Illegal dumping bad because Hong Kong citizens lack civic responsibility

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 December, 2016, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 December, 2016, 10:27pm

Your editorial on fly-tipping and dumping falls far wide of the mark (“Action needed on illegal dumping”, December 3) as you fail to mention the one glaring inadequacy, which is the lack of civic responsibilities of the Hong Kong citizens who carry out these activities.

There are maybe tens of thousands of possible dumping places across the New Territories. How do you or the Ombudsman believe that any kind of government actions can possibly counter the widespread ingenuity and downright disregard for rules that are displayed by the local residents and their contractors?

I can vouch from experience, living as we do not far from a rubbish pick-up point in Pik Sha Road. It is designed for domestic waste, but is regularly used for fly-tipping construction and garden waste in large quantities. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department typically clears this away after a few days, but of course a few days later the whole cycle starts again.

There is a perfectly adequate government dump less than 10 minutes’ drive away but because there is a fee to dump there, I am afraid my fellow citizens find it unreasonable to pay to dump their non-household rubbish and instead resort to fly-tipping.

To criticise the government is to miss the point, having photographed, reported and even made depositions of two fly- tipping cases that I have witnessed, I can see that the legal route is full of loopholes. One of these is that if you do catch them at it and start taking photos, they will immediately pile the rubbish back in the vehicle. If taken to court, they will argue that they were just pulling in temporarily.

To try to point the finger at the government in this matter is far from correct, and until Hong Kong citizens develop the necessary civic pride, we can expect dumping and fly-tipping to continue.

Bob Rogers, Sai Kung