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Send a letter to Public Works Sub-Committee

i Apr 6th No Comments by

Dear Members and Friends

Main request in this email is for you to write to the Legislators who sit on the Public Works Sub-Committee. Just click on this link to start your email to them

Yes the vote by the Panel on Environmental Affairs was disappointing though do remember that what the EPD need is approval for funding and currently that is what they do not have.

Over the next month there are multiple opportunities to try to persuade the Legislators not to vote in favour of the funding for the current “3+1” proposal (extend 3 landfill sites and build an incinerator).

Many people have asked if we will be arranging a protest march. At this stage we do not see that as a useful approach based on the time and effort required by the committee members who are all volunteers. What we are doing includes items such as:

  • providing updates like this
  • having discussions with other community groups to find more ways to combine our efforts to be more effective
  • talking to waste engineers and planners to understand the true options
  • encouraging people to write letters to the newspapers (both in HK and international)
  • attending community events to share the latest updates, and
  • arranging meetings

Of course, if another Group organises a protest march we will let you know and we can arrange to join it.

Speaking of meetings, during this coming week LIM committee members have arranged to meet a number of different people, including Legislators, to both hear their points of view and make our proposals to help get the government to review their plans on the “3+1” proposal.

What can you do help win the campaign?

Well a couple of things:

1) talk to your friends and colleagues about this crazy Government plan and encourage them to write to the Government
2) write to the Government and Legislators expressing your thoughts and providing suggestions on what you would like the Government to do.

Letter writing does work. The legislators do listen.

One very useful step will be to write to the Legislators who sit on the Public Works Sub-Committee. Below we have provided you with 10 points from which you can choose a few to write about (it is a lot more effective if people send personal messages rather just sending a petition letter that is the same from everyone). To help you we have created an email template which has all the email addresses of the Public Works Sub-Committee members. So just click on this link to start your email to them

Of course if you personally know any of the Legislators, then give them a ring and let them know your thoughts and let us know their responses.

Regards
The LIM Committee
www.livingislands.org.hk

 

LIM Anti-Incinerator Campaign

Arguments for lobbying legislators

1) The Environment Bureau proposal for dealing with Hong Kong’s waste problem does not represent an integrated process for our waste – despite the IWMF name they have given it. They are taking the easy and most expensive option which will involve minimal waste sorting and mass incineration of unsorted waste. There will be no incentive to reduce waste or sort waste if it is all going to be dumped in the furnace for disposal, regardless of the damage this does to the environment, air quality and human health.

2) Other countries have implemented effective processes for waste reduction at source, have applied waste charging where appropriate, encourage practices for sorting of recyclables, are dealing effectively with recovered recyclables, before finally disposing of residual waste by landfill or thermal treatment? Hong Kong is lagging way behind Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries in effectively dealing with its recyclable waste – and it appears that years of inactivity by the Environment Bureau are to blame. We are in the situation we are in because of a failure to act responsibly to manage waste. Why is it so difficult for the EPD? Building a huge incinerator will only benefit the construction industry and the operator of the plant. The people of Hong Kong will not benefit from this.

3) Does the Housing Department have a problem with implementing proper waste sorting at high-rise housing estates? Are certain departments obstructing waste management solutions because it is “too hard” for them to do anything about it? Waste can be smelly and unpleasant, but dealing with waste at source and applying effective sorting and recovery of recyclables is the right thing to do.

4) The cost of the EPD proposal is excessive and wasteful – HK$18 billion for a single incinerator, including huge land reclamation work and the destruction of natural habitats in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The money is not a problem for Hong Kong with its huge surplus, but should the Environment Bureau be allowed to be so wasteful of tax payers money if there are better alternatives?

5) The original selection process and criteria for the Shek Kwu Chau site were seriously flawed – there was false and misleading information about wind direction and environmental impacts, inadequate attention to the detailed transportation costings, and insufficient consideration given to the need for transporting 1,000 tonnes per day of toxic ash from the remote Island location to landfill sites. The best reason the EPD gave for selecting SKC is that it achieves a “balanced spatial distribution” of waste processing sites. This “beggar my neighbor approach” is surely not the way Asia’s World City should be conducting its Government?

6) Why hasn’t the Environment Bureau and Government reconsidered options /alternatives to their only proposal? There are valid and credible alternative proposals for multiple smaller locations around the SAR, that would be closer to sources of waste and existing landfill sites, would represent a much lower risk of failure, would be available to be brought on-line sooner, would be smaller scale and therefore most cost effective, would provide more integrated facilities for sorting and recycling waste, would provide more employment opportunities, and could represent lower capital costs and lower overall operating costs.

7) The Environment Bureau proposal takes insufficient account of the Hong Kong AQO. There is no doubt that moving grate incineration emits toxic elements into the atmosphere. Therefore, all of Hong Kong will be at risk of deteriorating air quality and the resulting impacts on human health. Does the Medical Department have an opinion about the impacts of the Incinerator releasing dioxins into the atmosphere? How many premature deaths are acceptable as a consequence of large scale moving-grate incineration?

8) The EPD have lied about the total tonnage of waste being recycled in Hong Kong, and they have misled us with the cost of building the Organic Waste Treatment plant where the cost has risen far out of line with construction inflation. The information in the EPD Blueprint for Waste Management therefore lacks all credibility and should not be believed. The costs will simply escalate out of control and the incinerator operation may never achieve the tonnages forecast by the EPD.

9) At the March meeting of the LEGCO Panel on Environmental Affairs, KS Wong said “there is an urgent need for action”. The Incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau will not be operational until 2022. How is this “urgent”? Smaller regional integrated plants can be brought on-line sooner and could begin

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to address the problems well before 2022.

10) Hong Kong people deserve a better approach to managing the waste problem.

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