Hong Kong-based Chiho Environmental Group Ltd. has installed equipment it will start operating in 2018 to process several types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), including wire and cable scrap.
The scrap recycling firm is installing two processing lines outfitted with equipment made by Denmark-based Eldan Recycling. One line will focus on processing wire and cable scrap while the other has been designed to shred a wider variety of WEEE items before harvesting marketable scrap metals and plastics from the shredded material created.
Chiho has grown via acquisition this decade and now operates scrap recycling facilities under the Scholz brand in Europe and as Liberty Iron & Metal in the United States and Mexico. Although Chiho, which also has processing facilities in Taizhou and Yantai, China, is based in Hong Kong, the new WEEE facility will be its first in that city.
The Hong Kong processing facility is located within three warehouses situated on a six-acre (24,000-square-meter) parcel of land in the Yuen Long Industrial Estate within Hong Kong’s New Territories.
Hong Kong’s government is supporting a WEEE collection system that will direct some types of obsolete electronics to a facility being operated by Germany’s ALBA Group. However, Chiho General Manager Kwok Chun Sing says ALBA is likely to receive “about 35 percent” of the 70,000 to 80,000 metric tons of WEEE generated in the HKSAR each year. “So, there is a market for other companies to operate,” states Kwok.
Veteran scrap trader Tom Bird, who joined Chiho as its chief operating officer in 2017, says the company’s ability to process material in Europe, North America, China and Hong Kong gives it “flexibility in terms of what we can buy and process,” providing Chiho with an advantage.
Kwok says the e-scrap processing experience that will be gained by Chiho in Hong Kong also could allow it to “play a bigger role in the domestic market” in mainland China. Adds Bird, “China’s domestic market is an opportunity, and Chiho is well placed to take advantage of that.”