Hong Kong launches plan to tackle waste crisis

May 20, 2013
This picture taken on March 6, 2013 shows a landfill in the new territories of Hong Kong as the Chinese city of Shenzhen looms in the background. Hong Kong on Monday launched a ten-year plan to reduce waste by 40 percent per person as part of efforts to catch up with other leading Asian cities and avert a looming environmental crisis.

Hong Kong on Monday launched a ten-year plan to reduce waste by 40 percent per person as part of efforts to catch up with other leading Asian cities and avert a looming environmental crisis.

With a population of more than 7 million, the city currently sends 1.27 kg (2.8 pounds) per person per day to three huge outdoor landfill sites which are set to reach capacity by 2020.

The government's 'blueprint' document proposed reaching its reduction target by expanding recycling, levying duties on household rubbish and improving waste-related infrastructure.

It also mooted the possibility of building and extending existing landfill sites.

"To face the challenges of the waste issue fundamentally, we need the joint efforts of the entire community to embrace an environmentally sustainable culture in daily life," the city's environmental minister Wong Kam-sing told reporters.

"We are committed to taking all the necessary decisions and actions now so we can put Hong Kong on a clear path...towards a use less, waste less lifestyle," Wong said in the document.

The government hopes to recycle 55 percent of the city's waste, incinerate 23 percent and place 22 percent in landfills by 2022. In 2011, 52 percent of waste was put into and 48 percent recycled.

But the proposal to build an incinerator is unpopular with residents and some .

Other possible measures include an expansion of food-waste recycling, a waste separation and collection system, a charge on and landfill extensions.

The majority of the 9,000 tonnes of rubbish generated in Hong Kong each day is from households, business and industry and made primarily of putrescibles, paper and plastics, the report said.

The southern Chinese city has a high waste generation rate compared to other Asian cities of similar economic development, Wong said, adding that Hong Kong is behind because it has not taken enough steps to reduce waste.

Hong Kong's generation of waste per person is higher than other large Asian cities, including Metro Tokyo and Seoul which generate only 0.77 kg and 0.95 kg of daily waste per person, according to the document.

Wong also offered Taipei as an example where a volume-based waste fee system helped reduced waste per person by 65 percent from 2000 to 2011, according to Taiwan Environmental Authority statistics.

The city's Environmental Protection Department had previously published a 10-year framework for managing the city's in 2005 but has been criticised for failing to implement much of the plan.

Explore further: Hong Kong struggles to combat waste crisis

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hong Kong struggles to combat waste crisis

May 03, 2013

An army of road sweepers and refuse collectors keep the streets clean in the heart of Hong Kong—but on the outskirts, growing mountains of waste are testament to what campaigners say is an environmental ...

Europe triples recycling but still lags target

Mar 19, 2013

Recycling of household waste has tripled in Europe over the past decade but some countries are dragging their feet for meeting a target set for 2020, the European Environment Agency (EAA) said in a report ...

Sweden wants Norway's trash (and lots of it)

Oct 28, 2012

(Phys.org)—Sweden is hungry for trash and has turned to Norway for an offer it would find hard to refuse, no pun intended. Sweden is asking its neighbor for trash. Sweden's success is Sweden's problem. ...

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...