Legco to vote on landfills next year: Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam visits affected villages to canvass support and hear views of disgruntled residents
The government hoped to reapply for funding to expand the city's three landfills early next year, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said yesterday after visiting two villages close to the Tuen Mun facility.
The proposals to extend the Tuen Mun, Tseung Kwan O and Ta Kwu Ling landfills would be tabled in the Legislative Council together. The government tried to seek funding for the expansion from Legco last month, but withdrew the Tseung Kwan O plan amid strong opposition. Lawmakers decided to defer scrutiny of the other two sites.
Lam said this was the first of a series of visits to places affected by the landfills to hear residents' concerns.
She and Secretary for Environment Wong Kam-sing talked to representatives from Ha Pak Nai village in Yuen Long and Lung Kwu Tan village in Tuen Mun.
Lam said the visit was to fulfil her earlier pledge that she and Wong would visit the three districts most affected by the proposed extension. "We will continue to do these visits and also to engage the stakeholders and to talk with the three district councils," she said.
However, the visitors were greeted by dozens of protesters when they arrived at the villages and residents said they would oppose any expansion.
Lung Kwu Tan village representative Lau Wai-ping said residents had made multiple complaints about how the landfill was polluting the sea and producing foul smells, but the government had not addressed their concerns properly.
He hoped the government could understand the impact of the landfill on the lives of the villagers.
Ha Pak Nai village representative Cheng Wai-kwan said their village was only 300 metres from the landfill, and residents had endured foul smells for years. "Stopping the expansion is our only request," he said.
Lam said she recognised the residents' concerns about the expansion plans. She hoped to work on laws banning unmodified trucks, which leaked, from accessing the three landfills; allowing only construction waste at the Tseung Kwan O landfill; and increasing incentives for people to use refuse transfer stations in the summer.