Campaigns

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.

Super Incinerator – A very important opportunity to voice your opinions

i Mar 7th No Comments by

Dear Members and Friends

The Legislators are listening!

Your voice is being heard and is making a difference. Now you have another chance to express your views on the proposed landfill extensions and the building of the Super Incinerator near Shek Kwu Chau. The next meeting of the Panel on Environmental Affairs will be open to the public, and is therefore a great opportunity to tell them your opinions regarding the EPD proposals.

If you wish to speak at the meeting, you must submit your request ASAP to speak and/or make a submission on Saturday 22 March. Details can be found at
http://www.legco.gov.hk/general/english/sec/invite_s/ea20140226.htm
The reply slip on the website is for organizations. Here is a reply slip for individuals.

The entire process is at a very critical stage with respect to the future of Hong Kong’s Waste management plans that will affect HK people for many decades. Below is a brief update to help with your submission to the Government, though the key message in this email is “Book your place to make a submission on Saturday 22 March”.

You can submit your written statement after you register your speaking place and during the presentation you will not be asked any questions. Each participant will have just 3 minutes to speak.

We will send a list of possible items to raise along with the LIM submission in a couple of days.

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We will be following the direction of our letter that was sent to the Panel on Environmental Affairs for their meeting held on 24 February.

A short summary and important dates:

  • Thanks to all who sent in letters to the EA Panel. During the meeting on 24 February, it was clear that those letters had been received as some of the legislators were referring to the 6 questions. The result of the meeting was the setting up of the Public Hearing on Saturday 22 March
  • March “Fact Finding” tour to Europe by EPD and some Legislators
  • 17 March – applications to speak on 22 March close and you need to have your written submission in by this date.
  • 22 March – Public Hearing at Government building
  • Public Works Subcommittee on 16 April
  • Finance Committee in May (possible dates are 2nd, 16th and 30th May)

It is worth noting that with or without the support of the EA Panel or the Public Works Committee the Secretary for the Environment can legally go directly to the Finance Committee to request funding for the Landfill Extensions and the building of the Super Incinerator near Shek Kwu Chau.

LIM urges you to continue to make your voice heard, so please submit your request ASAP to speak and/or make a submission on Sat 22 March
http://www.legco.gov.hk/general/english/sec/invite_s/ea20140226.htm

Regards
LIM Committee

Send a Letter to EA Panel

i Feb 22nd No Comments by

Dear LIM Members and Friends

RE: Urging you to write an email to express your concerns about the Mega Incinerator ASAP (especially before Monday morning).

You may not have heard that the Panel on Environmental Affairs will be meeting on Monday (24 Feb) at 2:30 to consider approving the building of the Mega Incinerator near Shek Kwu Chau.

Details of the meeting can be found at http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr13-14/english/panels/ea/agenda/ea20140224.htm and the public can attend by booking a seat in the public gallery via 3919 3399.

The LIM committee has written to all members of the panel asking them to challenge and reject the proposal rather than give it the official endorsement needed to make progress. (View our letter)

Below are listed “Six Key Questions On Waste Management In Hong Kong” taken from the letter.

You might also like to write a letter to the panel members and express your concern.  The main email address is panel_ea@legco.gov.hk though we also have created an email template to all panel members (click on this link to create the email).  Feel free to base your response on the suggestions in our letter though of course feel free to add your own concerns as well.

The list of Panel Members can be found at http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr13-14/english/panels/ea/general/ea_mem.htm.  If you know any of them, give them a call and discuss your concerns.

There are 3 members on the “Panel on Environmental Affairs” who represent New Territories West (which covers the Islands District). They are:

  • Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip (albert.wychan@yahoo.com.hk)
  • Hon LEE Cheuk-yan (yanlee@hkctu.org.hk) 
  • Hon CHAN Han-pan (benchanlegco@gmail.com)

Of course share this email with your friends and ask them to write a letter to the Panel and to the media.

