Letter to Public Accounts Committee asking to rescind funding for incinerator

i Jan 10th 1 Comment by

Living Islands Movement (LIM) sent a letter to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in relation to the recent report from the Director of Audit, Report 65 ( which highlights that the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has been misleading HK on the true situation with our landfills and that EPD have been promoting waste management strategies that are extremely overpriced and not fitting for a modern global city.

In short LIM strongly urge the Public Accounts Committee to recommend that funding for the landfill extensions and incinerator projects are rescinded or at least frozen until a full review is undertaken and the need for all components is reassessed based on correct information.

Read a copy of the LIM letter to PAC.

Public Accounts Committee - Hon Abraham SHEK 20160107

Government audit of Hong Kong’s waste reduction efforts makes clear who is to blame for our growing mountain of rubbish

i Dec 3rd No Comments by

An informative piece by Tom Yam published by the SCMP (1 Dec 2015) that builds on the Audit Commission report titled “Government’s efforts in managing municipal solid waste“.

Hong Kong’s waste problem: a stinking trail of missed targets, data errors and misdirected efforts

Tom Yam says a government audit of Hong Kong’s waste reduction efforts makes clear who is to blame for our growing mountain of rubbish.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 5.58.14 PM

If an organisation misses targets, mangles statistics, mismanages capital assets, underestimates costs, undertakes trifling projects and underperforms in a critical task year after year, will it survive?

The answer is a resounding “yes” if it is the Environmental Protection Department.

The department’s data, used to manage ongoing programmes, is rubbish (pun intended)

The Audit Commission recently issued a report on the government’s management of the garbage, officially known as municipal solid waste, which Hong Kong produced over the decade to 2015. The Environmental Protection Department is responsible for waste management and has an annual budget of HK$2.05 billion to do the job.

By every measure, including the department’s own as set out in its Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014), and the Hong Kong Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources (2013-2022), it fell short.

Key performance indicators for waste management have all deteriorated. Per capita waste disposed daily increased from 1.27kg in 2011 to 1.35kg in 2014. Waste recovered and recycled dropped from 49 per cent in 2009 to 37 per cent in 2013. Food waste increased from 3,227 tonnes per day in 2004 to 3,648 tonnes in 2013.

READ MORE: What a waste: Hong Kong government ‘set to miss targets’ as people dump more rubbish

The landfill in Tseung Kwan O. As of 2013, 63 per cent of Hong Kong’s waste was still dumped in landfills. Photo: SCMP Pictures

The policy framework set a target of disposing of 25 per cent of waste in landfills by 2014. As of 2013, 63 per cent was still dumped in landfills.

The department’s data, used to manage ongoing programmes, is rubbish (pun intended). The Audit Commission cites a litany of statistical errors. The amount of waste recovered for recycling was inflated because the department included waste imported for processing. Its forecast of a 50 per cent drop in food waste from school lunches was overstated because only 12 per cent of students ate lunch in school. It could produce no quantifiable data to explain its changing assumptions about the serviceable life of the landfills. It now claims that all landfills will be full by 2018. The Audit Commission believes they should last some years beyond 2018.

The department priced phrase 1 of the Organic Waste Treatment Facilities, to recycle mainly food waste, at HK$489 million in 2010. But because it omitted or significantly underestimated the cost of some components, the cost surged to HK$1.589 billion in 2014.

READ MORE: Waste not, want not: The ‘food angels’ collecting goodies we’re about to throw out to cook for Hong Kong’s underprivileged

The producer responsibility scheme for plastic bags has been rolled out, albeit behind schedule. But the scheme has yet to be implemented for five other products, including glass bottles. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Target dates for rolling out the producer responsibility scheme for six products, based on the “polluter pays” principle, have not been met. Only the first two phases of the plastic shopping bag levy have been implemented, in 2009 and 2015, six to eight years behind target. The scheme has yet to be implemented for the other five products – waste electrical and electronic equipment, vehicle tyres, glass bottles, packaging materials and rechargeable batteries.

