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。

===========================================

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.
_______________________________________________________________
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.
_______________________________________________________________
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
— END —

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.

Next Steps towards Stopping the Incinerator

i Jun 14th No Comments by

Dear Members and Friends

The Legco Finance Committee will meet on Friday 27th June and one of the agenda items for their review is “Waste Management”. The Environment Bureau are presenting a proposal asking for funding for landfill extensions and for the construction of their Incinerator off Shek Kwu Chau.

The Living Islands Movement believes that we need to continue to register our protests about the Incinerator and lack of strategy for waste management, and that organising a protest on Friday 27th June may be our best chance for having our voice heard.

We recommend taking Action in the following ways:

Protesting.

  1. The item is likely to be on the Finance Committee agenda on Friday 27th June. They meet at 3pm in the Legco Offices, Tamar.
  2. We need the support of as many people as possible for a “flashmob” to be outside the Legco offices making as much noise as possible, waving banners and placards, and generally getting the attention of the Press.
  3. Anyone coming along can make their own banners or placards. Some ideas for slogans included at the bottom of this message.
  4. It’s a Friday afternoon, so some folks may be unable to come along because of work, but we think the protestors wanting to stop the landfill extensions might be there, so there could be some good numbers of protestors for us to join with.

 

We think this approach of a physical protest on the day of the meeting could be very meaningful in our efforts to sway some opinions of some of the legislators.

 

Letter Writing Blitz.

Before the Finance Committee meeting, probably on Wednesday 25th we propose a major effort to send email letters to every member of the Committee, flooding their in-baskets with complaints about the Incinerator, the cost, the process, the lack of strategy etc. This will be a powerful tool if enough folks send emails, and it is something that can be done from home or the office, or from overseas! LIM will,

  1. Prepare sample letters for people to send or personalise / modify and send, and
  2. Prepare a list of email addresses of the Finance Committee members

This part needs careful co-ordination for maximum effectiveness. We’ll send the sample letters next week, and it will be great if you can prepare your version, personalising wherever you want to, and having it ready to be sent. Then, on the morning of the mass email posting we will send  a “Go” message so that everyone sends their emails on the same day, close to the same time. It will not be as effective if emails are sent before or after the day.

Kids Involvement.
The media love anything with kids involved. One idea about the Protest event is to encourage children to come along with their own “message in a bottle”. The idea is that kids should write their own message about the Incinerator, or draw a picture of waste, or take a photograph, or anything they like, and put it in a plastic bottle that can be handed to the Legco office. This could be a powerful and symbolic message about waste. If there are enough bottles with messages, they could all be lined up on the pavement in front of Legco! It might make a good story and a great photo. If we don’t take the bottles home with us or put them in one of the handy recycling bins, we might all be prosecuted for littering, and that would be another story!!!

For all of this to work, we need as many supporters as possible to come and show their support. Yes, it is difficult being a Friday afternoon, but maybe you could take a couple of hours away from your job to show that this is really important to you. For some children it may be the last day of the school term and that may be difficult too.

We cannot change the date of the meeting, we can only hope that enough people can join this protest and can send the emails in advance to make the Legislators take notice.

Hope to see you on 27th.

Best wishes
The Committee of the Living Islands Movement

“STOP THE INCINERATOR”
Ideas for Protest Banners & Placards

Say No to the Incinerator
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
HK$ BILLIONS Going Up in Smoke
HK$ BILLIONS to Burn
Reduce Waste, Don’t Burn It
Incineration! Total Rubbish
Environmental Polluting Department
Total Incineration! Totally Wrong for Hong Kong
We Deserve Better
Toxic Emissions Will Kill
EPD are a Waste of Space
Mass Incineration is NOT the Answer
Hello Incinerator; Bye Bye Finless Porpoises
Reduce Rubbish; Sack the EPD
Incinerator = Emissions Possible
Incineration = Rubbish Idea
Rubbish! Total Rubbish!
LegCo can stop EPDs rubbish
A sensible LegCo vote = No incinerator

7 ways that you can help stop the incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau

i May 25th 1 Comment by

Dear Members and Friends

The efforts to stop the Incinerator are continuing in many different ways throughout the community. Huge thanks to everyone and please, please

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do continue with your efforts as we are now at a very critical stage.

