Green groups and the environmental industry gave a mixed reception to Tung Chee-hwa's renewed pledge to finalise a waste-reduction strategy for increasing recycling. Mr Tung said that while Hong Kong recovered 50 per cent of commercial and industrial waste, the recovery rate for domestic waste was only 10 per cent. 'There is certainly more we can all do to improve this situation, including stepping up education to increase public awareness,' he said. The Chief Executive announced he would draw up policies to encourage the development of recycling industries and create jobs. The Government would also study recycling strategies and the use of land-fill sites and incineration. Other policy objectives are to find suitable sites for recycling centres next year and test the degradability of food packaging with environmental claims by the end of this year. For Daniel Cheng Man-chung, president of the Hong Kong Environmental Industry Association, Mr Tung's message was welcome but did not go far enough. Mr Cheng said the industry was still concerned over remarks in August made by Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who said the recycling industry had no future in Hong Kong. 'At least Tung recognises the importance of the industry and wants to study it,' Mr Cheng said. 'But in addition to studying there are some short-term measures we can form action plans on immediately.' Mr Cheng said increasing the number of neighbourhood collection centres for recycling would have a big impact on the amount of domestic waste the industry could recycle. Edwin Chi-kit Lau, head of the Private Sector Committee on the Environment, said Mr Tung's comments indicated a continuing commitment to the goals he announced last year. 'That can be interpreted as a commitment to moving forward on the directions he set last year and a sign that resources will be committed to making it happen,' he said. Landfill sites have been on the Government's agenda recently. On Monday the Civil Engineering Department announced proposals to study the feasibility of a 700-hectare 'waste island' off Lantau. The proposed island, South Cheung Chau, is being explored as an option to help absorb some of the nearly 8,000 tonnes of construction waste generated daily. Three existing landfills will be full in the next 10 to 15 years. Plato Yip Kwong-to, assistant director of Friends of the Earth, said Mr Tung had failed to explore all options for handling waste before resorting to incineration or landfill. 'He was basically revisiting his environmental comments last year and he did not mention anything about assistance,' he said.