Seattle, WA. Hong Kong. July 4, 2018. In a short report released today by the Basel Action Network (BAN), based on research conducted with the HK01 News agency, serious questions are raised as to why a known violator of Hong Kong's Waste Disposal Ordinance's import rules -- e-Tech Management, has been admitted to, and remains as a tenant at, Hong Kong's environmental showcase -- the EcoPark.
The report, entitled "e-Tech: e-Waste Mismanagement at EcoPark", also reveals what appears to be a hidden, unreported e-Tech platform in New Territories in the Tai Fat Tsuen neighborhood. The site appears to be managed by e-Tech, but is registered under the name of China Recycling Co. Ltd. This site was discovered by one of BAN's GPS trackers deposited at an e-Tech drop off center in Houston, Texas. An employee at the Tai Fat Tsuen neighborhood site told the investigators the site serves as an interim stop before transferring circuit boards removed from the equipment to e-Tech's EcoPark site.
The research further reveals:
- e-Tech has been caught at least three times by EPD, violating the Basel Convention and Hong Kong's waste importation rules.
- e-Tech has boasted exporting 70 containers per month from North America.
- e-Tech has a recorded history of at least 56 exports of electronic scrap to Hong Kong and Indonesia between the years 2009 and 2014, many of which are illegal.
- Employees at the Tai Fat Tsuen site indicate that until recently they received 100 containers a month from North America.
- They also stated that currently they send circuit boards to EcoPark and yet the lease at EcoPark requires all waste be of local origin.
- The manager at the site told BAN's Executive Director Jim Puckett that his boss is Mr. Benny Yeung who is the President of e-Tech.
- Material at the site contains "chemical waste" of unknown origin, and hundreds of boxes of imported e-waste from e-Tech facilities in the US.
- e-Tech fraudulently claims R2 Certification for electronics recyclers on their website, as well as claims not to export to developing countries.
- e-Tech enjoys paying a very subsidized lease granted by EPD for EcoPark.
Despite the above, EPD continues to allow e-Tech to remain in its EcoPark jeopardizing the reputation of Hong Kong.
"We have a very difficult time understanding how a known violator of the Basel Convention and Hong Kong's environmental waste import rules can be allowed to continue operating anywhere, let alone inside Hong Kong's environmental showcase -- the EcoPark," said Jim Puckett, Executive Director of BAN. "We hope this will be rectified as a matter of urgency and will not become yet another symbol of lax environmental enforcement in Hong Kong."
For more information contact:
Jim Puckett, Executive Director of Basel Action Network,
phone: +1 (206) 652-5555
About Basel Action Network
Founded in 1997, the Basel Action Network is a 501(c)3 charitable organization of the United States, based in Seattle, WA. BAN is the world's only organization focused on confronting the global environmental justice and economic inefficiency of toxic trade and its devastating impacts. Today, BAN serves as the information clearinghouse on the subject of waste trade for journalists, academics, and the general public. Through its investigations, BAN uncovered the tragedy of hazardous electronic waste dumping in developing countries. For more information, see www.BAN.org.