Company fined $40K for shipping hazardous waste

SURREY – A now defunct Surrey electronics recycling company and its president have been fined $40,000 for illegally shipping lead acid batteries and nickel cadmium batteries overseas.

 

Company president Sai Feng Guan was fined $11,000 and Newtonbased Electronics Recycling Canada was fined $29,000 in Surrey provincial court for two 2011 shipments. Guan has since retired and the company has gone out of business.

 

Originally charged with 48 counts under Section 185 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Guan and her company pleaded guilty to two counts apiece of transporting hazardous waste without notifying the ministry, and transporting hazardous waste without a permit.

 

The 44 other charges were stayed.

 

Federal Crown prosecutor Alexander Clarkson told Judge Paul Dohm the company had operated out of a warehouse in the 13000-block of 84th Avenue, under the sign "Help us protect our environment."

 

The court heard the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department sent back to Canada two containers laden with batteries that had been shipped from Delta’s superport, because they contained hazardous waste.

 

Both Canada and China are among 182 countries that have signed an international treaty called the Basel Convention, designed to protect human health and the environment from hazardous wastes.

 

Clarkson said the company was told by Environment Canada that it can’t export such materials into China without permission, but it sent the batteries anyway. He said that while China prohibits the import of such materials without a proper permit, controls are very poor. While there are domestic battery recycling outfits here in B.C., such as the lead smelter in Trail, local companies have "financial reason" to send the materials overseas to be dealt with.

 

Dohm ordered that the fines be paid within a year.

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