Campaigns

Comments on Proposal for Relaxation of Traffic Restrictions on South Lantau

i Jul 21st 1 Comment by

The Living Islands Movement has received a number of comments on the “Proposal for Relaxation of Traffic Restrictions on South Lantau” as mentioned in http://www.livingislands.org.hk/2015/07/10/proposal-for-relaxation-of-traffic-restrictions-on-south-lantau/. See the link for how to make your submission on or before 22 July.

Here is a selection of those comments:


 

It all depends on what relaxations are envisaged. If we are talking about a modest increase in the number of permits, e.g. allowing private bus companies to bring people over to South Lantau, allowing delivery of goods, allowing more than one permit per household, then ok, but a general free for all where anyone can apply for and obtain a permit will be a disaster. Parking in Mui Wo is getting difficult, the South Lantau Road is a nightmare already (due to appalling driving habits) and the whole of South Lantau is already getting much busier.

What is behind the TD initiative? What do they have in mind. It’s all a bit vague.


 

Dear Sir / Madam

As a resident of South Lantau, I do not believe that it makes any sense to allow general vehicle access to South Lantau road.

The roads are too narrow and winding to allow more traffic – especially:

  1. from the circle at the bottom of Tung Chung Road to Mui Wo, and
  2. from Shek Pik to Tai O.

This is just inviting calamity and danger.

And for drivers who do not know to look out for feral cows and water buffalo, this will be a real hazard. Any accident causes major delays are there are no alternate routes.

I believe that a far better solution is:

– more frequent fast ferries on the weekends

– more frequent busses on the weekends.

– a park and ride parking area in Tung Chung that connects drivers with busses

There is insufficient parking to accommodate additional drivers – especially at the beaches and other “tourist” destinations.

Please do not proceed with this plan.


 

If I read the TD’s proposal correctly, they seem to think that there’s plenty of parking during the weekdays. This shows they haven’t tried hard to understand the situation. There’s parking (well, ILLEGAL parking) available in villages during weekdays, but that’s because many cars have been moved to Mui Wo. TD needs to know (because obviously they haven’t bothered to look) that Mui Wo is absolutely overwhelmed with cars during day. There’s no longer any room on the pavements even, least of all on the streets (all of which is illegal parking, of course). There’s just nowhere to park. So, unless their weirdly assume that all 50 cars and busses will NOT go to Mui Wo, you might ask them whether they plan to build a parking garage there before this new policy goes into effect. And could they at least get agreement from the parking wardens not to do sweeps every few months? Those just make people angry; there’s no option but to park illegally. The same will apply to the 50 new cars.

Also, who will take responsibility for the inevitable accidents? It’s already hazardous enough driving on the S Lantau Road — hazardous to cars, to be sure, but also hazardous to pedestrians, dogs, buffalo and so forth. It’s scary to think that, ON TOP OF ALL THE NEW CARS DRIVEN BY NEW RESIDENTS (just a few new houses finishing up in Shap Long will result in about 20 new cars — because each house is being made into three flats), there will be 50 virgin drivers of cars plus more speedy bus drivers. It’s just not a good idea.

While you talk to them, maybe you could ask why Anthony Cheung cannot use his supposed expertise in public administration to get Housing (which approves the village houses, I think) and Transport (which approves the road permits) too talk to each other. The former should know that the latter will approve up to three permits per house. Where will all these cars park when they go to Mui Wo to catch the ferry, shop, etc.?

In short, I hope you muster all the arguments you can to oppose this plan. But they’ll do it anyway, I’m sure…


 

Dear Sir / Madam

Proposals for Relaxation of Traffic Restrictions to promote Tourism and other Development in South Lantau – Your Ref L/M to TD NR 146/169-4

With regards to your letter, dated 3 July 2015, regarding proposals to relax the current traffic restrictions and closed road permit arrangements for South Lantau Island, I am writing to submit my commentary, as a resident of Mui Wo, South Lantau Island, N.T.

The road network in South Lantau is predominantly of a single carriage way nature, with significant ‘bends’, steep inclines / declines, and limited road distance visibility, in a substantially rural and remote country-park area. For example, Tung Chung Road involves a climb and descent of up to 1000 feet for vehicles.

Given the current physical limitations of car parking availability and the limited capacity and questionable safety record of the roads in South Lantau (notably South Lantau Road, Tai O Road, and Tung Chung Road), at present, it would be inappropriate to relax the current traffic restrictions and Lantau closed road permit arrangements, until extensive further capacity expansion and safety improvements have been made to these roads.

