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Waste Reduction - Recycling & User Fees

8888 Views 43 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  hkskyline
Recyclers to spend HK$61m at new park

Three recyclers will invest up to HK$61 million to recover and recycle plastic, rubber tyres and wooden waste after they were awarded land at the newly established Eco-Park


The trio are Jets Technics Limited, which will turn tyres into mattresses, Telford Envirotech, which shreds plastics into pellets for reuse, and Hung Wai Wooden Board, which reprocesses wooden waste into chipboard. They were awarded 10-year land leases at monthly rents of HK$11 to HK$21 per square metre.

The sites total 19,500 square metres, out of eight hectares of land put forward for public tender earlier this year. The Eco Park in Tuen Mun, with a total size of 20 hectares and costing HK$319 million to build, will come into operation in phases. Environment officials hope it will help divert waste from shrinking landfills.

The three recyclers, picked from a dozen bidders, will be required to handle at least 6,000 tonnes of plastic, 2,000 tonnes of wood and 8,000 tonnes of tyres a year, starting from next year.

Next month, officials expect to invite recyclers in plastics, organic waste and electronic and electrical waste to bid for the remaining 12 hectares.

"By encouraging and promoting the reuse, recovery and recycling of our waste resources and returning them to the consumption loop, the Eco Park will help to develop a circular economy within Hong Kong," said Environmental Protection Department director Anissa Wong Sean-yee, who signed contracts with the three recyclers yesterday.

Latest EPD figures show 7,300 tonnes of tyres, 118,625 tonnes of wood waste and 623,785 tonnes of plastics are sent to landfills each year.

Under the terms of the contracts, the three operators will be required to collect waste locally at their own cost and will not be allowed to use imported waste unless they have met the minimum recycling targets and gain approval from the Environmental Protection Department.
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Funding scheme on domestic food waste reduction and recycling launched
Government Press Release
Monday, July 4, 2011

The Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) today (July 4) rolled out a scheme to help housing estates reduce food waste and separate waste food at source.

Housing estates are encouraged to partner with non-government organisations to hold education and promotion programmes to raise residents' awareness of food waste reduction and engage their active participation in food waste recycling. The scheme also subsidises the installation and operation of on-site food waste treatment facilities at participating housing estates.

Food waste accounts for about one third (i.e. 3,000 tonnes) of the 9,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) disposed of at our landfills every day.

"The disposal of a large quantity of food waste at landfills is not sustainable. We hope that the funding scheme launched by the ECF for the reduction, collection and on-site treatment of food waste in housing estates can help raise public awareness, promote behavioural change, and reduce the disposal of food waste. The support of individual households is crucial to our effort to reduce the generation and disposal of food waste," a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said.

The funding scheme is part of the Government's overall strategy to tackle food waste. Organic waste treatment facilities are being developed at Siu Ho Wan and Sha Ling to handle food wastes in bulk. At the same time, efforts are being made to encourage reduction of food waste and its proper treatment at source.

"Data collected and experience learned from participating estates can help us identify the factors for consideration in the wider promotion of food waste collection and recycling in Hong Kong. We hope the scheme will include a variety of housing in terms of their types, age and geographical areas so as to consolidate experiences for sharing in the future," the spokesman said,

The EPD will operate a help-desk service to provide technical advice to applicants during planning and implementation and assist them in identifying suitable places for locating their on-site food waste treatment facilities. To consolidate experience from the scheme, the help-desk service will also provide detailed operational guidelines and a reporting framework to help applicants conduct performance evaluation.

The Government announced in January 2011 a comprehensive action plan that includes a number of initiatives to reduce waste at source, coupled with modern waste treatment facilities and extension of landfills, to tackle the imminent waste problem using a multi-pronged approach. Through the ECF funding scheme, the EPD is encouraging housing estates to take concrete action to reduce food waste at source.

More information on the application procedures is available on the ECF website ( ). Enquiries can be made through the hotline ( telephone number: 2788 5598 ) or email ( [email protected] ).
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ACE to hold public forum on waste charging and sustainable waste management strategy
Monday, March 19, 2012
Government Press Release

The following is issued on behalf of the Advisory Council on the Environment:

The Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE) will hold a public forum this Saturday (March 24) to discuss and exchange views with stakeholders, academics, concerned groups and members of the public on the introduction of municipal solid waste charging and a sustainable waste management strategy for Hong Kong.

