Residents angry at workers treating Shek O 'like dustbin'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 February, 2008, 12:00am
 

Shek O residents are complaining that government-contracted workers have left construction waste and tools 'dumped in the bushes' at leisure sites near the village.

The waste - which includes metal railings and leftover concrete - has been left at barbecue pits and a picnic pavilion on Tai Tau Chau, the headland at Shek O linked by a narrow footpath. The area is a popular walking spot for local dog owners.

They have been left for several weeks and were still there when a reporter visited on Saturday, contrary to claims from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) on Friday that the sites had been cleared.

Workers contracted by the Architectural Services Department for the LCSD replaced metal railings around the three barbecue pits and carried out repairs to damaged concrete on the pavilion at a picnic site on at the headland's summit.

However, the old railings, excess concrete and tools including a wooden stepladder had been dumped in bushes or behind rocks at the four sites.

Shek O resident George Christofus said he was appalled at the government's lack of care for the natural environment.

'It is awful that this rubbish has been just dumped in the bushes,' he said. 'They have been there for at least three weeks, if not four. It could be even longer.

'The government should be setting an example but instead they treat Hong Kong like a dustbin.'

Another long-term Shek O resident, Sam Pleitgen, said he suspected the dumping had been done to avoid paying for the waste to be disposed of properly.

'They get charged for construction waste now, so it is simpler to dump it illegally,' he said. 'This is bureaucracy at its best. They simply try to push it off onto another department.'

An LCSD spokeswoman said that the works, which began in November, had not yet been completed.

'Staff from this department inspected the site today [Friday] and found that removed railings previously temporarily stored in an adjacent area have been disposed of,' she said. 'Concrete and construction tools placed at the picnic area have been removed. As the renovation works are yet to be completed, the Architectural Services Department has told the contractor to dispose of construction waste properly.'

But when checked on Saturday, railings remained piled in the vegetation at two of the three barbecue sites.

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