Here are some of the ways people can continue to help (join in where you can):

1) Join the protest rally being organized and led by ESF primary students on Monday 26 May. Meet in the designated demonstration area at the harbour end of LegCo between 1:20-1:30. Kenneth Chan will receive the petitions and speeches at 1:45. It will last around 20-30 minutes. LIM will supply banners and placards on the 12.10 ferry from Mui Wo and at 1.00 at the designated demonstration area. Please wear black and / or white clothing (if possible) for maximum impact.

2) Send letters to the Public Works Subcommittee prior to their vote to approve funding for the incinerator on Tuesday morning. Keep sending them using the email addresses listed on http://www.livingislands.org.hk/2014/04/26/incinerator-round-2-of-letters-required-to-public-works-subcommittee/

3) Attend LegCo Public Works Subcommittee meeting which is discussing whether or not to approve funding for the incinerator at 9.00 am on Tuesday 27 May by booking a seat in the public gallery on 3919 3399. This vote is no longer 3 (landfill extensions) + 1 (incinerator). The landfill extensions have now all been approved by Public Works Subcommittee – if there is no-one in the public gallery on Tuesday our legislators might conclude that there is no opposition to the incinerator. The East Lantau Metropolis (title on agenda of: 768CL Strategic studies for artificial islands in the Central Waters) will also be discussed at this meeting – but is the 5th item on the agenda so could be deferred. http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr13-14/english/fc/pwsc/agenda/pwsc20140527.htm

4) Share the video made by Cecilie Gamst Berg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMDkiCV8fzc&list=UUPPbkeYjWvH-h95Pz_N4nIA&feature=share

You will probably recognize some of the valiant participants!

5) Submissions have been sent to the Town Planning Board supporting the IWMAG proposal to have sorting, separation and recycling facilities at all landfills (due on Friday 23 May though keep sending – http://wastehk.org/2014/05/11/submissions-due-by-23-may-for-rezoning-application-to-the-tpb/)

6) Sign the petition calling for the HK Government to Reduce Waste at Source http://supporthk.org/i.php/View/424?_lang=en

7) Visit this website which provides insights into the background of Government advisors on the Waste issue http://hk-realepd.org/waste-management

And those are just what we know about! Of course there are the great range of letters being sent into the newspapers too.

So keep up the momentum everyone. If you know of other events then let us know and also post them on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LivingIslandsMovement

In addition to these activities, the LIM Committee is working on the issue of the East Lantau Megatropolis, the funding for which is also due to be discussed by the Public Works Subcommittee on Tuesday.

Finally, we really need some help with keeping our website updated. Please contact us if you know or want to learn how to use WordPress.

Regards
The LIM Committee

Incinerator – Round 2 of letters required to Public Works Subcommittee

i Apr 26th No Comments by

 

With all the additional questions on the Landfill and Incinerator issue the PWSc is now likely to discuss the topic on Incinerator funding on Tue 27 May so keep sending in the letters!

Dear Members and Friends

Send more emails to legislators before Monday 5th May to stop the incinerator

Thanks to everyone who sent in emails and letters to Legislators on the Public Works Subcommittee (PWSc). As you may have heard, at the meeting on 16 April there were so many questions asked by some legislators that the vote on the incinerator was not taken. The next meeting of the PWSc will be held on

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Wed 7 May, so now is a great time to send in further letters/questions.

Quality and Quantity do matter.

