• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 11:19pm
NewsHong Kong

Incinerator and landfill expansions are a must, says Bernard Chan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 February, 2014, 11:31am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 1:19pm

Building a waste incinerator and expanding the landfills are the only ways to prevent the city becoming a rubbish city, and the proposed measures must be approved soon, says the chairman of the Council for Sustainable Development.

“There is no possibility that incineration will not be part of our waste management [programme],” said Bernard Chan, who is also a member of the Executive Council.

“Even if it is approved today, it will take time to build and even when it is built, will only treat one-third of the city’s waste. Our landfills are almost at capacity,” he told local radio on Thursday.

Chan said he understood the pains of residents who live near the city’s three landfills but suggested there were “no other methods of processing” available now.

“All three measures [landfill, incineration and recycling] will be needed or the city will very quickly become a city of rubbish.

His statement comes five days before the government again attempts to seek support from lawmakers to build the incinerator and extend the city's three landfills.

Lawmakers rejected the landfill expansion plans last year, while the plan for the incinerator in Shek Kwu Chau faces a court challenge and widespread opposition by nearby residents.

About 48 per cent of the city’s of daily waste is recycled, while 52 percent goes into one of the city’s three landfills. Singapore and Taiwan recycle about the same percentage of their waste but the rest is incinerated and less than 3 per cent of their waste goes to a landfill.

The council is preparing a report on municipal waste charging, which will most likely be published before the third-quarter after a three-month trial. Any proposed rubbish levy will not be implemented until 2016, Chan said.

The council is proposing for industrial and commercial tenants – who are already being charged a number of waste management fees – to start paying for waste according to weight and for households to pay by quantity for the amount of waste thrown via designated pre-paid rubbish bags.

Chan said the cost of each bag would be “less than HK$1 each” and would hopefully provide an incentive for the public to try and reduce their waste charge by separating rubbish and recyclables.

He said public management companies would play a key role in the implementation of a waste levy, its collection and enforcement in the future.

But figuring out how to charge the 10 per cent of Hong Kong households in buildings with no management was also tricky, Chan admitted.



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Fine, whatever. But build the best incinerator you can that produces the lowest possible amount of waste and build it in a sensible place - i.e. not on a pristine island, you muppets.
Plasma gasification is the safest and cleanest method of waste disposal but the idea has met with a stubborn refusal by Govt. to consider it, even to the lengths of making false claims that ther technology is unproven and does not work etc.
If this incinerator goes through thanks to dishonest appraisals by pro Govt. scientists and the disgraceful EPD, the price will be paid in serious health problems among those living near it, caused by the dioxins and other toxic emissions which have long been proved to damage health.
It may be a must for the bank balances of the businesses who stand to benefit from the contracts but there is no other good reason.
Tsang Tsui where a site already exists in an industrial area where it will be far less costly to build and will be far away on the other side of the Castle Peak range from the Tuen Mun residents.
Life is hard enough as it is in HK and plans keep coming to make people pay in the name of promoting awareness. Sure, placing a levy on plastic bags motivated consumers to 'bring your own bag' but garbage ?! It's not like people have a choice.
Build the darn incinerator and take it out from the rich coffer not people. Target the real culprits, companies and manufacturers that spare no resources to make their products more appealing with unnecessary boxing and wrappings. Devise a plan to tackle the perpetrators, but not the end users.
Any suggestions what a 'sensible' place would be?


SCMP.com Account