Australia dumps toxic waste on Hong Kong

Issue 

Australia dumps toxic waste on Hong Kong

On September 23, the Hong Kong environmental protection department impounded a shipment of computer scrap until authorities can arrange for its return to Australia.

The export of computer scrap, which contains highly toxic substances, is illegal. Under the Hazardous Waste (Exports and Imports) Act, the exporter, HiTechnology Metal Recyclers based in Homebush, Sydney, faces fines of up to $1 million or five years' imprisonment.

According to Greenpeace toxics campaigner Matt Ruchel, if the federal minister for the environment, Robert Hill, does not use the full force of the law immediately to have the waste returned and act against the exporter, "Greenpeace may be forced to use third party rights and take out an injunction against the exporter".

Australia is one of the world's leading exporters of hazardous waste to underdeveloped countries.