The environment minister called for a discussion on building an incinerator as a part of Hong Kong’s waste strategy, calling it irresponsible if talks don't take place.
Wong Kam-sing said that waste reduction at source remained a top priority for the government and that he would present his blueprint on waste reduction and treatment soon.
Speaking on a radio programme on Monday morning, he said an incinerator along with landfill expansion might be necessary, adding that such a plan would be in line with what other overseas jurisdictions do.
He warned existing landfills would fill up, one by one, by 2020.
Alongside plans to roll out schemes such as glass bottle recycling, Wong also said it was time to initiate a discussion on building an incinerator and extending landfills.
“If we talk about it today, it doesn’t mean that we will implement it right now. What we need is time for more consideration.
“It is irresponsible to avoid this discussion. We need to look at what the incinerator’s role is, how big it needs to be and what technology can be used,” he said.
The government last year proposed to build an incinerator with a capacity of 3,000 tonnes at Soko Island, south Lantau. The project is now being challenged in court.
It also proposed to expand the three strategic landfills in Tuen Mun, Ta Kwu Ling and Tseung Kwan O.
Both plans have met with strong opposition from locals.
Wong also talked about a proposed HK$10 billion scheme to replace old diesel vehicles, saying the plan was sensible and reasonable, despite truck drivers' concerns that it might disrupt their livelihoods.
On conflict between environment and development, Wong said there were already rules outlining the minimum space between buildings and the proportion of greening in new developments.
“With these measures, we can still make our city more livable even if we are going to increase our housing density,” he said.