its development of the Producers Responsibility Scheme (PRS) for WEEE.
As reported, each year some 70,000 tons of WEEE are discarded from households, businesses and institutions in Hong Kong. The Government has signed contract with Alba IWS in May 2015 to design and build the WEEETRF, provide a collection service and operate the facility until 2027. “It is expected that the new plant will create up to 280 jobs for the people of Hong Kong,” Alba says. The facility will use state-of-the-art technology provided by the German-based business group to process TVs, computers, washing machines and air-conditioners into valuable secondary raw materials while controlling the management of the hazardous materials that are contained in this equipment.
The facility is to transform up to 30,000 tons of regulated e-waste into raw materials each year. The capacity can be increased up to 57,000 tons by arranging additional shifts for the operation of the facility on a demand basis, Alba emphasizes. Beside the operation of the recycling plant, the company will as well be responsible for the collection of the WEEE materials. For this purpose a series of collection hubs over Hong Kong will be established where the materials will be consolidated for transportation to the facility at the Eco Park. Upon request by sellers of regulated electrical equipment as part of their take-back obligations, Alba IWS will provide free removal service to collect old equipment from consumers’ premises. Members of public can hand over the regulated e-waste at all of the collection hubs.
With the introduction of the PRS in 2016, the Hong Kong Government will develop further regulations to enhance control over the storage, treatment, reprocessing and recycling of the regulated electrical equipment. Consequently, the management, treatment or disposal of any specified WEEE will be subjected to regulatory control and a Waste Disposal License must be obtained under the Waste Disposal Ordinance.