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  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 6:24pm

Tuen Mun landfill

Legco's public works subcommittee voted on July 2, 2013, to approve a HK$35 million study of a Tuen Mun landfill expansion in the New Territories. The move has been met with strong opposition from residents, and the district council says Tuen Mun has a disproportionate share of dirty facilities such as power plants and fuel depots. Plans for another landfill, in Ta Kwu Ling, has also been drawn into the controversy. The government withdrew plans for the Tseung Kwan O site amid strong opposition.

NewsHong Kong

Plan to charge households, businesses for rubbish disposal

Environment official says introduction of charging by 2016 could ease landfill pressures

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 July, 2013, 4:49am

At least a fifth of the city's waste can be diverted from landfills if refuse charging is widely adopted by 2016, the undersecretary for the environment says.

Making households and businesses pay for rubbish disposal is under serious consideration, Christine Loh Kung-wai said, as the city struggles to reach agreement on landfill extensions and the introduction of incineration.

Loh said waste could be reduced by at least 20 per cent by 2020, assuming a charge was introduced across the board from 2016.

"This is just a very conservative estimate," she told the South China Morning Post yesterday. "But we are very serious about this. We will be extremely upset if we are not able to do this."

Next month the Council for Sustainable Development will launch a four-month consultation to gauge views on how to implement waste charging.

The city dumps about three million tonnes of waste a year at the Tuen Mun, Ta Kwu Ling and Tseung Kwan O landfills, which have two to six years to go before they reach capacity. This compares with landfills elsewhere in the world, some of which have about 40 years left.

Lawmakers want officials to fine-tune their landfill expansion plans and waste strategies before resubmitting funding requests.

"Hopefully, people will see we are doing something," Loh said, adding that more talks and visits to local communities were planned during the summer.

The bureau was also reviewing charges for construction waste disposal, introduced in 2006, which had diverted much rubbish from landfills, she said.

This is just a very conservative estimate. But we are very serious about this. We will be extremely upset if we are not able to do this

It also aims to reduce food waste by one-quarter by 2017 at the earliest, with citywide campaigns and the completion of two organic waste treatment centres.

On incineration, however, Loh said she would not underestimate the difficulties, noting strong opposition from residents living close to a proposed site near Shek Kwu Chau.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