I therefore strongly recommend to the Commissioner for Transport that the Transport Department instead considers, as a matter of urgency, increasing the number of Lantau Island (Blue) Taxi permits from the current 50 licences to 250 licences, as a means of providing increased transport capacity within Lantau Island to support any efforts in increasing tourism and other development in South Lantau.

Furthermore, I would strongly advise the Transport Department to work closely with the New Lantau Bus Co., (1973) Ltd and New World First Ferry Services Limited, in increasing the capacity and frequency of Lantau Island bus and Lantau Island ferry services (Central – Mui Wo), respectively, to support the aforementioned increased tourism efforts. Where appropriate, the Transport Department may be able to provide financial incentives and subsidies to both firms, in order for them to assistant them in providing increased capacity.

Thank you for the consultation and I look forward to hearing from you.


 

Hi Lims,

Comments are as follows:

Relaxation can’t be done without infrastructure improvements. Including parking spaces and widening of the road with more pull over passing places.

With respect to parking the survey done by the transport department says 75% free during the week. But fails to mention that it was an observed snap shot of parking during the day light hours. The reality is the parking is over subscribed as soon as it hits 7 or 8 pm and remains so until about 8 am the next morning. With respect to Pui O you also have big busses occupying non-designated parking spots further compounding the lack of parking especially at night. Therefore the extra private vehicles will put pressure on the over subscribed parking spots from 6 pm to 8 am. Also parking in Mui Wo is packed after 8 am and remains so near the business district and ferry pier until the early evening.

For villages like Pui O car parking spots both illegal and designated are over subscribed. Some locals have taken it on them selves to impose self claimed parking bays with violence or vandalism being the result if you unwittingly park in those bays. The vandalism serves as a reminder to not park there again. These social ills are a result of the lack of parking infrastructure. This is also bringing about illegal activities of controlling parking spots on government land and in some cases charging to park in these illegally controlled spots . Some people own the land and charge for parking but will only take cash with no transfer or bank records so one assumes it’s not an income being claimed to the IRD. relaxing the restrictions will only encourage more vandalism aggression and illegal charging of parking.  People do not park in the designated bays with meters as they occasionally get fines, the preference is for parking illegally in non designated bays and further puts pressure on the pedestrian access areas as cars frequently partially obstruct these pedestrian zones. I doubt the relaxation will see an improvement to the lack of infrastructure that is described above and will only make it worse. Sure at 11am during the week it looks like 100 more cars and busses can be supported but the reality when residents return back to their homes in an evening that is when the capacity available is at its worst.

Villages like Pui O are so restricted in parking that some villagers are deciding to park in Ham Tin village and walk across the Buffaloes field. This inconvenience to them is a Small price to pay to avoid the vandalism and illegal charging. But it is just merely spreading the problem to Ham tin that never before had parking issues but is now gripped by similar problems big villages of Pui O face where parking is not available in the evenings and residents are required to squeeze their cars into awkward spots that would hider access to emergency vehicles should a fire break out etc. this is a big safety concern and one that can not be afforded with the current level of infrastructure.

Therefore if additional permits were to be granted it would have to be only daylight permits from say 9 am to 6 pm for private cars. They would need an electric auto toll system to record those cars with permits and to fine those that are outside these requirements rather than rely on police random yet irregular checks. This would enforce compliance and prevent the many illegal road runners that currently drive without permits.

Additionally Lims should push both the lands department and the transport department for allocation in all key villages for increased free parking for residents. With the public transport system being inadequate for these remote villages it would be advisable to look at the change in demographics and the fact that before it was usually locals that lived and worked within South Lantau. With housing affordability driving more city workers out to Lantau Island this brings with it a required reliance on vehicles for mobility. Now it seems 80% of residential dwellings seem to have at least one car. Before that average seemed to be about 50%. With the significant amount of building that has also taken up areas that used to park numerous cars being utilised for housing the infrastructure for parking has been exhausted. No more housing should be granted until this issue has been solved. Just take a look at Mui Wo where cars are parked all over the place. This is not acceptable in any other part of the world and Hong Kong should stop taking such a short sighted view and attitude that it’s not this departments job to consider such things. Everything needs to be coordinated if we are to avoid big problems in the future. It’s time to sort this out now rather than be another Sai Kung where it’s physically impossible to drive on a Sunday afternoon as the road becomes a giant 3 km/ hr slow moving car park from the hours of 3 pm to 8 pm.