Regards

The Living Islands Committee

SIX KEY QUESTIONS ON WASTE MANAGEMENT IN HONG KONG 

  1. The Bureau has admitted that their statistics for recycling are false and misleading. The previous claims that 48-52% of Hong Kong’s waste is recycled have been shown to be incorrect. Waste being imported and re-exported without processing tonnage was previously added to the recycling figure but excluded from the waste generation figure. How can EPD be trusted on the Blueprint when it is based on such misleading and/or inadequate statistics? 
  2. LIM estimates that the true recycling percentage could be less than 10%. It is also clear from everyday observation that there is very little actual waste recycling in Hong Kong. The few “three-colour” recycling bins in use are mostly in obscure or difficult to get to locations, are too small and are badly designed, while the public is given no guidance on what types of plastic and paper waste can be recycled and what not to put in recycling bins.  The recycling bins are often overflowing and remain so for days on end. Why is the EPD ignoring the strong demand from the public to recycle more waste and why are they not making much greater efforts at all levels to provide this most basic waste management infrastructure?
  3. The EPD’s strategy for the destruction of waste is based on sending unsorted waste to landfill or mass-burn incineration in a remote location. There are no intermediate steps between collection and dumping or burning. If the IWMF proposal is implemented, it will effectively rule out waste separation at source, intermediate stage sorting and the development of an effective recycling industry in Hong Kong. There will be no need for any of this if it can all just be burned. Why does the Blueprint contain no plans for sorting of waste to divert it away from landfill or incineration?
  4. The large-scale incinerator will result in a net daily reduction in waste of 2,000 tonnes, while actually producing around 900 tonnes per day of highly toxic waste in the form of fly ash, which will still be sent to landfill. How can the huge economic and environmental cost of this IWMF be justified for such a small gain, which could be equally achieved through enhanced waste reduction and recycling?
  5. Moving-grate incineration only achieves a 70% reduction in the amount of waste that is burned. This is at the expense of converting some of the waste into gases that contain poisonous dioxins which are pushed into the atmosphere, and by reducing the rest to a highly toxic ash residue. The claim that this is “Modern” incineration is simply not true. Why does the Bureau continue to resist other rapidly emerging technologies in the face of the growing evidence that these technologies are gaining acceptance around the world?
  6. Why is the Bureau leading a delegation of LegCo Members to Europe to study incinerators and alternative technologies only after seeking approval for the out-dated mass-burn incinerator?  

Press Release – IWMAG Submission

i Dec 19th No Comments by

Press Release regarding the proposed rezoning of sites to assist solve Hong Kong’s Waste Management problem

Living Islands Movement (LIM) supports a new approach to solving Hong Kong’s waste management problem. Compared to the approach being taken by the Environmental Protection Department, LIM supports the Integrated Waste Management Action Group (IWMAG) initiative, which

  • aims for a dramatic increase in the amount of recovery and recycling of waste material, and a radical reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill
  • will involve the whole community in Hong Kong,
  • will be environmentally sensitive,
  • can be implemented in a relatively short timescale,
  • is economically viable,
  • can include up-to-date technology options,
  • and distributes the responsibility for waste management regionally within the SAR.

Waste Management is a problem for the entire Hong Kong community. LIM briefing meetings in December have highlighted the flaws in the Government selection of Shek Kwu Chau for constructing an artificial island on which to build a giant incinerator. The Government’s short sighted vision is to localise the problem by building a single giant incinerator to which all of the unsorted waste material in Hong Kong will be transported. This is a management style from the nineteenth century, and Hong Kong deserves better than this.

The IWMAG rezoning proposal can provide space quickly and cost effectively for constructing sorting facilities at or near existing landfill sites, with little or no damage to the existing flora or fauna in those areas. The Government proposal will irreversibly destroy an area of outstanding natural beauty in Hong Kong. LIM asks why the Government have allowed a proposal that will knowingly damage the environment beyond repair.

85% of Hong Kong’s waste comprises recoverable or recyclable materials. LIM is concerned that if the Government builds a super incinerator with a token waste-sorting facility (with planned capacity for sorting just 300 tonnes per day out of the 3,000 tonnes per day that the incineration plant is projected to handle) there will be no incentive to follow through with expanding any waste sorting facilities. It just becomes easier to burn everything rather than sort and separate anything.

The Government proposal to construct a huge-scale moving grate incinerator will create toxic emissions that will be dispersed across a wide area of Hong Kong. By expanding the recovery and recycling of waste, the need for incinerations is largely removed. Other technologies may be useful to further reduce the residual waste to a negligible issue.

LIM advocates a regional approach to alleviating the waste management problem. Existing locations should be developed to use existing infrastructure and minimise the transportation of waste over long distances.

 

Press Release: 19 Dec 2013 – for immediate publication

 

Editors.

For more information, please contact:

 Michael Pratt, Vice Chairman Living Islands Movement. Mobile 9092 8481