HK govt received 10,000 fly-tipping complaints, took 80 to court

Government departments received more than 10,000 complaints about illegal dumping of construction waste last year, but prosecuted only 80 cases.

The Environmental Protection Department, which had received 1850 complaints, was responsible for 75 of the prosecutions, according to a paper compiled for the Legco Environmental Affairs Panel.

The paper, which has been prepared ahead of a panel discussion next Monday, does not say how many of those prosecutions were successful, or what penalties were imposed.

Source: Legco Environmental Affairs Panel

But it does reveal that the total number of complaints filed to the EPD and the Lands, Highway, Food & Health and other departments had increased 39% over the three years to the end of 2017 (see chart above).

Construction waste was dumped without authorisation on a Pui O wetland plot last November (see photo above) but the EPD has taken no action against the owner, Au-Yeung Kam Ping.

Interestingly, the EPD has said it has surveillance camera footage of dumping taking place on Au-Yeung’s site. However, according to the Legco paper, no such camera exists anywhere on Lantau.

Source: Legco Environmental Affairs Panel

The Legco hearing follows a scathing report by the Audit Commission on the EPD’s repeated failures in tackling illegal waste dumping. It found that the department was almost totally reactive in dealing with the issue, waiting for public complaints rather than initiating its own inspections.

The figures above indicate that even when it receives a public complaint it rarely takes action.

The Environmental Affairs Panel hearing on the enforcement of fly-tipping laws takes place at 2:30pm next Monday.

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