Helping glass container recycling in Hong Kong with widespread collection points

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 February, 2017, 12:15am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 February, 2017, 10:48pm

I refer to the letters by Anthony Green (“Glass recycling bin at complex never emptied”, February 5), and Cosmo Lo (“Glass recycling faces flaws in the system”, February 10) on glass recycling, and would like to provide information on the provision of collection services for glass containers.

The government has been actively promoting glass container recycling through a number of voluntary programmes, under which regular collection services are provided to the participating housing estates or buildings.

Over the years, we have been progressively expanding the collection network for glass containers, by setting up collection points at residential housing estates and other buildings.

As at last December, there were altogether 1,380 residential collection points, covering more than 70 per cent of the population.

As regards the operational arrangements, during each collection, an appointed collector is required to take away a recycling bin at a collection point, irrespective of whether it is full or not, and put up an empty bin.

Glass containers collected will then be delivered to competent glass recyclers for proper recycling. This bin-for-bin arrangement helps promote operational efficiency, work safety and noise minimisation.

Fulham Garden joined our recycling programme last August, and a regular collection service is being provided by our contractor once every three weeks.

We have ascertained with the contractor and also the property management office that the collection service has been provided in this manner over the past few months. We would also like to point out that in addition to the regular service, an ad hoc collection service may be arranged in case the recycling bin is full before the next scheduled collection service.

A hotline (5535 2012) has been set up to provide support to the participating housing estates and buildings. Housing managers may also call the same hotline if they wish to join our programme.

Meanwhile, following the passage of the enabling legislation by the Legislative Council last year, we are undertaking the preparatory work to implement the Producer Responsibility Scheme on glass beverage containers in phases, starting in 2017/18.

Under the scheme, glass management contractors will be hired to provide a territory-wide collection service, and we expect that the current collection network for glass containers will be further expanded.

Samson Lai, assistant director of environmental protection