The Living Islands Movement (LIM) cited the lack of a proper cost analysis and the choice of outmoded incinerating technology as two major reasons the government should scrap the proposed incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau immediately.
The demands for the project to be shelved were contained in a press release issued on November 23 and reproduced below:
November 23, 2011 – The Living Islands Movement (LIM) today called for all Hong Kong people to protest against the Government’s plan to build a super-incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau at an estimated cost of HK$13 billion, HK$10 billion higher than the alternatives.
‘The Government proposal effectively tips $10 billion of taxpayer money into the South China Sea,” said LIM chair Louise Preston. ‘That’s $2,000 per Hong Kong resident. For no apparent good reason.”
LIM vice-chair Michael Pratt added: ‘The Shek Kwu Chau site makes no economic or environmental sense. There are alternatives that involve pre-despoiled sites, involve no damage to marine life or risk of prevailing winds carrying emissions to any populated
areas of Hong Kong and are reachable by land as well as sea. But on cost alone, there are far cheaper options.”
LIM expressed grave concerns that the Government has yet to produce any cost-based analysis to justify its preference for Shek Kwu Chau.
“Our own estimates of cost come from members of LIM with professional expertise,” said Louise Preston, “and the Government has not disputed them. It is extraordinary that a construction project of this scale is being put forward without first confirming the likely cost.”
LIM’s call for action follows the Government’s reissue last Friday November 18 of its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) declaring two sites “acceptable”, but which the Government has inexplicably taken as an endorsement of its proposal to build a 3,000 tons-per-day waste incinerator on reclaimed land near Cheung Chau, in full view of South Lantau’s hills and beaches and to travellers on the Macau Ferries.
Interested parties have one month to comment.
Underlining its concerns about the site selection process for what has been dubbed “the world’s most expensive bonfire”, LIM maintains that the government’s proposed incinerator technology and overall waste management strategy are deeply flawed.
‘This super-incinerator uses outmoded technology,” said Louise Preston. “Incinerators with plasma arc furnaces are being built now in the EU and America more quickly, more cheaply and with no toxic emissions. The Green Island Cement proposal -– using waste to
fuel its cement kilns — will cost the Government nothing, can be operational by 2014, processes more waste than this proposed super-incinerator and also has no toxic emissions.”
‘The Government says it has been planning this incinerator for a decade, so perhaps that’s why its thinking seems boxed-in to the last decade. We’ve talked to experts in these countries who say the Government’s proposed technology generates ash waste laden with
toxins requiring careful disposal with a real risk, over time, of entering the food chain and presenting the Government with much greater waste disposal issues than those it now faces.
“This may be acceptable to the authors of the EIA but it’s not acceptable for Hong Kong and its people.”
Despite decades of studies and consultations there has been no material progress in Hong Kong in developing integrated waste reduction, separation, recycling and reuse systems that have become culturally ingrained in other advanced societies including Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
As a result, thousands of sustainable jobs and new business opportunities have been lost and Hong Kong has developed an unenviable reputation as a wasteful, polluting community.
Overturning the main conclusions of its own Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study, the EPD proposes to adopt the most expensive, time-consuming and environmentally damaging option, instead of applying its energies to educating the public and legislating for comprehensive waste reduction and recycling.
Ignoring its own strategic plans for the southwest New Territories, the Government is proposing to extend the industrial, urban footprint of Hong Kong deep into the main area previously reserved for recreation and conservation, to the dismay of the many nature lovers, hikers, cyclists, and visitors from all over Hong Kong and overseas, as well as local residents.
“The Government is right to say waste management is a territory-wide issue requiring integrated management. But this super-incinerator proposal is the opposite — a disintegrated, misinformed and ultimately very costly approach, for every Hong Kong resident.
It’s in the interests of every Hong Konger to protest this proposal,” Louise Preston said.
LIM urged those who oppose the proposal to attend a public meeting organized by the Environment Protection Department for this Friday 25 November 25, 2011 at Pui O School on South Lantau from 6 pm to 8pm.
LIM also urged opponents to write to the Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah expressing their concerns and asking for broader public consultation on a territory-wide basis before the Government deadline for public consultation expires on December 17, 2011.
For further information visit the LIM website on www.livingislands.org.hk
For press enquiries, contact Louise Preston by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Representatives of LIM will also be available for press comment immediately