This is what we are hearing from legislators so to help you with sending a letter we have created 4 different templates for you on the following topics:

Climate Change and Human Health

Excessive Cost

Need for effective management of waste at source

Environmental Impacts

 

We suggest you:

1) choose ONE of the above templates,

2) personalise it with your name and address details (and HKID number),

3) change any of the content that you want to and then

4) email it to the PWSc legislators using this email template.

Once you have down this, forward the email to your contacts and ask them to do the same.

Regards

LIM Committee Members

Effective management of waste – Letter template for PWSc

i Apr 26th No Comments by

Below is an email template for people to express their concerns about the “Effective Management of Waste” issues associated with the proposed Mega-Incinerator to the Legislators on the Public Works Subcommittee (PWSc).  Send letters before Monday 5th May.

 Just click on this link to start your email to them, then copy the below information into your email, personalise it with your name and address details (and HKID number), change any of the content that you want to and then email.


[Your address]

[Your HKID Number (optional, but adds credibility to your letter)]

[Date]

Dear Member of the Public Works Sub Committee

EPD Proposed Incinerator for Shek Kwu Chau

I write to express my concern for Hong Kong regarding the lack of effective strategies for managing waste in the SAR. It is indeed sad and disappointing that the Environment Bureau has not come up with a holistic approach to the SAR’s waste problems, preferring instead the easy option of “just burn it all – problem solved!”

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.

Other countries, notably Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, have implemented effective processes for waste reduction at source, have applied waste charging where appropriate, encouraged practices for sorting of recyclables, are dealing effectively with recovered recyclables, and only as a last resort do they finally dispose of residual waste by landfill or thermal treatment?  Hong Kong is lagging way behind these 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.

Why is it so difficult to implement effective 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, and it can be done.

I urge you to reject the EPD proposals for Incineration. Hong Kong deserves better than this.

Yours sincerely

[your name]

Climate Change and Human Health – Letter template for PWSc

i Apr 26th No Comments by

Below is an email template for people to express their concerns about the “Climate Change and Human Health” issues associated with the proposed Mega-Incinerator to the Legislators on the Public Works Subcommittee (PWSc). Send letters before Monday 5th May.

Just click on this link to start your email to them, then copy the below information into your email, personalise it with your name and address details (and HKID number), change any of the content that you want to and then email.


[Your address]

[Your HKID Number (optional, but adds credibility to your letter)]

[Date]

Dear Member of the Public Works Sub Committee

EPD Proposed Integrated Waste Management Facility

I am writing to you to express my deep concern regarding the proposed Incinerator for which the Environmental Protection Department needs your approval before proceeding.

My main concerns are on the impacts on Climate Change and Human Health.

There are two levels of concern. Firstly, it is estimated that for every one tonne of waste that is incinerated, one tonne of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. This means three thousand tonnes of CO2 will be released every day from the giant incinerator, according to EPD estimates of waste to be incinerated. Whilst not immediately threatening to human health, there is no doubt that this will have a negative effect on climate change. Should Hong Kong be endorsing this kind of approach when there are other less damaging options available?

My second concern is that the EPD proposal takes insufficient account of the Hong Kong AQO. Are there any statistics to prove scientifically exactly what toxins will be emitted from the Incinerator? Have the EPD compared the forecast emissions with the 2012 AQO’s? If so, will they be kind enough to share the figures with us all? It is a fact that moving grate incinerators do emit toxic elements into the atmosphere. It is interesting that the Government Medical Department have not so far expressed any opinion on this matter regarding the impacts of the Incinerator releasing dioxins and particulates into the atmosphere. One wonders how many premature deaths are “acceptable” to Hong Kong as a consequence of large scale moving-grate incineration.

