All this waste for recycling and there is nowhere to take it in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 October, 2010, 12:00am

I refer to the letter by Charlie Lee ('Citizens must change their approach and recognise the need to recycle', October 24). I agree that incinerators could be considered as a possible way forward in Hong Kong; however, this does not deal with the problem.

The problem with regular household waste lies in the fact that nothing in Hong Kong gets recycled, or when it is done it is done in a way that does not serve its purpose. At my workplace we generate a lot of waste per month - 5,000 glass bottles (that comes to one tonne of glass) , approximately 4,000 plastic bottles (approx 208kg) and another 8,000 or so aluminium cans (approximately 120kg).

I have been searching for months for a way to get all this material recycled. The possibility of doing so in Hong Kong simply does not exist, unless I collect about a month's worth of this waste and store it on my premises, then wheel it off with a truck to Tuen Mun recycling plant. Even then, they cannot give me a guarantee they will accept my goods.

I know an initiative was launched in Wan Chai to collect glass bottles from bars. I contacted the organisers of the scheme and they said I was welcome to bring along my empty bottles. But this is not how things should be working. It is the Hong Kong government that should be stepping up its efforts at recycling and its recycling points should be easily accessible.

I am also concerned about batteries which are highly toxic. I have no idea where to take used batteries for recycling. This means they end up being thrown away and once in the ground [in landfills] they can pollute ground water.

My company produces about 4.5 tonnes of organic waste every month which could be composted and used as very fertile soil or fertiliser in parks, farms and gardens.

We could do so much more, but at least this would be waste that would not have to go into a landfill. This is only one small operation. Imagine what we could do if more of us joined forces in Hong Kong.

Even if you are willing to do something about this problem and recycle, the government has no systems in place to make it possible, which is sad.

Marco Veringa, Tung Chung