Company staff dedicated to stopping further environmental decay

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 January, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 January, 1993, 12:00am

ON December 30, the South China Morning Post published an article on the Hongkong Chemical Waste Treatment Facility headlined, ''Doubts cloud outlook for pioneer waste plant''. The headline and story are misleading and created controversy at the expense ofaccuracy. Your reporter cited unnamed ''hard core'' cynics as the basis for questioning environmental responsibility. The article further suggested that polluters who break the law are credible sources for reasons why the facility plan will not work.

The article should have highlighted the positive effect of a hundred thousand tonnes per year of hazardous waste which will cease from being poured into the Hongkong harbour, instead of polluters who are cynical about the facility.

Before any waste is processed at the facility, a sample is gathered by Enviropace and analysed. A copy of the analysis will be sent to the waste generator for confirmation. If it reveals that the waste is hazardous, Enviropace will provide containers, collect, transport, and dispose of the waste at the facility. If the sample reveals that the waste is non-hazardous, the generator can dispose it as currently done. The smallest container is 20 litres, not 200 litres as the article suggests. Collection frequency has not yet been determined, but Enviropace will establish proper collection time, frequency and routes consistent with the generator's needs.

The extensive customer survey work performed by Enviropace at its own expense is indicative of its desire to be responsive to the smallest of generators. Put simply, our goal is to stop the deterioration of the environment. Enviropace is a service business, partly owned by Waste Management Inc, the largest and one of the most reputable environmental services companies in the world. The company is engaged in the business of preventing and cleaning up pollution caused largely by waste generators, and is nota major polluter as alleged in your article.

The Post story does little to promote the spirit of environmental responsibility that is much needed to reverse years of deterioration in Hongkong, particularly its harbour. Further, it detracts from the dedication of the more than 200 personnel of Enviropace and the conscientious efforts expended by the dedicated personnel of the Environmental Protection Department. These efforts should be applauded, not publicly derided by a group of unnamed cynical polluters who doubt our resolve in making Hongkong a better place.

WILLIAM LEE Director Enviropace Ltd Kathy Griffin replies: The statement that critics of the new chemical disposal system were not named is not true. Names and organisations of these people are clearly identified in the story.

The article also mentions that waste must be analysed at the plant before it is treated, information which the letter implies was not in the story.

Enviropace officials told me the minimum amount for collection would be 200 litres, although some special arrangements might be made, such as for chain stores.

The comment that one of Enviropace's owners, Waste Management Inc, was identified as a major polluter comes from Greenpeace, not me. The article points out that the Environmental Protection Department would monitor the situation and had written performance obligations into their contract.