On 16th April 2012, the EPD produced a Discussion Paper for the Panel on Environment Affairs Sub Committee on Improving Air Quality. The purpose of the Paper was to seek “the views of Members on the proposed new Air Quality Objectives (AQOs) and air quality improvement measures for achieving these new Objectives”. The Paper did not mention Incineration as a contributory cause of deteriorating air quality, but under the heading of Economic Implications, sections 11 and 12 discuss;

“The delivery of the proposed new AQOs and the air quality improvement measures would help combat air pollution, thereby improving quality of life, reducing medical cost and indirectly raising labour productivity. The consultant estimates that about 4,200 unnecessary hospital admissions and 7,400 statistical life years would be saved each year (or an improved average life expectancy of around one month for the entire population) upon attainment of the proposed new AQOs[2]. Other health benefits, such as less people contracting asthma or other respiratory diseases, would also be expected. In addition, better air quality and visibility would help attract more tourists and foreign investments, and are conducive to attracting talents to stay and work in Hong Kong. All these would contribute to reinforcing our position as a world city and leading international business hub. The proposal would also facilitate further collaborative efforts with Guangdong in improving regional air quality and the development of environmental industry in the region.

The impacts of individual proposed air quality improvement measures, which have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, would be felt differently by different sectors of the economy. In particular, the more stringent standards and requirements to comply with the proposed AQOs would incur implementation costs for various businesses and raise their operating costs. Moreover, the proposed AQOs would raise the standards required for obtaining the EIA approval for infrastructural projects, which may lead to higher mitigation costs in order to comply with the standards. The consultant nevertheless advises that, for indicative purpose, the annualized cost incurred by

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the public for implementing the proposed Phase I air quality improvement measures would be about HK$ 596 million. This is, however, significantly lower than the anticipated benefit of HK$ 1,228 million per year due to the improvement of public health.”

The EIA Report for Incineration was carried out before the AQO’s were revised. Does this mean that emissions from the Incinerator will not have to comply with the revised AQO’s?

With the greatest of respect, I would ask that you reject the EPD proposal for incineration and insist that they carry-out proper evaluation of the waste issues and come up with a strategy that does not cause more damage to Hong Kong and her residents.

Yours sincerely

[your name]

Environmental impacts – Letter template for PWSc

i Apr 26th No Comments by

Below is an email template for people to express their concerns about the “Environmental Impacts” issues associated with the proposed Mega-Incinerator to the Legislators on the Public Works Subcommittee (PWSc).  Send letters before Monday 5th May.

 Just click on this link to start your email to them, then copy the below information into your email, personalise it with your name and address details (and HKID number), change any of the content that you want to and then email.


[Your address]

[Your HKID Number (optional, but adds credibility to your letter)]

[Date]

Dear Member of the Public Works Sub Committee

Proposed Incinerator for Hong Kong

I am extremely concerned about the environmental impacts of the proposed Incinerator that the EPD plan to site on reclaimed land adjacent to Shek Kwu Chau.

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 existing 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-neighbour approach” is surely not the way Asia’s World City should be conducting its Government?

Why hasn’t the Environment Bureau 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,
  • represent a much lower risk of failure,
  • be available to be brought on-line sooner,
  • be smaller scale and therefore more cost effective,
  • provide more integrated facilities for sorting and recycling waste,
  • provide more employment opportunities, and
  • could represent lower capital costs and lower overall operating costs.

The EPD proposal deserves to be rejected, for the good of Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong expect you to make the right decisions so that the future of the SAR is not blighted by this infamous and single minded proposal.

Yours sincerely

[your name]

Excessive Cost – Letter template for PWSc

i Apr 26th No Comments by

Below is an email template for people to express their concerns about the “Excessive Cost” issues associated with the proposed Mega-Incinerator to the Legislators on the Public Works Subcommittee (PWSc).  Send letters before Monday 5th May.

 Just click on this link to start your email to them, then copy the below information into your email, personalise it with your name and address details (and HKID number), change any of the content that you want to and then email.


[Your address]

[Your HKID Number (optional, but adds credibility to your letter)]

[Date]

Dear Member of the Legco Finance Committee and Public Works Sub Committee

Excessive Cost of EPD Proposed Integrated Waste Management Facility

I write to ask for your consideration of the concerns I have regarding the proposal by the EPD to construct a giant incinerator on reclaimed land off Shek Kwu Chau.

