Extension of dump will add 10 years to its life

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 August, 2009, 12:00am

The West New Territories landfill near Tuen Mun will operate for another 10 years under an expansion plan that more than doubles its original size at the expense of 200 hectares of open areas.

The expansion will provide an additional 81 million cubic metres of capacity for household, construction and special waste, on top of the existing 61 million cubic metres.

The Environmental Protection Department said the expansion was needed to cope with the five million tonnes of waste dumped at the city's three landfills a year, although it was studying the possibility of building a waste incinerator as a long-term solution. The department was also planning to expand landfills in the southeast and north of the New Territories.

According to the environmental impact assessment on the Tuen Mun expansion released for public comment yesterday, the chosen option would deliver the largest capacity and best waste-to-energy potential.

The study said most of the area was hilly woodland of low ecological value. It included part of an ash lagoon operated by CLP Power.

However, the site was also home to some valuable species, including pitcher plants, which had to be relocated. Some little grebe waterbirds found on the ash lagoon would be relocated to a new three-hectare pond created on other landfill land. Rare species found at the site included the red lacewing butterfly, Eurasian woodcock and emerald dove.

The study said the landfill extension would create odour in west Ha Pak Nai, the Black Point power station and Lung Kwu Sheung Tan as well as at a proposed sludge treatment facility. Mitigation measures such as tree planting would be introduced.

If the project is approved, extension will begin late next year.