Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment runs generally smoothly in the first two days (with FAQ)

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) issued a press release on 2 August.  Please click here for the full text of the press release. A set of frequently asked questions and answers is set out below.

How are we affected by the Scheme just come into effect?
From 1 August 2018, a seller of regulated electrical equipment (REE) is required to arrange free removal of a used equipment of the same class for a customer who purchases a new REE from the seller. The seller also has to provide the customer with a receipt containing the prescribed wording about the recycling levy, and a recycling label. REE refers to air-conditioners (including inverter air-conditioners), refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, computers, printers, scanners and monitors.

Do I have to pay an extra fee to have delivery of the new product and removal of a used equipment arranged on the same day?
Consumers can request the sellers to arrange delivery of the new product and removal of a used equipment on the same day without the need to pay an extra fee to the sellers.

I'm advised by the seller that the earliest that the Government's recycling service operator could come to collect my used equipment will be a month later. What should I do?
The Government's recycling service operator is fully geared up and deployed additional manpower to attain its performance pledge for collecting the waste equipment three working days after receipt of service request from the sellers. The current booking position shows that it can fulfil this pledge.

If you have to dispose of a used REE but are not buying a new REE, please call the recycling hotline 2676 8888 to make an appointment with the Government's recycling service operator for free collection. In this regard, the operator will make full use of its additional manpower to meet the service demand. Based on the current booking position, the operator is able to arrange collection of the used items in about a week's time after receipt of the request.

If the EPD finds any suspected cases of non-compliance with the legal requirements on the part of the sellers or its staff, e.g. providing misleading information to the consumers in respect of the time required for arranging the statutory removal service, EPD will further investigate and take enforcement actions as necessary.

I'm advised that I have to contact the Government's recycling service operator myself to arrange the removal of the used equipment. Is it true?
No. The seller is required to contact the designated collector(s) (including the Government's recycling service operator) named in its statutory removal service plan to arrange the collection service for its customer.

I'm advised to get an "upgraded service" to have the new product delivered and installed, and the used item dismantled and removed on the day of purchase, but at an extra fee. Is this okay?
The seller should be able to arrange delivery of the new product and removal of the used equipment on the same day if this is to be arranged three working days after the day of purchase. The seller may however offer other value-added services at a charge. Consumers may choose a service that suits their needs.

Is it a breach of law to throw away a used REE at a refuse collection point?
While throwing a used REE away at the refuse collection point is currently not prohibited, it is not the most appropriate way to dispose of the REE. Please support proper recycling of used REE for protecting the environment and turning waste into resources. This will also save you the effort for taking the used equipment to the refuse collection point.

What should I do if I have enquiries or want to file a complaint?
Please call EPD's dedicated hotline at 2310 0223 if you have any enquiries or want to file a complaint concerning the implementation of the scheme.