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Press Release – Obsolete solutions for our 21st century city

i Jun 20th No Comments by

Dear Media,

Below is our latest Press Release (Chi and Eng) on the issue of Waste Management in HK. We are very concerned about the proposed Mega Incinerator next to Shek Kwu Chau that is about to go before the Finance Committee for funding approval.

Regards
The LIM Committee

English Press Release (Word or PDF)
Chinese Press Release (Word or PDF)


新世紀過時的解決方案

島嶼活力行動

香港廢物管理的真相

我們敦促立法會財務委員會各議員,拒絕撥款在石鼓洲旁填海興建焚化爐。香港人應該選用最潔淨及具有成本效益的廢物處理方法,而不是選用昂貴及落後的技術。
環境局決定選用焚化爐,是嚴重誤導香港市民。環保署只希望將所有垃圾拋到焚化爐內一把火燒掉,奇蹟般地消失以遮掩其廢物管理的不善。他們只求達到目標,似乎並不關心花費多少公帑,對環境造成多少破壞及污染。

環境局在「香港資源循環藍圖」(2013年5月),歪曲了整個廢物管理策略,當中的誤導包括如下:

失實#1:焚化垃圾是唯一解決的辦法。
環保署說,香港必須有一個焚化爐,以解決我們的都市固體廢物。事實並非如此。
我們需要的是垃圾可持續管理,通過減少浪費和適當的分類回收及循環再用。

失實#2:一半的廢物已被回收。
環保署聲稱香港的廢物回收率是48%。事實並非如此。
如果我們真的達到回收目標,焚化爐是多餘的。環保署聲稱我們的廚餘是日常廢物總量的44%。但是當局已經著手興建有機廚餘處理廠,如果有近一半的廢物回收;那就有近一半的廚餘會經處理廠處理,即焚化爐只須焚燒8%的廚餘- (每日9,000噸中的720噸) -。

謊言#3:焚化爐採用先進技術是最潔淨的。事實並非如此。
無論怎樣焚燒廢物,始終約有30%帶有毒性的爐底灰留在焚化爐內,必須妥善埋藏。而爐底灰在經水路運輸或堆填階段,皆會為香港社會帶來額外的及不可預知的風險。

謊言#4:對公眾健康無危害。
環保署計劃把焚化爐興建在石鼓洲旁的人工島上,並聲稱日常的風多來自北方。事實並非如此。
香港天文台指出,夏季風的方向主要是來自南方。這意味著焚化爐排放出來的有毒物質,將會吹向港九人口稠密的地區。環保署沒有對公眾明言,這會對人體健康造成重大的危害。

謊言#5:無環境破壞。
環保署聲稱焚化爐不會危害本地環境。事實並非如此。
實際是會對南大嶼山地區、石鼓洲周圍及長洲水域環境,造成巨大的破壞,且是不可回復的。

謊言#6:石鼓洲是最好的位置。事實並非如此。
最初焚化爐的選址沒有經過正確評估,而且環保署也沒公平地將石鼓洲與其他地區作比較,並一而再地拒絕出示有關造價。他們假借一種「地區均衡分佈」的論據來處理廢物,以掩飾其對廢物處理的不善。單地地說:拋到遠遠的,眼不見為乾淨。

謊言#7:只可焚燒或堆填垃圾。事實並非這樣處理。
這絕對是危言聳聽,是垃圾言論。要知焚燒垃圾,最快也要到2022年焚化爐建成後才可進行。為何環境局不積極推動大眾減廢,鼓勵回收再用及源頭減廢?他們可以扶助回收業界,促進廢物回收及管理,這行動不是更有建設性?但環境局卻採用媒體廣告,來宣傳擴展堆填區和興建焚化爐。

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誤導性數據#1:環保署的統計回收數據包括進口廢塑料,這實際上是「別地的轉口數據」。將這些轉口數據包括入香港本地的「廢物回收數據」內。這完全是錯誤及欺詐的行為。

誤導性統計#2:大多數居民已經能夠回收的垃圾。
環保署表示,超過80%的回收箱已安放在香港居民住所附近。這可能是事實的,但很多回收箱的位置都很差,大部分的容量都不敷公眾的需要。最終結果是垃圾溢出箱外或掉在街道上。事實上:儘管環保署諸多誤導,但在過去的三年中,他們在可持續發展廢物管理策略方面,幾乎沒有做過甚麼。即使在改善現有回收箱的位置或加大容量,使回收物更方便循環再造,似乎也不是他們職責內之事。

誤導性統計#3。在北大嶼山建設有機廚餘處理廠的估計成本,由5億元激增至15億。雖然環保署及他們的顧問嚴重失算,但他們卻可逍遙法外。現時焚化爐建在石鼓洲對開人工島的費用,估計為180億元;但依據合理的估計,實際造價可達300億元。這些都是納稅人的金錢。請問誰為這嚴重的失算及巨額的財政超支問責?