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. Of course, 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 it is not necessary?

Surely Government can tackle the problem of waste management in ways that are less wasteful of tax-payers money?

The EPD have consistently lied about the total tonnage of waste being recycled in Hong Kong, and they have totally misled us with the cost of building the Organic Waste Treatment plant in North Lantau. The current forecasts of the costs of this Project have 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.

My opinion is that tax-payers money will be better spent and will realise greater value for tax-payers by addressing the waste problems at source. Smaller-scale, fully integrated waste management facilities will provide solutions on a district by district basis, will be more effective and more manageable, and will encourage personal responsibility for the amounts of waste that we all produce.

I hope that you reject the EPD proposals and make the right decision for the future of Hong Kong – Asia’s World City.

Yours sincerely

[your name]

LIM letter to Public Works Sub-Committee

i Apr 14th No Comments by

Dear Members and Friends

Below is a copy of the LIM letter send to the members of the Public Works Sub-commitee.

Please write to the Legislators who sit on the Public Works Sub-Committee before Wed 16th April.   Just click on this link to start your email to them

Feel free to copy and use our letter if you find it easier.

Regards
LIM Committee Members


14 April 2014

Letter of representation to Public Works Subcommittee Members 

Dear Honourable Members of the Public Works Subcommittee,

Our organisation urges you to reject the current proposal by the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP), which is supported by the Secretary for the Environment, to upgrade 177DR to Category A at an estimated cost of $18,245.7 million in money-of-the-day (MOD) prices for the design and construction of the integrated waste management facilities (IWMF) phase 1. [PWSC(2014-15)7]

While the Panel on Environmental Affairs has now approved (by 9 votes to 6) the same basic ENB proposal to “burn and bury” our waste that they rejected approximately 2 years ago, we urge you not to blindly follow their approval which is meant to have been based on environmental concerns.  We believe that the 9 members of the EA Panel who voted in favour have clearly shown their lack of concern for the natural environment of Hong Kong.

As members of the Public Works committee, where your expertise is more on project management and engineering solutions, you should see that the current proposal to extend 3 landfills and build a mega incinerator does not solve the problem we are facing with Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in the most timely or financially responsible way.  We urge you to reject the current proposal based on the clear project management perspectives of:

–       Timing: building the incinerator next to Shek Kwu Chau (SKC) will take many more years than the alternative site of the Tsang Tsui Ash Lagoons.

–       Cost: selecting a site that does not require reclamation would significantly reduce the cost of the project.  The difference in costs has been estimated to be the equivalent of building a new hospital ($2.5 Billion for the recently opened Tung Chung Hospital)

–       Technology: the current proposal contains no practical proposal for mechanically sorting the majority of our waste before it is either sent to a landfill or incinerator.  The proposed SKC pilot sorting plant will only be able to handle about 2% of the total MSW

–       Performance Measure: There are no performance incentives within the proposal for the government to implement meaningful recycling services.  How can you trust the government to implement the recycling services once you have approved the “bury and burn” based proposal?

–       Inefficient Land Use: The land area of the existing landfills sites should be used as Integrated Waste Management Facilities (IWMF) rather than being only used for landfill.  An IWMF should include building multi-storey waste sorting facilities to separately identify recyclables, organics and hazardous materials.

–       Private Sector Competition: There have been numerous offers from the business sector over the years to help solve the waste issue from a commercial perspective.  These have included offers to take 1/3 of the current MSW to piloting of the very latest thermal treatment technology.

–       Risk Management: How can building one mega incinerator operated by one company out in the ocean provide contingency measures if this single plant has operational issues.  Surely multiple smaller IWMF’s located around HK can truly represent a balanced spatial distribution of Waste Management Facilities and provide superior operational risk management.

Regards
Dr Merrin Pearse
Chairman
Living Islands Movement

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.