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Infrastructure Projects Construction Wastes Head to China

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City to spend HK$4b transporting waste
16 June 2009
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong would spend at least HK$4 billion over the next three years to transport construction waste from the city's massive infrastructure projects to reclamation sites across the border, officials said yesterday.

Talks were also under way with mainland authorities on opening up more and closer sites to receive the waste. A number of sites were being considered by the State Oceanic Administration, and officials hoped the sites chosen would be near Hong Kong to save on transport costs.

The only site currently designated to receive waste is Guanghaiwan in Taishan city , in the western Pearl River Delta.

The site is about 170km from Hong Kong and the waste has to be transported by sea. It has taken about 17 million tonnes of waste so far.

Hong Kong is expected to generate at least 28 million tonnes of waste in the next two to three years from infrastructure works, including rail projects that require excavation and tunnels. While some could be used in reclamation work in Central, Wan Chai and for the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge off north Lantau, officials said these projects could not use all of the material.

"A single site cannot handle the growing amount of material. We will need more sites to receive them as we do not have enough space to store them in Hong Kong," said Yip Sai-chor, head of the civil engineering office at the Civil Engineering and Development Department.

Mr Yip said that although the Taishan site had space to handle up to 90 million tonnes, logistical problems limited its use. The department had been operating two "fill banks" in Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O to store the reusable materials temporarily, but their capacities were nearly approaching the 12 million tonne limit. It was forecast that about 10 million tonnes of waste would need to be moved out of the city.

The department has already invited tenders for operators for the cross-border transport for the next three years, the cost of which is estimated at a minimum of HK$4 billion.

The department will finance the project from its recurrent account and there is no need to seek additional funding from the legislature.
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