島嶼活力行動建議,請與綜合廢物管理行動小組合作,發展一個可行的選擇。查詢有關這個B計劃細節,可登入網址:www.wastehk.org/our-plan
– 完 –


Obsolete solutions for our 21st century city
 Living Islands Movement
The Truth About Hong Kong’s Waste Management
We urge members of the Legco Finance Committee to reject the funding proposal for an Incinerator on reclaimed land off Shek Kwu Chau. Hong Kong people deserve tomorrow’s cleanest and cost-effective waste disposal, not yesterday’s over-priced old technology.

The Environment Bureau’s justification for the incinerator seriously misleads the Hong Kong public. The EPD hopes their waste mismanagement muddle will miraculously disappear if garbage can be thrown in the furnace. Only their aims matter: they don’t seem to care how much public money goes up in smoke or how much environmental damage and pollution is caused.

A Protest Meeting will be held at the Central Government Offices on Friday 27th June at 2:30. The Environment Bureau will be invited to send a representative to receive a petition from the Meeting.
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The Environment Bureau base their whole waste management strategy on their misleading “Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources (May 2013). Specifically, the falsehoods include:

Untruth #1: Burn it: the only solution. Hong Kong must have an Incinerator says the EPD, to dispose of our Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). Not true. What’s needed is sustainable management of rubbish, by reducing waste and proper sorting and recycling.

Untruth #2: Half our waste is recycled. EPD claims 48% of Hong Kong’s waste is recycled. Not true. If we really recycled that much garbage, an incinerator would be redundant. EPD claims 44% of our total daily waste is food garbage. An organic waste treatment plant is already being built to handle that. If nearly half of our waste is recycled and nearly half again will be dealt with by the new plant – that leaves just 8% – 720 tonnes of the daily 9,000 tonnes produced – for an incinerator.

Untruth #3: An incinerator is “clean” state-of-the-art technology. Not true. However much waste is incinerated, around 30% remains in the incinerator grate as a highly toxic ash. This too has to be disposed of. This ash will have to be transported for processing or to landfill, imposing additional and unacceptable risk to Hong Kong’s already crowded waterways.

Untruth #4: No danger to public health. When planning to put their incinerator on reclaimed land off the pristine island of Shek Kwu Chau, the Bureau claimed that the prevailing wind came from the North. Not true. The Hong Kong Observatory notes that summer wind direction is mostly from the South. This means the incinerator’s poisonous emissions will blow across densely populated urban areas. The Bureau failed to mention this major hazard to human health.

Untruth #5: No environmental damage. The Bureau claim their incinerator will not harm the local environment. Not true. The reality is that the environmental damage to the area off South Lantau and around Shek Kwu Chau and Cheung Chau waters will be substantial and irreversible.

Untruth #6: Shek Kwu Chau is the best location. Not true. Sites for the first Incinerator have not been properly evaluated. The EPD did not make a true and fair cost comparison between Shek Kwu Chau and other locations, and have repeatedly refused to show evidence of the relative costs. They rely on a spurious “beggar my neighbour” argument for “balanced spatial distribution” of waste facilities. Put simply: out of sight is out of mind.

Untruth #7: Act now or be buried by garbage. Not true. This is scaremongering and total rubbish. Action can be now, rather than delaying until 2022 when their incinerator will finally come online. They could start now with an intensive campaign to cut waste and encourage recycling with proper sorting at source. They could invest in the recycling industry to manage recoverable waste. But instead of constructive action, they use radio advertisements to promote landfill extensions and incineration.
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Misleading data #1: Government recycling statistics include imported plastic waste, which is in fact then re-exported.  It is totally wrong to include this with Hong Kong’s domestic “recycled” waste figures.  This is simply a fib by the Bureau.

Misleading statistic #2: Most residents can already recycle rubbish. EPD says more than 80% of Hong Kong residents have recycling bins near their homes. This could be true, but many bins are poorly located and most too small for public need. The result is overflowing bins and rubbish on the streets. The truth: despite their claims to the contrary, the EPD have done virtually nothing in the last three years to promote a sustainable strategy for waste management. Even the simple solution of bigger bins in better locations or collecting recyclables from the existing bins seems beyond them.

Misleading statistic #3. The estimated cost of building the Organic Waste Treatment plant in North Lantau has ballooned from $500 million to $1.5 billion. The EPD and their advisors seriously miscalculated – and they got away with it scot free. Estimated cost of the Incinerator on reclaimed land off Shek kwu Chau is $18 billion, but sensible estimates put the real price closer to $30 billion. This is tax-payers’ money. Where is the financial integrity and accountability for this huge miscalculation?

Living Islands Movement proposes, in co-operation with the Integrated Waste Management Action Group, a viable alternative. Find details about this Plan B at www.wastehk.org/our-plan
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Media Contacts (English Only) for The Living Islands Movement
Michael Pratt – Secretary – 9092 8481
Merrin Pearse – Chairman – 9156 9573

Living Islands Movement is a non-affiliated, local group dedicated to the sustainable environment of Hong Kong’s outlying islands – with a focus on Lantau.  LIM is made up entirely of volunteers. All money raised through donations and membership fees goes directly into funding campaigns.

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