Jockey Club greens up the valley by recycling betting slips

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 February, 2011, 12:00am

How green was our Valley? Not green enough by half, with race-goers discarding millions of betting slips every year at the Happy Valley and Sha Tin racecourses.

So, to do its bit for the environment, the Jockey Club introduced slips that can be recycled. They also have a longer shelf life because the paper is not chemically treated, and they are much thinner, at a tenth of a millimetre.

Moreover, the slips are made from paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit organisation based in Germany, as promoting responsible and sustainable logging.

All slips passed by punters to cashiers in club betting shops will be recycled. There will also be recycling bins in all club betting shops and racecourses: these will be for all losing betting slips, slips that may have been filled in wrongly or for some reason have not been passed to a cashier and need to be disposed of.

It is estimated that the recycling will achieve a 2,178 tonne reduction in carbon emissions.

The recycled slips will be used to make toilet rolls or tissue paper.

'Nothing is wasted; everything can be recycled and used again,' the club's head of betting services, Peter Tsang, said.

'It will make a big difference environmentally, and everything will be recycled in a secure way. It's a big step forward as we'll now get a higher ratio of bet slips being recycled.'

The club also adopts other means to encourage customers to use fewer betting slips. The new self-vending betting terminals have a touch screen feature allowing customers to key in their betting information in return for a receipt, saving them the trouble of filling in betting slips, while cutting down paper consumption.

This has seen the consumption of betting slips drop 20 per cent to 624 million in the 2009/10 season. Internet and phone betting is also used to cut down on the need for using betting slips.

Stephen Chan, the customer service and marketing manager of Confidential Materials Destruction Service, the Hong Kong company that will be taking care of the recycling, was confident the programme would make a difference and be a success.

'We work mainly for the government and for anything that covers the disposal or recycling of confidential material,' Chan said.

'This is an important operation and we'll be doing our best to make sure everything runs smoothly.'

Paperless trading

Means to cut use of slips include the club's new self-vending terminals

This has seen the consumption of betting slips fall in the 2009/10 season to 624 million, a percentage drop of: 20%