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Tackling Electronic Waste

Did you know that Hong Kong has a programme to pick up electronic waste from households for free? This was a revelation I learned from Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing during his recent visit to the Chamber.

Under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling Programme – known as WEEE – old computers and other appliances are collected from homes to be refurbished and donated to the needy, or safely recycled.

We are lucky here in Hong Kong to have a world of fast-changing technological products available at our fingertips. But the downside to this is that every time you buy a faster laptop, for example, you end up with a redundant old one. And even people who are not interested in the latest gadgets will find that their electronic items and household appliances eventually need to be replaced.

The problem with this is not only that it creates a lot of rubbish, but also that some electronic waste is particularly bad for the environment.

Every year, Hong Kong throws away more than 70,000 tonnes of computers and other electrical equipment. Some of these are still in good working order, and even the broken ones can often be fixed. All of them have components that can be reused or recycled.

In Hong Kong, we are mostly all time-poor and are accustomed to convenience. So anything that makes it easier for us to live a greener life – like a service to collect our old electronic goods – is very welcome.

Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is not just for the benefit of the planet. It is also a key concern for businesses, especially when it comes to addressing Hong Kong’s talent shortage problem.

In the Chamber’s Business Prospects Survey last year, the number of people who cited the environment and quality of life as a problem affecting Hong Kong’s competitiveness rose from 50% to 57%. An attractive environment is crucial if we want to encourage our brightest local talent to stay in Hong Kong, and to attract top professionals from overseas.

We understand that the Government faces a huge task in dealing with Hong Kong’s waste. So we are delighted to learn that it has taken action through the WEEE programme, and we hope that our members will take advantage of this great scheme.

So if you have old computers or other items gathering dust at home, do give the hotline a call on 2676 8888. You will be saving the environment, helping a family in need, and saving yourself time and money.

Posted on 2018/07/13