 

I have the following points to make

Road System

That of South Lantau are the basics to meet the requirement of villagers/residents and the essential services.  I doubt if it is ever intended for urban-like volume of traffic.  Thus we have dual carriageways only on arteries, in essence, South Lantau Rd and its extensions (Tai O Rd, Keung Shan Rd etc.).  Access to the plentiful of villages, monasteries and beaches, are mostly, if not all, single-lane two-way, a challenge to average urban drivers.  But these remote spots will be precisely where visitors/tourists are flocking and I doubt if the current system can cope. A mishap on a village path can clog up the whole vicinity which may unwittingly cause local resentment.

Parking

There are only limited on street parking on the South.  Situation in Mui Wo is at present already getting out of hand whilst Pui O, Tong Fuk and Shui Hau are struggling, with nearly all open wasteland improvised and squeezed up.  An increase in the number of vehicles allowed in would certainly further exacerbate this problem.  Would-be permit holders would have problems stopping over for a relief, let alone parking.

Tung Chung Road

A superbly designed roadway with bus-bays and passing places.  It has a panoramic view all way through but unfortunately no vantage points are provided for, say, photo breaks or rest out.  Visiting drivers will naturally be tempted to make use of bus/passing bays and that would have an adverse effect on smooth traffic flow.

Unless and until a revamp of these areas, South Lantau is far from ready for opening up.

Proposal for Relaxation of Traffic Restrictions on South Lantau

i Jul 10th 2 Comments by

The Transport Department (TD) is conducting a review of the traffic situation on South Lantau and is proposing a relaxation on the number of permits for vehicles entering South Lantau.  These are referred to as the Lantau Closed Road Permits (LCRP)

LCRP Relaxation_Consultation_Others_Letter

 

They have asked LIM, along with other Green Groups, for comments before 22 July 2015.  It does not seem like they will be asking the public for comments so we are sharing the TD information incase the public would like to make a submission, which can be made by emailing STO-IS-TONTD@td.gov.hk

There is a cover letter and then the TD proposal which has already been submitted to the Islands District Council (Eng and Chi).

In June 2013 LIM posted about the road safety on South Lantau roads – http://www.livingislands.org.hk/2013/06/16/road-safety-on-south-lantau/

No Planning Dept or EPD reps to be at Islands District Council

i Jan 26th No Comments by

Dear Members and Friends

Update about Monday’s meeting – unlikely that Planning Department or Environmental Bureau representatives will attend the meeting.

The District Councillors have received written responses to Amy Yung’s questions so it is unlikely that government

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officials will attend the meeting in person on:

  • Islands District Council – Monday 26 January 2015, 2.00 pm – 14/F Harbour Building, Pier Row, Central

Here are the official responses by:

Below are the details if you still plan to attend the meeting.

Islands District Council – Monday 26 January 2015, 2.00 pm – 14/F Harbour Building, Pier Row, Central

Amy Yung, the District Councillor for Discovery Bay, has requested the attendance of Environment Bureau, Environment Protection Department and Planning Department to explain the relevant consultation procedures that were undertaken to gain consent from nearby residents for the incinerator near Shek Kwu Chau.

Amy’s request will be enhanced by a strong show of support from South Lantau – so do please make every effort to attend. With District Council elections taking place later this year, it’s a good opportunity to indicate our views to District Councillors seeking re-election.

With other future devastating developments already slated for South Lantau, it’s also an opportunity for us to demonstrate the need for early public consultation and engagement with South Lantau residents.

Amy’s question is about the (lack of) public consultation on the incinerator.

It is on the meeting Agenda for Tourism, Agriculture, Fisheries and Environmental Hygiene Committee:
http://www.districtcouncils.gov.hk/island/doc/common/committee_meetings_agenda/TAFEHC/2015/TAagd0115.pdf

Amy’s Question (Chinese):
http://www.districtcouncils.gov.hk/island/doc/common/committee_meetings_doc/TAFEHC/2015/26-1-2015/IS_TAFEHC_08_2015_TC.pdf

Amy’s Question (English):
http://www.districtcouncils.gov.hk/island/doc/common/committee_meetings_doc/TAFEHC/2015/26-1-2015/IS_TAFEHC_08_2015_EN.pdf

It is likely that Amy’s question will be raised to the appropriate government departments at about 2.30 pm. Simultaneous translation to English has been arranged.