Only four of the 12 government departments have signed up to the Food Wise Hong Kong Campaign, which promotes reduction of food waste, two years after its launch.

With great fanfare, the department did launch a series of waste reduction, recovery and recycling initiatives. Their impact, however, has been inconsequential. Net reduction of plastic shopping bags disposed of in landfills in 2009-2013 was 11,544 tonnes, or an infinitesimal amount of total waste disposed.

READ MORE: Cycle of waste: City’s recycling industry needs must be addressed by Hong Kong government

… Article Continues though


… Summary of Article …

The audit report describes a mismanaged organisation that lacks coordination with other government departments, produces inaccurate information and statistics, and engages in inconsequential efforts to tackle waste reduction and recycling. It cannot effectively manage ongoing programmes, resulting in missed targets and deteriorating performance.

In the private sector, a chief executive accountable for such rotten results would have been fired. Yet the previous environment secretary, Edward Yau Tang-wah, is now director of the Chief Executive’s Office. The current one, Wong Kam-sing, is this week attending the UN climate change conference in Paris. The Environmental Protection Department’s director, Anissa Wong Sean-yee, has been in her job since 2006. Despite the audit report, all three are likely to keep their highly paid jobs in Hong Kong’s non-accountable government.

Tom Yam is a Hong Kong-based management consultant. He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Disappointed the Court of Final Appeal dismissed the technical case against the incinerator

i Nov 26th No Comments by

Living Islands Movement (LIM) was very disappointed in the decision of the Court of Final Appeal in dismissing the case against the incinerator earlier today.  We now await the judge’s written decision.

This week’s Audit Commission report ( which shows the Government have provided misleading information to the public about waste management and recycling is relevant to today’s decision because it was partly this misinformation that provided the basis upon which the EPD (Environmental Protection Department) sought to justify the need for an incinerator in the first place. LIM will work with other interested parties to further examine the Audit Commission’s findings and explore options for further legal or other challenges.

We continue to urge that the Government pause, review and then move forward with measures which would see Hong Kong adopt waste management practices fit for the 21st century in line with their goals to make Hong Kong Asia’s first city. One such example is that put to the Town Planning Board in 2013 (

Hong Kong’s plan to reduce its waste enters the realm of fantasy

i Sep 4th No Comments by

Tom Yam says the government’s plan to reduce our waste through charging – while doing little to encourage recovery and recycling – is based on wishful thinking and won’t be realised

Tom Yam


Here’s a tip for delegates coming to Hong Kong for an international conference on solid waste: skip our environment secretary’s keynote address. Go to Disneyland instead. You’ll be immersed in Fantasyland either way, but you’ll have more fun with Mickey Mouse than Wong Kam-sing.

Wong is expected to recite his “Hong Kong Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022”. The part on waste management is as fantastical as Space Mountain, but minus the thrills. To reduce Hong Kong’s Waste Mountain, the Environment Bureau’s goal is to cut by 40 per cent the amount of solid waste disposed of per capita, from 1.27kg per day in 2011 to 0.8kg in 2022 (no matter that the figure in fact increased to 1.33kg in 2013). The bureau insists this is achievable through charging us for the solid waste we produce, along with public education, and cites the success of South Korea and Taipei in shrinking their waste mountains.

But the bureau is wishing upon a star. A waste-reduction policy based on reality, rather than wishful thinking, has to follow an inescapable equation: waste disposed is equal to waste generated, minus waste recovered for recycling. Waste charging can reduce the amount of waste generated. But equally essential is increasing the amount of waste recovered and recycled. After introducing waste charging, South Korea reduced the waste it generated by 23 per cent, and increased the waste it recovered from 24 per cent to 60 per cent. Taipei reduced the waste it generated by 62 per cent, and increased the waste it recycled to 60 per cent. The combined effect of generating less garbage and recovering more of it for recycling is necessary in reducing the amount of waste that needs disposing of.

