Thursday, 6 January 2011

Hong Kong Down in the Dumps

The Hong Kong government only realizes now it has a serious waste management problem.

Environmentalists have been trying to tell the authorities for years that more needs to be done in terms of recycling and cutting down waste levels, but did anyone listen?

And now that people are becoming more environmentally aware and know more about their rights, they don't want landfills to be built in country parks, nor do they want incinerators in their backyards.

So something's gotta give. ASAP.

Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah admitted the time had come for public discussion on a waste charge, a regulation that should have been introduced in 2007. But he was unable to offer a clear timetable for introducing the charge, citing the difficulty of collecting it in Hong Kong's high-rise society.

Yes, tricky issues can be difficult to deal with, Mr Yau, but really this problem needs to be dealt with now. Hong Kong will continue to be a high-rise society so figure out a solution!

There are concerns the current administration will continue to drag its heels on this issue for the next one to deal with.

Hong Kong aims to raise the waste recycling rate from the current 49 percent to 55 percent of municipal solid waste by 2015 by setting up waste recovery centres in each of the 18 districts. On-site kitchen waste recycling at shopping malls or housing estates would be promoted.

While recycling is only helps alleviate a small part of the waste disposal situation, at least it would make people more aware of what they are throwing away. The most frustrating part is a government that refuses to take a strong stand on the matter which is only going to get worse.

There should be recycling containers on each floor of an apartment building and the cleaning staff could make money by taking these items to the recycling depots.

Right now there is nothing to encourage any kind of recycling in my building. I separate my garbage, but is it appreciated?

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