The Government published a consultation document entitled "Strengthening Waste Reduction: Is Waste Charging an Option?" early this year to seek public views on the introduction of waste charging as an economical means to reduce the generation of municipal solid waste. The consultation period will end on April 10.

The exploration of waste charging is part and parcel of the Government's multi-pronged strategy to achieve sustainable waste management. During the public forum, there will be discussions on different charging approaches and the associated requirements in the complementary measures. Other aspects of the sustainable waste management strategy will also be discussed. The views collected will help the Government chart the way forward for its work in the next stage to tackle the imminent waste problem in Hong Kong.

The public forum will be held at the Lecture Hall of the Hong Kong Science Museum between 9.30am and 12.30pm. Members of the public are welcome to participate. Please visit the following webpage for details: For enquiries, please contact the Secretariat of the ACE at 2594 6324 or 2594 6132 during office hours.
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A waste-to-energy journey
July 17, 2016
Government Press Release Excerpt

T•PARK, Hong Kong's first self-sustained sludge treatment facility, is open to the public, with guided tours and spa pools available for reservation. Visitors can explore the park's environmental features and educational and leisure facilities to learn about the city's sludge treatment and experience the “waste-to-energy” process.

One of the most technologically advanced facilities of its kind in the world, T•PARK near Tuen Mun combines advanced technologies into a single complex to treat up to 2,000 tonnes of waste per day. It also comprises power generation, desalination, educational and ecological facilities.

Environmental Protection Department Environmental Protection Officer Cary Wan said the park's advanced incineration system can reduce sludge, the sediment deposited during the treatment of sewage, by 90%, thereby substantially reducing landfill loads.

"The T in T•PARK stands for transformation, which means the heat energy generated from the incineration process is recovered and turned into electricity that can support the needs of the entire facility.

"We want to use this as an example, to call on the public to deepen their efforts in energy saving and waste reduction."

The park has educational and leisure facilities to boost public awareness on the importance of waste reduction at source.

The heat generated during sludge incineration can be recovered for electricity generation to meet on-site needs. The surplus power generated can meet the needs of up to 4,000 households.

The park treats and reuses wastewater for irrigation, flushing and cleaning. Its seawater desalination plant produces fresh water for use on site and rainwater is also collected for non-potable use.

The heat energy recovered from the incineration process warms the park's three spa pools. They are set at hot, ambient and cool temperatures, and have sea views of Deep Bay, making the park a perfect place to relax and refresh.

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Bags of trouble for rubbish cheats
The Standard Excerpt
Mar 21, 2017

A family of three will have to pay about HK$36 to HK$52 a month when the government's waste charging scheme kicks off in the second half of 2019 at the earliest.

And there will be a penalty of HK$1,500 for those who use the wrong bags.

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said the scheme will charge differently for residential and commercial users.

Residential buildings and village houses will use the "by bag" mechanism, where residents will be charged based on the number of used pre-paid garbage bags.

Wong said: "In setting the charging level, the government has considered different factors including the effectiveness of waste reduction, public acceptability and affordability."

Households will be required to buy any of the nine designated bags for packing the rubbish.

The smallest bag is three liters and the largest 100 liters costing 11 cents per liter, meaning the price of a 10-liter bag will be HK$1.1.

Trash which cannot fit in the largest bags will be labeled as "over-sized" waste. Residents can buy the bags and over-sized waste labels at 4,000 selling points, including supermarkets, post offices, drug stores and vending machines.
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The Standard Excerpt
Unions blast waste charge proposal
March 31, 2017

Frontline environmental hygiene staff are up in arms over the government's proposed waste charging scheme, warning it may lead to illegal dumping and increase their workload.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department Staff Rights Union and the Government Frontline Employees Union, which represent about 5,000 mostly contract workers, questioned whether the scheme will help cut waste produced in the SAR.

Under the proposal announced last week, households will have to put rubbish into designated plastic bags, for sale across the territory and costing around 11 HK cents per liter. It is expected to come into full force in late 2019 to change people's behavior and reduce waste.

Staff rights union vice chairwoman Li Mei-siu said: "The scheme will lead to a serious problem of illegal dumping since many citizens will dump their waste on the street to avoid the charge. However, the government only said it is going to hire more staff for the Environmental Protection Department but there is no plan to increase the manpower of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department."