A further reality that the bureau wilfully ignores is that waste recovery and recycling is impossible without a mandatory, systematic programme of waste separation. Recyclable waste, such as paper, metal, glass and plastic, needs to be handled separately from waste that ends up in landfills or the incinerator. Such a programme cannot be enforced without legislation. Taiwan has introduced such laws: a Waste Disposal Act and a Resource Recycling Act, which mandate comprehensive waste separation and recycling.

Similarly, South Korea introduced a Waste Control Act and an Act on Promotion of Saving and Recycling of Waste. It takes political will to push through such a statutory framework.

Key to recovering more waste is a recycling industry that can profitably process such waste into marketable products like recycled paper, glassware, plastic items and building materials. To support its recycling industry, Taiwan has an annual recycling fund of NT$6 billion (HK$1.5 billion ). It has become a leading developer of recycling technology. In South Korea, a government-sponsored Korea Environmental Corporation provides financial assistance to the recycling industry, resulting in a substantial increase in the number of recycling companies in the country.

Hong Kong’s pitiable recycling industry does not have the scale or infrastructure to process recovered waste into marketable products. For starters, 93 per cent of recovered waste is exported for sale, mostly to the mainland. In 2003, the government designated an EcoPark for a high-tech, high-value-added recycling industry. Yet the industry remains stuck at the lowest level of operations: collection, recovery and export of waste paper, metal, plastic, etc, activities with low economic value.

Relying on exporting also exposes the industry to external vagaries. During the global financial crisis in 2008, for instance, the purchase price of waste paper in Hong Kong plummeted from HK$2,000 to HK$700 per tonne. In 2013, when mainland authorities tightened regulations for importing recovered plastics, 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste piled up at collection points.

Without serious and sustained separation of waste to increase the waste recovered, the amount of recyclables is simply insufficient to support the development of a recycling industry. Relying on export, the industry will dwindle as waste exporting options continue to decrease, limiting the amount of recyclable waste that exporters want to recover profitably.

The government has made no serious effort to create an indigenous recycling industry. A one-off HK$1 billion fund proposed to support recycling companies essentially only subsidises local companies to recover more waste for export. HK$1 billion sounds like a lot but it’s measly compared to the HK$19 billion budgeted for building an incinerator, HK$10 billion for expanding landfills, and HK$8 billion for a sludge treatment facility. In 2011-2012, the budget dedicated to education, publicity and advertisement of recycling was only HK$24 million. The allocation of funding reveals the priority: building waste-disposal capacity, not recycling.

Scattered recycling pilot projects are being tried in some housing estates but none have resulted in a territory-wide programme. The tri-colour recycling bins on the streets collect only 700 tonnes of recyclable waste a year, a mere fraction of the waste generated in Hong Kong. Yet the bureau claims it will increase the rate of recovery from 37 per cent of waste generated in 2013 to 55 per cent by 2022.

While the government looks to waste charging in reducing the waste generated, it ignores the other side of the equation: waste separation mandated by legislation and the creation of a viable recycling industry. Yet without these essential components, it aspires to achieve in seven years from now what Taipei took more than a decade to accomplish. There’s a Disney attraction analogous to that aspiration; it’s called The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Tom Yam is a Hong Kong-based management consultant. He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Paper sent to attendees at the International Conference on Solid Waster 2015: Knowledge Transfer for Sustainable Resource Management

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:

Amy’s Question (Chinese):

Amy’s Question (English):

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!

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


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.


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.

The LIM Committee

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

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

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.

The LIM Committee

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







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) -。










– 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
— 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:


  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

Ideas for Protest Banners & Placards

Say No to the Incinerator
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
HK$ BILLIONS Going Up in Smoke
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

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.

4) Share the video made by Cecilie Gamst Berg

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 –

6) Sign the petition calling for the HK Government to Reduce Waste at Source

7) Visit this website which provides insights into the background of Government advisors on the Waste issue

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

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.

The LIM Committee