Lai See

Activists to show why incinerator plan should be thrown out

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 November, 2013, 2:45am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 November, 2013, 2:34am

A New Territories group will tomorrow publish a report recommending that the government does not proceed with the controversial Shek Kwu Chau incinerator.

The New Territories Concern Group (NTCG) has taken up the issue of Hong Kong's waste management and recently sent a delegation to Europe to inspect waste management systems including incinerators, and gasification plants.

The group is chaired by Ronnie Tang, who is also a village representative and the founding chairman of the Pat Heung North Environment Attention Group. The group's spokesman is Junius Ho kwan yiu, who in addition to being a former president of the Hong Kong Law Society also has the distinction of having deposed Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat as chairman of the Tuen Mun Rural Committee.

The group's findings to be released tomorrow will include a recommendation that food waste should be dealt with separately instead of dumping it in landfills as the government does at present.

The suggestion is that food waste, which comprises 42 per cent of the waste sent to landfills and is between 70 and 90 per cent water, should be shredded at source by garburators and handled by Stonecutters Water Treatment plant, which is currently operating at 50 per cent of capacity.

To cope with the residual non-organic waste, which cannot be recycled, the group recommends gasification as a more mature and appropriate technology to meet Hong Kong's present and future waste management needs. These measures would obviate the need for the incinerator, the report says.

It suggests the establishment of one or more pilot plants to determine the suitability of gasification technology for Hong Kong.

The report also recommends there should be no further delays to territory-wide charging for waste.

The Environmental Protection Department in recent years has stoutly resisted gasification technology and is apparently wedded to incineration. The incinerator is currently on hold as a result of being denied funding by the Legislative Council and because of the appeal which has been lodged against the rejection of the judicial review by the High Court in July. This is unlikely to be heard until June next year.

Those opposed to incineration are hopeful that with opposition within Legco, together with the efforts of lobbying groups such as the NTCG, it will be possible to redirect government policies in dealing with waste.


Barker's new hedge fund

Some months ago we noted that there had been a parting of the ways between Geoffrey Barker, a former HSBC chief economist, and Ballingal Investment Advisors (BIA).

Barker, who was a director with the firm, had been the portfolio manager of the BIA Pacific Macro Fund since it was set up six years ago. It was unclear then what Barker would do next. That mystery has now been solved by Bloomberg, which reports he is to start an Asian macro hedge fund in March. Counterpoint Asian Macro Fund is to be managed by a venture he set up with London-based City Financial Investment.

Barker told Bloomberg that the tie-up with City Financial would enable him to avoid having to hire a larger team and rent greater office space in an uncertain fundraising environment.

City Financial has backed other hedge funds. It will provide services such as accounting, information technology, legal and compliance in exchange for a share of Counterpoint's fee revenue, he said.


Viva salami

To Isola for the launch party of SalumiAmo. This is an initiative supported by the Italian Trade Commission to promote Italy's cured meats, which include prosciutto crudo, prosciutto cotto, salami, mortadella, pancetta e coppa. Chef Fabio Ugoletti was on hand to educate our palate.

They all seemed pretty good to us, but others have the opportunity to try them out as 10 Italian restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau will be staging tasting evenings until December 6. These include Aqua Spirit, Aqua Armani, Domani, DiVino, Patio, Spasso, Gaia, Joia and Aurora at Altira Macau. They will also be sold at some Aeon stores and City'Super outlets. Enjoy.


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