Speaking on an RTHK show on Thursday, Stephen Chan, who heads the 121C Society for Recycling, said the Green@Tin Hau station received 12 bags of styrofoam on August 13.
He said the bags were placed outside the recycling store when the station’s manager and staff were out for lunch, adding that the workers who returned first decided to dispose of nine of the bags at a nearby refuse station due to street obstruction concerns.
“As the chairman of the organisation, I am deeply apologetic,” Chan said.
He said the staff member concerned had only worked at the recycling store for several months and had not consulted the manager, who is responsible for making disposal decisions.
Chan stressed new rules have since been implemented at the station, including requiring staff to take photos and explain why they want to dump certain items before the manager makes the final decision.
The Environmental Protection Department had earlier also expressed regret over the incident.
“The EPD, in accordance with the contract, has withheld the payment of the service fee for August to the Recycling Store involved and will deduct its monthly service fee as penalty for its non-compliance,” it said.
It added that the operator has dismissed a staff member involved and imposed penalties on other workers concerned by temporarily suspending their salary payments.