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What happens to your used computers
 

Under the Computer Recycling Programme, an appointed contractor collects used computers and computer accessories on a regular basis (see Where to Recycle for details) and brings them to a workshop where they are divided into two groups.

Computers and parts that are in working order are handed over to a designated charitable organisation for refurbishment and donation to the needy.

Malfunctioning units are dismantled by the appointed recycler to recover their useful parts and materials.

 
History of Computer Recycling Initiatives in Hong Kong
 

The EPD has been actively promoting the recovery and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).  We engaged Caritas (Hong Kong) to organise a Trial Recovery Programme for used Computers in 2003. Over the following four years, the trial programme processed about 30,000 computers annually and had 10 collection points, a door-to-door collection service and a collection programme at housing estates. The computers were refurbished and donated to the needy, or dismantled to recover the recyclable and re-usable parts.  The recycling operation was relocated to the Kowloon Bay Refuse Transfer Station in 2005, which was converted into a Waste Recycling Centre.

Alongside this ongoing programme, the EPD organised a territory-wide WEEE Recycling Day in late 2005, which has become an annual event in which the general public is invited to bring their WEEE, including computers, to various collection points throughout the territory.

In 2007, EPD reached consensus with the computer trade to establish a territory-wide trade-funded Computer Recycling Programme. Hong Kong also has a thriving second hand market for used computers. As a non-profit making initiative to promote environmentally sound management of used computer equipment, the Programme does not pay for used computers, nor does it charge for the computers it donates to the needy.

The Computer Recycling Programme has been renamed as Computer & Communication Products Recycling Programme in October 2015. With the extension of the programme, general communication products can also be recycled.

Producer Responsibility Schemes in Hong Kong
 

The Computer Recycling Programme is Hong Kong's second voluntary Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS). The first PRS was the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme, launched in April 2005.  These schemes engage manufacturers, suppliers and consumers to take responsibility for their end-of-life products.

PRSs are a key policy initiative in the 'Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014)', for supporting waste reduction, recovery and recycling. It is in line with the principle of 'polluter pays' and emphasises the sharing of 'eco-responsibility'.   Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) including computers, is one of the product areas to be covered under the PRS.

The Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance(PERO)(Cap.603) was enacted in July 2008. The Ordinance provides a legal basis for introducing producer responsibility schemes, with the environmental levy on plastic shopping bags as the first scheme under the Ordinance.

 
Environmentally Friendly Tips on Computer Use
 

In collaboration with the Chamber of the Hong Kong Computer Industry, the EPD has produced a series of Chinese-language videos on aspects relating to the Computer Recycling Programme, using old computers as Network-Attached Storage (NAS), installing e-SATA Connector, computer clean-up, choosing proper RAM for new operating system, proper method of disconnecting USB devices, maintenance of CD-ROM drive, reuse of speakers, reuse of harddisk and better utilization of memory.

Computer waste is not the only environmental issue related to computers. Energy use is also an important concern. The following measures can minimise your impacts:

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Turn your computer off. Computers are designed to withstand frequent shutdowns – this will not shorten their life. Turn off your computer when you will be away from it for awhile, eg lunch hour or at night, and help to save energy.
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Find the power management function on your computer and enable it. This puts the computer to "sleep" in low-power mode when it has not been used for a certain time interval, such as 10 minutes or 20 minutes. This helps to save energy.
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Don't use a screen saver. It consumes extra energy when the computer is not in use.
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Limit printing to essentials only. This saves on energy, as well as the consumption of paper and ink.
 
 
Downloads & resources
1. PosterNew  
  Poster of computer and communication products recycling programme Download
2. Application Form Download
3. Acknowledgement of Receipt (Sample) Download
4. Loan Out Service of Education Materials
  - Loan Form Download
 

- List of Materials for Loan

Download
 
FAQ
 
1. What are the benefits of recycling computers and communication products?

 

 

Computer and communication products recycling helps the environment in three important ways:

a. It saves scarce landfill space.
b. It avoids damage to the environment and human health, by ensuring harmful materials such as lead are handled properly.
c. It enables useful components and materials, such as metals and plastics, to be recovered for re-use and recycling, rather than thrown away.

