Eco Park now less green, critics say

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 March, 2011, 12:00am

The Environmental Protection Department will relax the tenancy terms at Eco Park sites in Tuen Mun. Critics complain the move will undermine the purpose of the park.

The 20-hectare park is designed to encourage Hong Kong's recycling business. Six lots covering 50,000 square metres in the park's second phase are open to public tender by waste recyclers until 13 May.

Successful bidders will be offered a 20-year lease instead of 10 years in the park's first phase to align t rental commitments with the long-term capital investment required by the project.

The department has also lifted restrictions on the types of waste to be handled, leaving that up to the tenants. However, they will still have to meet its minimum waste recycling throughput numbers.

Dr Man Chi-sum, a member of the Advisory Council on the Environment's waste-management subcommittee, said the revised lease arrangement did not sit well with the park's mandate to promote good environmental practice.

He said it was unwise to make the rental offer part of the consideration in the tenders, as it would mean valuable land at the park would likely go to the highest bidders, defeating the purpose of the park to assist recyclers in need.

Man also said the department should not let operators decide what to recycle. 'Without specifying the types of wastes, it will be difficult to promote the recycling Hong Kong most needs,' said Man.