Some members of the LIM Committee may still take the 12.50 ferry from Mui Wo, arriving at Pier 6 at 1.20 pm, along with our usual placards and banners (at Amy’s request).

The Islands District Council meeting takes place on 14/F, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Row, Central (about 10 minutes walk from Pier 6).

We strongly encourage your support!

Regards
The LIM Committee

Join EPD for site visit of the Pui O Wetland

i Jan 22nd No Comments by

Dear Members and Friends,

HELP – SAVE OUR WETLANDS !!!

Site visit with the EPD and other relevant departments set for this Friday 23rd (tomorrow) from 2:30pm to 3:30pm.

Meet at the all-weather football pitch Pui O.

As we mentioned in the first email of this year (on 10 Jan 2015) there is New Dumping on the Pui O Wetland which has been bought to the attention of a number of government departments, including EPD.

Their responses to date have been rather disappointing and as mentioned we continue to look at options, in conjunction with other locals and interest groups.

Having a good number of people turning up at the meeting tomorrow (Fri) will show the Government officials that protecting our wetlands is important.

The purpose of the site visit is to have a candid exchange of views between the concerned departments and the complainants.  The representatives of the departments will take the liberty to explain the actions that have been or will be taken in resolving the complaints; and answer any questions that the complainants may have.

Regards
The LIM Committee

Happy New Year + updates on Funding for Incinerator

i Jan 13th No Comments by

Dear Members and Friends,

Happy New Year and all the best for 2015.

Two items to share with you:

  • Incinerator funding update
  • AGM on Fri 27 Feb

Incinerator

Well, our first newsletter for 2015 does not bring good news on the topic of the Shek Kwu Chau Incinerator.  The Finance Committee of LegCo approved the funding of it at its meeting on Friday 9 January.

Living Islands Movement (LIM) is very disappointed with the overall approach that the Government has taken to Waste Management, and will continue to campaign for radical improvements.

While the community has provided multiple options on how to reduce the volume of waste through better use of our:

  • existing waste collection facilities (rubbish and recycling),
  • landfill sites, and
  • the community recycling centres.
The Environment Bureau has continued to discount/ignore them along with suggestions of :
  • better separation of waste at source,
  • trialing of automated waste sorting, and
  • establishing trials for modern waste to energy technology

The costs for this project are incredibly high, and far exceed those for similar facilities in other parts of the world.

We believe that the major flaw in the Environment Bureau’s approach is its unwillingness to address and solve the fundamental problem of waste separation and recycling.  It continues to take the easy way out by just installing more waste disposal facilities like landfills and now an incinerator.

For at least the past 10 years, the EPD has never had a program to separate waste at source, the foundation of any effective recycling program.  It still does not have a meaningful waste separation program and we hope that is rectified long before an new incinerator may be in operation.

There have been many side promises made by Government during the process of planning an incinerator (what the Government calls an Integrated Waste Management Facility) on a new artificial island near Shek Kwu Chau.

It is time that the government delivered on promises such as:

  • Creating a Marine Park around the Soko Islands
  • Preparing a Strategic Waste Facilities Study
  • Piloting New Technology

There now seem to be few if any new avenues for us to pursue that might help stop the SKC Incinerator, but we continue to consult with other groups to see what might yet be done. We would love to hear any ideas that members may have.

AGM

Looking ahead, the AGM for LIM is going to be held on the evening of Fri 27 February at Café 8 next to the Maritime Museum at Pier 8.  We are trying a new approach to hosting the AGM and will send further details in a separate email.

To finish, two other quick updates:

  • we have been looking into what the committee would like to focus on during 2015 and are preparing to send a list out to members to get their feedback and further suggestions.
  • New Dumping on the Pui O Wetland has been bought to the attention of a number of government departments, including EPD.  Their response to date has been rather disappointing so we are looking at options that might require your help.

So 2015 is going to be a fun year again for promoting Sustainable Island Living and we look forward to having your support.

Regards
The LIM Committee

Dumping on Pui O Wetland

i Dec 31st No Comments by

We all know that there has been a long history of slowly filling in the wetlands around Pui O. Unfortunately a new round is underway and there is an active group of

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people trying to ensure EPD does the right thing – which is to protect this area by updating the planning rules. While we wait for EPD to do this we hope they will stop issuing permits to dump fill on farming/wetland areas.