Its chairman Au Pong-tim said: "It is impossible for us to carry out enforcement as not every building has CCTV. The authorities also did not ask the frontline staff's opinion on the enforcement issue."

He believed the scheme will increase conflict between frontline staff and citizens. The two unions will request a meeting with the relevant authorities to express their concerns.
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Hong Kong drowning in waste as China rubbish ban takes toll
Jan 31, 2018

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong boasts glittering skyscrapers, seamless transportation and billion dollar infrastructure projects, but it is struggling with a much more mundane problem: disposing of its trash.

The former British colony is grappling with a growing mountain of waste resulting from China’s ban this year on imports of 24 types of unprocessed rubbish – part of an effort to upgrade its recycling industry and reduce pollution.

The Hong Kong government acknowledges its inability to cope with the problem, saying that it lacks the land to develop an effective recycling industry. Critics say, meanwhile, that the city has done too little to upgrade and develop its waste management system.

“Hong Kong is a rich city with third-world quality recycling,” said Doug Woodring, founder and managing director of Ocean Recovery Alliance, a Hong Kong-based non-government organization. “It has been too easy to send unprocessed waste to China.”

Until last year, Hong Kong exported over 90 percent of its recyclables to China. That all changed at the end of 2017 as the effects of the Chinese ban – which included Hong Kong despite its status as a special administrative region of China – started to be felt around the world.

Huge mountains of old newspapers, cardboard and office scrap have piled up on Hong Kong’s docks over the past few months while plastic waste has been dumped into the landfills.

A city of more than 7 million people, Hong Kong deposits around two thirds of its waste into landfills - 5.6 million tonnes annually. Little is recycled.
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Belgian company to build HK$31b waste management facility
Nov 16, 2018
The Standard

Belgian environmental technology company Keppel Seghers has won a HK$31 billion contract in co-operation with a Hong Kong firm to design, build and operate Hong Kong's first integrated waste management facility, the Chief Secretary, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said today at the Belgium's King's Day reception.

"Hong Kong and Belgium are close business and trading partners. Hong Kong is home to nearly 70 Belgian companies, from banking and asset management to manufacturing and logistics,'' he said.

Keppel Seghers Hong Kong and Zhen Hua Engineering, the wholly owned subsidiaries of Keppel Infrastructure Holdings and China Harbour Engineering Company announced December last yeat they signed the contract with the Environmental Protection Department. Administrative Region to design, build the facility off the coast of Shek Kwu Chau and south of Lantau Island.
Hong Kong government falling behind on environmental promises, green group says
22 April 2020
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong is expected to miss a waste reduction target, putting an even greater strain on landfills, a green group has warned ina report card on the government's environmental goals over the past five years.

The review by Friends of the Earth (HK) coincided with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday.

Although stronger regulations had been adopted to control air and marine pollution, the city was unlikely to hit its goal of cutting per capita waste by 40 per cent from 2013 levels by 2022, the NGO said. The consultation for a “polluter pays” scheme for plastic bottles and packaging, originally scheduled to happen this year, has also been delayed.

“The plan is to cut the amount of waste per person to 0.8kg [1.76 pounds] by 2022, but the current rate is 1.5kg [3.3 pounds],” said Jeffrey Hung Oi-shing, the research team's senior manager. “And now it seems that the proposed waste-charging scheme will also be delayed.”

The waste disposal bill, expected to help the government achieve its goal of reducing rubbish, has stalled in the Legislative Council, with lawmakers doubting it will pass before the term ends in October.

Lawmakers on both sides say the government is no longer invested in the scheme, while pro-establishment legislators accuse the opposition camp of filibustering in the Legislative Council and pan-democrats accuse the other side of holding up the bill out of fear of angering their voter base.

Hung said the delay would overload the city's already strained waste management system, while recyclables were being dumped into landfills, Hung said.

The Environmental Protection Department estimates the city's landfills will be full by this year, and a planned incinerator will not be in operation until at least 2026. Hung said the government should work towards increasing recycling rates and that incineration should be a last resort.

Undersecretary for the Environment Tse Chin-wan said the waste disposal bill was “important” and needed to be passed soon. “But as I understand there are still many details that are being debated by legislators now,” he told a radio show on Wednesday.
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Hong Kong waste charging scheme dumped as time runs out on long-delayed bill
South China Morning Post Excerpt
June 22, 2020

Hong Kong lawmakers have dumped a long-delayed bill on a mandatory waste disposal charge, citing a lack of time to complete the legislative work and blaming one another for the failure.