The Computer & Communication Products Recycling Programme​ includes all of these benefits and provides an environmentally sound means to dispose of computer waste.

2. How much effort is needed to recycle my computer and communication products?

 

 

It's easy. If your housing estate or building has enrolled in the Computer & Communication Products Recycling Programme​, your management office will announce a scheduled day for collection and a designated collection point. Simply bring your equipment there – no special preparation is required. Otherwise, see Where to Recycle for information on public collection points.
3. Do you sell the collected computer equipment?

 

 

Items that are in working order and relatively good quality will be sent free of charge to a designated charity organisation for refurbishment and donation to the needy. The remaining equipment will be dismantled by an approved recycler to recover useable parts and materials for recycling and any proceeds obtained will be used to subsidise the operation of the programme.
4. What do you do with the hard drives before donating them to the needy?

 

 

If the hard drives are working, the data on the drives will be overwritten and destroyed by a data erase software before re-use. Non-working hard drives will be properly destructed or degaussed.
5. Can I deposit my ink cartridge with my printer?

 

Yes. The ink cartridge will be reused and recycled as far as possible.

6. How can I extend the life of my computer?

 

 

The EPD has produced a video series on environmentally friendly practices when using your computer (Chinese version only). See also Environmentally Friendly Tips on Computer Use for advice on reducing the energy impacts of your computer.
 
Activities
 
保綠公民夏日樂繽紛2017暨環保回收量發佈會 (28 Aug 2017)
保綠公民夏日樂繽紛2017暨環保回收量發佈會 (28 Aug 2017)
 
數碼創作樂繽紛暨環保回收量發佈會 (22 Aug 2016) 
數碼創作樂繽紛暨環保回收量發佈會 (2016年8月22日)
 
10th Anniversary Ceremony for Recycling Programmes under
Voluntary Producer Responsibility Scheme (24 Aug 2015) 

10th ​Anniversary Ceremony for Recycling Programme under Voluntary Producer Responsibility Scheme

WEEE Do Recycle Photo Contest (Nov 2014 – Mar 2015) 
The award ceremony of WEEE Do Recycle Photo Contest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Computer Recycling Station at Hong Kong Computer &
Communications Festival 2014 (22-25 Aug 2014)
Computer Recycling Station at Hong Kong Computer & Communications Festival 2014 (22-25 Aug 2014)
 
Computer Recycling Station at Hong Kong Computer &
Communications Festival 2013 (23-26 Aug 2013)
Computer Recycling Station at Hong Kong Computer & Communications Festival 2013 (23-26 August 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
WEEE Like Recycle in HK Creative Short Film Contest
(Jan-May 2013)
WEEE Like Recycle in HK Creative Short Film Contest (2013)  
 
Computer Recycling Station at Hong Kong Computer &
Communications Festival 2012 (24-27 Aug 2012)
Computer  Recycling Station at Hong Kong Computer & Communications Festival 2012 (24-27 August 2012)  
 
Anniversary Ceremony for Programmes under
Voluntary Producer Responsibility Scheme (3 Dec 2011)
Anniversary Ceremony for Programmes under Voluntary Producer Responsibility Scheme (3 Dec 2011)  
 
Launching Ceremony (12 Jan 2008)
Launching Ceremony (12 Jan 2008)  
 
   
 
 
Useful Contacts
 
  • Arrangement of Collection Service for participating estates/buildings Hotline: 8108 9889 (Recycler,Vannex International Limited)
  • CCRP Enrolment Hotline: 5575 4068(Helpdesk)
  •                   email address: vprs_helpdesk@bec.org.hk

Notes for Donors

Donor is responsible for the deletion of all confidential and proprietary data, including but not limited to personal data, that are contained on or within the computer and ​communication products hardware before they were donated to the Computer & Communication Products Recycling Programme​ (CCRP). Donor acknowledges that CCRP will not be, in any way, responsible for confidential and proprietary data that are not deleted from any of the hardware. The used equipment would not be returned to the donor after collection.