Since early December one new area of dumping near the football pitch on the way to the beach has been reported to EPD. While EPD visited the day after the first report we are still waiting 3 weeks later for a meaningful response. So LIM has written a letter to EPD (LIM Letter to EPD about Pui O dumping – 20141230) and we have also been told that it will be another 15 working days before they will provide a substantive reply.

LIM Letter to EPD about Pui O dumping - 20141230 p1

Open Letter to Mrs Carrie Lam

i Oct 9th No Comments by

Subject: New Inter-departmental co-operation in the planning and implementation of a comprehensive waste management policy urgently required
Date: 2014-10-08 23:39
From: info@livingislands.org.hk
To: cso@cso.gov.hk
Cc: ceo@ceo.gov.hkexco@ceo.gov.hkfso@fso.gov.hkdojinfo@doj.gov.hkscsoffice@csb.gov.hkcmabenq@cmab.gov.hk,edbcomp@edb.gov.hkenquiry@enb.gov.hkenquiry@fhb.gov.hkhab@hab.gov.hkenquiry@lwb.gov.hkenquiry@thb.gov.hk,plc@legco.gov.hkenquiry@aud.gov.hklandsd@landsd.gov.hk

Dear Mrs Lam

The Environment Bureau is proposing to expand landfills and build an incinerator to dispose of Hong Kong’s waste, and claims that these measures along with waste-charging will reduce the per capita waste generated by 40% by 2022. We understand that the Finance Committee will vote on the proposal in October. We would like to bring this critical matter to your attention as it will affect Hong Kong in the decades to come.

A comprehensive sustainable waste management policy must be based on an integrated programme of waste sorting, separating and recycling. Such a programme requires the co-operation and commitment of the three departments concerned: the Environmental Protection Department, Housing Department, and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

You already are aware of the dysfunction and inefficiency of civil service bureaucracy that hinders cross-departmental co-operation essential in the implementation of your policies and you made a personal commitment on this and chair an inter-departmental committee to address this issue. However, there is no evidence of any such inter-departmental co-operation in the planning and implementation of a comprehensive waste management policy based on waste sorting, separating and recycling.

As a result, the Environmental Bureau planning effort in the last ten years has been dedicated only to the expansion of landfills and the construction of an incinerator based on outdated polluting technology that will cost the Hong Kong taxpayer between 100% and 300% more than comparable installations elsewhere.

In municipalities around the world, every successful waste reduction effort has been accompanied by a comprehensive programme to separate and sort waste at or near source into recyclable and non-recyclable waste.  Without such a programme, expanding the landfills and constructing incinerators will not adequately deal with the increasing amount of waste. While waste-charging can help, as in Seoul and Taipei, the success of this strategy is based on having comprehensive measures in place to sort and separate waste so that recyclable and non-recyclable waste can be transported to their respective destinations.

In the past 10 years, no such comprehensive sorting and separation of waste has been seriously investigated for Hong Kong, nor is it in the Environment Bureau’s current plan. Without such a programme, waste management is confined to putting an increasing volume of waste in landfills and incinerator(s). This is not a sustainable strategy. While the Environment Bureau’s plan requires an 8-year lead time before the proposed incinerator is operational in 2022, comprehensive waste sorting and separation can be established in much less time and at far lower cost than the $18 billion needed for the incinerator and $9 billion for expanding the three landfills. As this waste sorting and separation infrastructure is developed, along with waste-charging, the goal of reducing Hong Kong’s per capita waste by 40% would be achievable.

In summary, our recommendation is:
1.   Withdraw the current proposals for landfills expansion and construction of an incinerator.
2.   Develop a comprehensive waste sorting and separation programme to be operational in 2018.
3.   Implement a waste-charging scheme in 2020.
4.   At each current landfill site, build facilities for waste sorting and recycling, along with appropriate thermal technology to dispose of residual waste.

With inter-departmental cooperation, these goals are achievable. This strategy will lead to a sustainable and holistic programme for waste management for Hong Kong, matching if not exceeding that in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Europe. Proceeding along the current plan advocated by the Environmental Bureau is essentially a status quo approach in which the current waste crisis is postponed to the next administration when more landfills and incinerators will be needed.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Merrin Pearse

On behalf of the Committee and Members of the Living Islands Movement
http://www.livingislands.org.hk

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