The bill, the third ditched in the past few weeks because of time constraints, was first proposed more than a decade ago and expected to reduce solid waste by 40 per cent on a per capita basis by 2022, according to the government’s blueprint.

Members of the bills committee on the waste charging scheme voted on Monday seven to four to shelve discussions for the rest of the current legislative session, which ends in mid-July, effectively dumping the bill.

“This means total government failure in terms of environmental policy,” said opposition lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung, a member of the bills committee.

Hui said Legislative Council meetings had prioritised debate over the national security law, the national anthem law and infrastructure projects over social issues such as environmental protection.

More : Long-delayed waste charging scheme dumped as time runs out
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HK needs to move faster on waste-charging: activist
RTHK Excerpt
Sep 29, 2020

An environmental activist said on Tuesday it would be at least another two years before Hong Kong could have a paper recycling mill, after the 20-year lease for a site at Eco Park in Tuen Mun fell through.

Questions are being asked about whether the government properly handled the tendering process.

Edwin Lau, the executive director of Green Earth, said government data indicates around 700,000 tonnes of waste paper was sent to landfills in 2018, after the mainland and Southeast Asia countries tightened their import requirements.

More : HK needs to move faster on waste-charging: activist - RTHK
An upside to Hong Kong protests scaring away tourists and the economy shrinking last year? Residents threw out less rubbish
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Dec 21, 2020

Hong Kong’s per capita rubbish disposal rate declined annually by 3.2 per cent in 2019 as the economy contracted in the latter half of the year, following months of social unrest triggered by the now-abandoned extradition bill.

However, environment groups warned the slight reduction was not enough to meet the city’s 2022 waste reduction target and the sustained decline in the recycling rate of paper and plastic showed a failure of waste policies.

On average, each Hongkonger sent 1.47kg of municipal solid waste, which includes domestic, commercial and industrial debris, to landfills every day last year, according to the figures released by the Environmental Protection Department on Monday. In 2018, that figure stood at 1.53kg. Recycling rates, meanwhile, fell to 29 per cent from the 30 per cent in 2018.

More : With no tourists and economy shrinking, Hong Kong threw out less rubbish
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Govt sets out plan to ditch reliance on landfills
RTHK Excerpt
Feb 8, 2021

The SAR government on Monday unveiled a new plan for waste reduction – setting a target to slash the amount of rubbish thrown out per person by 40 to 45 percent before 2035.

As part of efforts to cut Hong Kong's reliance on landfills, the administration also hopes to boost the recovery rate for waste to about 55 percent, through the long-planned household rubbish charging scheme and the development of new green facilities.

The blueprint sets out moves to consult the public on whether the use of disposable plastic tableware should be regulated, and whether producers of plastic drinks bottles should be charged under the "polluter pays" concept.

"Assuming that aforementioned waste-to-energy infrastructure with adequate treatment capacity can be in place by around 2035, we will no longer need to rely on landfills for direct disposal of our municipal solid waste," the government said.

Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing said it is important for the territory to bring in the household waste charging scheme that was first suggested more than 15 years ago.

More : Govt sets out plan to ditch reliance on landfills - RTHK
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Waste charging law passes in Hong Kong
Aug 26, 2021
The Standard Excerpt

Residents will have to pay 11 cents per liter of rubbish they dump after a municipal waste charging law passed today in Legislative Council.

The law, which has been over 15 years in the making, passed this morning with 37 votes in support and one vote against.

Secretary for Environment Wong Kam-sing said there will be a preparation period of at least 18 months before the law’s enforcement.

More : Waste charging law passes in Hong Kong
Green group urges timetable for waste reduction
RTHK Excerpt
July 18, 2022

A green group on Monday urged the government to map out a timetable to regulate disposable utensils, saying current plans are not enough to tackle the waste problem in Hong Kong.

The government hopes to stop the sale and use of disposable polystyrene tableware at restaurants by around 2025. But takeaway utensils, such as plastic cups and food containers, are not included in the plan.

Greenpeace said it surveyed 1,005 people last month and found that 37 percent reported buying takeaway coffee, on average consuming three cups per week. The group estimated that 400 million coffee cups are being disposed of in a year.

