Electronic retailers to collect old equipment from buyers for free

Local | 11 Jul 2018 7:54 pm

Getting rid of old electronic appliances when new ones are purchased will no longer be a hassle starting from next month.

From August 1, stores will be obliged to accept used items for free from buyers of new TVs, washing machines or computers.

The new regulation is aimed at encouraging the recycling of so-called electronic waste.

Retailers must collect the old electrical appliances, or appoint specific collectors to do so, and provide the free service within a specific time frame.

The Environmental Protection Department said some 1,110 shops have so far promised to collect the old items.

Officials said under most circumstances, consumers can have their old products removed on the same day the new one is delivered.

Within four days of getting the purchase order, retailers will collect the old appliances. Additional charges will be levied if the old products have to be removed faster.

Retailers who fail to provide the service will be subject to a maximum fine of HK$200,000.

The department also reminded consumers that the free service does not cover the cost of any dismantling work, such as the removal of an air conditioner from a wall.

To further encourage recycling, the department said people who only want to dispose of their old goods without buying a new one can also call a hotline operated by a licensed recycler – which arranges a free pick up service at residential addresses.

Also starting next month, suppliers will have to pay a recycling levy for most appliances. It will range from HK$15 to HK$165.

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