KwunTongBypass
Just keep on talking, and talking, and talking, and evaluating, and evaluating, and studying and studying, and evaluating and planning, and then talk some more, and study some more, and evaluate some more, and plan some more, and talk some more - and one day maybe the rubbish is simply going away!
Hong Kong people are giving more and more the impression that they are not able to run Hong Kong !
captam
Where are your plans for compulsory separation of waste?
Where are your plans for reducing wasteful and unnecessary decoration/construction waste every time a flat changed hands?
Where are your plans to penalize food suppliers for wasteful and bulky packaging which has nothing to do with "protecting" the contents but is just to deceive buyers about the quantity ?
megafun
No incineration, just REDUCE waste. Ms. Loh, get some balls and multiply that charge by 5 to 10 times. But, make allowances for the poor.
And, one really wonders what a wrongly named "Council for Sustainable Development" is doing in support of allowing any waste at all - since HK's waste is certainly NOT Sustainable, so, why does HK's " Council for Sustainable Development " even consider, orbe part of, that consultation for having non-sustainable waste disposal, when only waste re-use / recycle is acceptable to a real " Council for Sustainable Development "!!
klsocha
Where should the 20% go? Will it evaporate by itself
If they try to implement a charge which is connected to the volume of garbage taken from individual households or businesses, there will be a sharp increase of "fly tipping" - people putting their garbage into public dustbins and dumping in country parks or any quiet place including the sea.
Charging for garbage collection is in itself OK, but it has to be done as a flat charge otherwise it will cause an immense problem.
In Germany, where users garbage bins are weighed on collection and charged accordingly, this has created a lot of problems including people putting garbage in each others bins in order to reduce their own costs.
Hong Kong desperately needs to implement broad based garbage separation and recycling and develop a culture of doing so. Food waste, paper, plastics, glass, and dangerous waste like used batteries and old electrical or electronic devices all need to be separated. But it needs to be made easy to do it. And it needs to be heavily promoted in Hong Kong to get people to do it.
dynamco
www.legco.gov.hk/yr12-13/english/panels/ea/papers/ea0527cb1-1079-2-e.pdf
13. LC Paper No. CB(1)1369/11-12(01) The Panel held another special meeting on 20 April 2012 to continue discussion on the funding (SWC) proposals. (Legco Panel EA statement March 2012)
“Noting that many measures pertaining to the Policy Framework had yet to be
implemented, members were opposed to the reliance on landfills for waste disposal in
view of the associated environmental nuisances, as well as the long lead time and cost
incurred from restoration of landfills. They stressed the need for a holistic package of
waste management measures (including waste reduction, separation and recycling) with
waste incineration as a last resort and better communication between the two terms of
Government on environmental policies, in particular on the need for incineration. They
also urged the Administration to identify other suitable outlying islands for IWMF and
promote the local recycling industry. In view of the foregoing, members did not support
the submission of the funding proposals to the Public Works Subcommittee for
consideration.”
What has changed other than 2012 is now 2013 that the 2013 Environment Panel should rubber stamp ENB's unchanged requests ? Has Govt achieved anything requested by the 2012 Panel EA above ?
'Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity' .. Albert Einstein
Giwaffe
I live in the New Territories and already I see private waste deposited beside public garbage bins. Should the charge for waste be too high, this can only get worse. Another commenter who wrote about increased dumping, such as in public parks, country parks, or into the sea, is spot on. Christine Loh may be correct that the waste can be diverted from landfills; instead, the waste will go to makeshift landfills, the sea, etc.
Recycling is definitely a good idea, but this has several prerequisites, including widespread awareness, convenience, and incentivization. Economies of scale must exist and there must be a market for these products. Perhaps the government can first take on the responsibility of developing the infrastructure, awareness, and education needed to collect, sort, process, and economically use recyclable waste.
Case in point is my office. We have three bins for plastics, paper, and metals. I have been using them for some time and only recently learned that all three bins are actually thrown out as garbage. Apparently, the reason is because there is no infrastructure to collect these recyclables from the office building, so the cleaning workers simply treat it all as trash when they perform the daily garbage run.
dynamco
totally correct- Govt do not collect from private estates which have to separate the waste (or not) find their own private recyclers to collect it & take it away
Look at the recycling figures pushed by Govt it includes the imported waste that was being re-exported (without any treatment) to China
That has now gone belly up since China's 'Green Fence' went up meaning local traders (not recyclers) had imported plastic etc from USA et al that was dirty & they could not send it to China so where would it go ?
that's right landfill
Track back through previous waste blueprints written 1989 & 2004 u see what a shoddy mess they hv made of it- NATO No Action Talk Only
PRss liability law promised 2006 now being gazetted May 2013
Waste charging law by 2007 now proposed to start 2016
to be fair the incumbents got a bag of worms from Tsang & Yau who did nothing that was required in the 2005-14 or previous blueprint
Check what they promised and what they actually did
Hong Kong Government Waste Disposal Plan 1989
www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/prob_solutions/files/WDP.pdf
Consultant
davidcwilson.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3&Itemid=5
Policy Framework for the Management of MSW 2005-2014
www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/boards/advisory_council/files/30-2005-Annex-A.pdf
Giwaffe
Thermal treatment is really the only sustainable method going forward, since any landfill must eventually reach capacity. HK must embark on an ambitious program of thermal treatment plant construction on the condition that any such plants must be based on the latest technology meeting the most stringent standards for emissions. Currently, the technology with the most potential is plasma gasification. We must lobby and protest against the current plan to use obsolete moving grate incineration technology for the new 3000 ton per day Integrated Waste Management Facility. It must instead use plasma gasification, a commercially proven technology that has been shown to be substantially cleaner and with potential to recover higher levels of energy per ton of waste treated.
Thermal treatment is not without its hazards, such as toxic emissions. To ensure the air quality of HK, HK must legislate stringent emissions standards and implement thorough monitoring. I would propose that the current standards be improved such that they are the “best in class” for each emission category amongst global standards. For instance, if Japan allows 300mg whereas EU allows 150mg of a certain pollutant, then HK should adopt 150mg since the lower EU level is the “best in class”.
dynamco
www.zerowasteeurope.eu/2011/04/zero-zabor-new-zero-waste-groups-in-the-basque-country/
‘I want to breathe fresh air’ watch the FLASH DANCE – Enjoy! neat movie
They killed their incinerator project
“New Zero Waste groups are appearing in the Basque Country. Following the experience of Usurbil, a municipality that has achieved 88% separate collection after only two years of implementation of the door-to-door collection, and after the municipalities of Hernani and Oiartzun have joined this system of separate collection, 7 new groups of citizen-led Zero Zabor (Zero Waste) groups have appeared in the region of Guipuzkoa in the Spanish Basque Country. Usurbil was pioneer in challenging the separate collection by means of road container (which was achieving rates always below 40%) and decided to implement door-to-door system.
Hernani (20.000hab) and Oiartzun followed this example a year later and currently the three of them are all above 75% of separate collection. "
johnyuan
1.Hong Kong can have the best proven system to dispose its waste – shop, pay, install and operate. Yes it is that simple. Don’t reinvent the wheel because Hong Kong never is known for its innovation spirit in technology. Government shouldn’t pretend working on the problem because the lack of solution for me I will vocalize it as collusion between government and vested groups.
johnyuan
2. If there is an acting award category for government official worldwide, Hong Kong government should have collected many since the colonial days. This bunch of officials diverts their responsibility to special study groups stuffed with special vested interested individuals as majority in order while putting on an act to deceive the public, no change at the end. I refuse to join one of those committees or study groups so I will not be co-opted and be silenced. The silent majority should really take good care of themselves at least by being the vocal majority. Squeaky wheels hopefully get the oil? Or are most of us actually prepared to jump ship when times come? Don’t trash Hong Kong with your selfishness whatever your future plan is.
joyalsofi
Although I have read about plans elsewhere to tackle rubbish 'at the source' none of those, nor does this article address who the 'source' really is. It isn't the end user or consumer, it is the producers and manufacturers who in these proposals are let off the hook entirely. Put a tax on excess packaging, determined by the percentage of its contribution to the total amount of rubbish ending up in the landfills. Make the ones pay who make a profit on the excessive amounts of packaging. If I saw a proposal like that, then I would know they were serious about this issue. Making consumers pay, who have no say in how much packaging is put around their purchases is just one more way in which those who profit pass on costs to the public.
dynamco
7thspace.com/headlines/440186/epd_clarifies_media_reports_on_arrangements_for_waste_plastic_disposal.html
interesting to see the outcome of the 'recycling' of 'local' plastics which has now come to light after China erected its 'Green Fence'

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