More : Green group urges timetable for waste reduction - RTHK
Hong Kong’s only drinks carton recycler faces closure after government-backed science park refuses to renew lease
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Sept 19, 2022

Hong Kong’s only drinks carton recycler is on the verge of folding after the government-backed landlord refused to renew its lease and told it to leave the premises within four months.

Founders warned that the cessation would immediately affect the city’s more than 160 collection points for recyclables as no other companies could process the waste.

“It will be a pity if we can’t continue our business. We don’t want the current recycling chain to break,” said Nigel Lo Chi-chung, operations director of pulp plant Mil Mill. “We initially had plans to upgrade our services, but we don’t dare do it now.”

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元朗工業邨變「創新園」拒續租 全港唯一紙包飲品盒回收廠恐年底停運 星洲邀設廠
Sept 19, 2022

【Yahoo 新聞報道】本港唯一紙包飲品盒回收廠「喵坊」(Mil Mill)在元朗工業邨設廠,每日回收約 20 萬個飲品盒及 10 噸雜紙,因地主科技園公司拒絕續租而面臨倒閉。工業邨去年易名為創新園,正在興建微電子中心。喵坊創辦人葉文琪引述科技園代表稱,因其廠房或影響微電子中心計劃,故要求喵坊今年底約滿遷出。葉文琪表示,若找不到合適地點搬遷,最壞情況是終止香港紙包飲品盒回收業務,盼科技園公司提供3年搬遷期。



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We've done our best to help recycling firm: HKSTP
RTHK Excerpt
Sept 27, 2022

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP) on Tuesday said it has done its best to help a recycling firm which is set to lose its base at a Yuen Long industrial estate that is being developed into a high-tech park.

Mil Mill, which is Hong Kong's only beverage carton recycling company, signed a three-year lease for the site in January 2019 and was later given a one-year extension.

It has been told to move out by the end of the year, but says it doesn't know if can find somewhere suitable for a new factory.

HKSTP CEO Albert Wong said they would like to hold talks with Mil Mill, but added that they have already done their best to help the firm.

"We need to balance between different kinds of sectors, stakeholders, including the development of the INNOPARK, which is a very important part of the whole development of Hong Kong," he said.

More : We've done our best to help recycling firm: HKSTP - RTHK
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Hong Kong’s only drinks carton recycler may halt collections on Sat amid dispute with gov’t-backed landlord
Hong Kong Free Press Excerpt
Sept 28, 2022

Hong Kong’s only drinks carton recycler will have to halt collections from Saturday unless its government-backed landlord budges on its decision not to renew their lease, Mil Mill’s co-founder has said.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Harold Yip denied the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP)’s claim that both parties had only agreed on a short-term lease in 2018 for the Yuen Long Industrial Estate venue.

“If the agreement was only three years all along, we would not have invested 10 million [dollars] in the first place,” Yip said in reference to the factory start-up costs.

More : Hong Kong's only drinks carton recycler may halt collections on Sat amid dispute with gov't-backed landlord - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP
Drinks carton recycler given six months' grace
The Standard Excerpt
Sept 29, 2022

Mil Mill, the only drinks carton recycler in Hong Kong, will be given a six months grace period after the lease ends this year.

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp (HKSTP) announced it would offer a maximum of six months grace period to Mil Mill's parent company Secure Information Disposable Services Limited (SSID).

The grace period is on top of its current year-long extension and ends on 30 June 2023, HKSTP added.

More : Drinks carton recycler given six months' grace
Govt to help beverage carton recycler find new site
RTHK Excerpt
Sept 30, 2022

The Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Tse Chin-wan, on Friday said he will help Hong Kong's only beverage carton recycler find a new place to operate, after it was told to leave its base at an industrial estate.

The recycler, Mil Mill, has also been given a six-month lease extension until June next year at the Yuen Long site, which is being developed into a high-tech park.

Tse told an RTHK programme that the government has been liaising with the firm's landlord, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks.

"I myself talked with the CEO of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks. Of course I hope to provide Mil Mill with the maximum assistance and support, but I understand the Science and Technology Parks may have their own limits and difficulties, and they have decided to extend the lease for six months," he said.

Tse said he hopes Mil Mill can continue to serve Hong Kong and he will help it find a new location. But he said authorities would try to find a contractor to recycle beverage cartons if Mil Mill stopped operating, saying it would only take a few months to have the required set-up ready at a recycling plant.

More : Govt to help beverage carton recycler find new site - RTHK
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