• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 4:28pm

Policy of recycling education and action needed to stem waste

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 May, 2014, 3:34am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 May, 2014, 3:34am

Our waste has long been black-bagged and taken to landfills.

A complete official silence exists on the different methods available to stop, separate and recycle waste. In effect a policy of "no recycling" is in place. Waste charging tests continue this silence, with no mention of the crucial recycling requirement - separation at source.

This omission can only be intentional and raises basic questions.

Why has our society been kept so uninformed for so long on waste separation and recycling? Why has there been no rigorous education and training to transform public perceptions of waste as a valuable community resource? Who benefits from this inaction? Would intensive separation and recycling schemes make the proposed incinerator and landfill extensions unnecessary?

The Anesidora Nature and Eco Education Association has been set up to promote recycling education and training, the "missing" soft infrastructure to support a "Think Green, Go Clean and Live Cool" Hong Kong.

This recycling education would be directly integrated with 18 district recycling schemes for the main waste categories: food and green organic waste, recyclables and construction material, which make up 90 per cent of refuse.

Recycling economies create good jobs, result in no waste being sent to landfills or for incineration, and stop harmful global warming gas and pollution emissions.

We have our hidden resources in Hong Kong.

We have 830,000 full-time primary, secondary and tertiary students. Most never visit the countryside, experience nature or even see the stars. They need at least a week each year of "One" (outdoor, nature and eco) education in our remaining countryside. They would be a powerful resource to protect and transform Hong Kong's future, with practical experience to nurture social caring, vision, innovation and creativity.

We also have 2.4 million households and 3.84 million workers in 18 districts. Everyone should receive eight or nine Rs education (rethink, redesign, relearn, retrain, remove, reduce, reuse and recycle; and be responsible) to encourage participation and commitment. People are our greatest resource for the future.

We urgently need comprehensive recycling education and action. We need to stop the unsustainable, unnecessary, expensive, irresponsible and unconscionable incinerator and landfill extensions. Please be responsible - separate and recycle.

Serafina Cheung, general secretary, Anesidora Nature and Eco Education Association Ltd


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This article is now closed to comments

Agree on all points. It is very unfortunate that the minister for the environment keeps firm in his misguided position that the mega incinerator proposed on a remote island is the only solution. This project is more than a decade away; well before then, HK can have a comprehensive waste management system in place making the need for his mega incinerator mute.
The answer is obvious
HK Govt is fixated on incinerator & landfill Burn’n Bury madness
Removing food waste by following CIWEM’s policy would leave dry recyclable MSW – new businesses & employment for genuine local recycling startups
CIWEM Worldwide Policy on food waste disposers & use of sewage system
Santa Monica Green Bin food & garden waste collection
San Francisco ZERO Waste policy
“Zero Waste is sending nothing to landfill or incineration
We create policies that reduce waste, & increase access to recycling & composting.
SF Environment is doing everything we can to make it happen”
Recycling vs Incineration
For 24 of 25 solid waste materials recycling saves more energy than is generated by incinerating mixed solid waste in an EFW facility.
Recycling conserves energy that would otherwise be expended extracting virgin raw materials from the natural environment transforming them to produce goods that can also be Mfrd from recycled MSW.Energy conserved by recycling exceeds electricity generated by EFW incineration by much more than the additional energy necessary to collect recycled materials separately from MSW process recycled materials into manufacturing feedstocks & ship them to distant Mfr
Or you could start your own Bokashi Composting bin at home and slowly edge towards 0 organic waste, no need to wait for government policies.
If you are more adventurous, you can even set up a hot composting box at home, or even try worm composting.
Whether you garden/plant at home or not, the resulting composting is infinitely better for the environment.
dynamco should throw another 100 documents over the wall to the Environmental Protection Department, sent 300 emails to them, and list another 200 webs sites to convince the public in Hong Kong on how right he is !!
He may want to consider more effective way to influence waste management policy in Hong Kong the next time around. At the least, go back to school and learn how to organize, analyze and distill information, present them coherently, and write succinctly.
: )


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