We have to go ahead with incinerators

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2012, 12:00am

The author of a recent article in the South China Morning Post ('Incinerator is a bad way to burn money,' December 30) argued against incinerators.

There is no doubt that the process will produce air pollutants and greenhouse gases, such as methane. However, the question is whether we have any other possible ways to dispose of our growing heaps of garbage.

In Hong Kong, both residents and industry produce plenty of waste. In order to solve our garbage problem, the government has used landfills. That, however, is no longer feasible on a large scale.

As a result, the incineration of waste remains our most effective option. It is true that incineration is not very environmentally friendly. But it has more advantages than disadvantages.

Without building new incinerators, we won't be able to solve our acute solid waste problem.

Andy Chan Tsz-on, King Ling College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Andy. Waste is a huge problem around the world, but particularly so in Hong Kong, where we have so many people living in such a small space. In a way, we should be more worried about it than people in other places.

There will always be rubbish, and we will always have to dispose of it. We simply don't have space for many landfills, so the incinerator solution makes the most 'sense' - at least in terms of space in our crowded city.

But we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to reduce the amount of waste we produce, so a minimal amount of waste is burned.

Of course, if only a small group of people commit to reducing waste, it's not going to make much difference. We all need to promise to use less, reuse more, recycle more. Unless we work together to cut down on the amount of rubbish we produce, Hong Kong is going to become one big rubbish dump. And who wants to live in a bin?

Karly, Deputy Editor