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Hong Kong OWTF phase 1 – Design Build Operate tender cost per tonne of treated food waste almost HK$ 2,400

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CTA Letter on managing municipal solid waste and Reduction and recycling of food waste

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Beijing’s pollution saviour: Mother Nature

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Construction cranes are shrouded in smog in Beijing. Photo: Bloomberg

Residents say officials now rely on weather to control capital’s dire smog

What a difference a day makes. The arrival of strong winds overnight on Tuesday blew away much of the heavy smog that had choked Beijing for days, allowing the capital’s air quality to return to a healthy level within hours.

A cold front from the north reached the capital at about 11pm on Tuesday, and by midnight the concentration of PM2.5 particles, considered most dangerous to human health, had dropped to 22 – considered a healthy level – in the suburbs and 88 in the city. Residents woke up to a clear blue sky with cold, fresh air as the concentration of the fine particulates dropped to below 10 from more than 500 on Tuesday.

Internet users were quick to share pictures of the city’s clear skyline on social media while at the same time expressing in frustration that the capital was relying entirely on weather changes to fight the smog.

Officials, when questioned why the highest-level red pollution warning alert was not issued as the pollution index reached a hazardous level over the previous five days, explained that this was due to technological limitations.

Peng Yingdeng, a researcher at the National Engineering Research Centre for Urban Pollution Control, said air pollution had been dropping for three years, yet the weather – especially this year’s severe El Nino conditions – made the air quality worse. Beijing is prone to spells of low pressure that trap air pollutants closer to the ground.

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Some questioned why a red alert, the highest level in a four-tier system, was not issued to help residents cope better. A red alert would force schools to shut down, cars to stay off the road on alternate days and construction projects halted.

The city’s Environmental Protection Administration has been under fire for issuing and maintaining only the orange alert even though air quality was so bad that readings were off the charts.

Unfavourable weather, together with coal-burning in Beijing’s suburban area and vehicle exhaust emissions, were to blame for the heavy smog, authorities said. (CTA: note that goods vehicles can only enter Beijing and other big Mainland cities after midnight)

According to Beijing Severe Air Pollution Contingency Plan, a red alert can only be issued by the Beijing Emergency Management Office after being approved by the city mayor. It should be issued 24 hours in advance if air quality is forecast to be severe, with the air quality index over 300, for 72 hours.

But Peng said it was not possible to forecast air pollution precisely for a period longer than three days, and the Beijing environmental watchdog was upgrading its air quality projection system at a cost of 30 million yuan to extend forecasts to five days.

When air quality plummeted last Friday, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre forecast it to improve on Saturday. But the AQI nosedived on Sunday and continued to drop on Monday and Tuesday, an environmental protection Administration official told The Beijing News.

“But technical limitation is no excuse,” Peng said. “The local environmental protection authority could have warned people of the severity of the smog.”

Source URL: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1886320/beijings-pollution-saviour-mother-nature

The Dangers of HNE 4-Hydroxy-Nonenal in hotel, public restaurants and home environments

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Park defenders set big day to remember

CTA says: issue a ‘Use it or Lose it’ declaration on developer land banks

They are sitting on agricultural land for years waiting to get some corrupt Govt officer to change its status for residential development

A new alliance will mark December 13 as Country Parks Appreciation Day in an effort to stymie those who eye natural spaces as potential sites for housing.

The Save Our Country Parks Alliance of 29 green groups is launching what is planned to be an annual event.

Lam Chiu-ying, an adjunct professor at the Chinese University and a former director of the Hong Kong Observatory, hopes the day will remind everyone of the value of country parks.

Lam wants people to take photos of themselves in parks on December 13 and tag it “SaveOurCountryParks” on social media so the alliance may gauge how many people back the campaign. The intention is to show “a lot of people in Hong Kong love our country parks.”

The alliance is recruiting volunteers for visitor counting and promotion work at park entrances on the day.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has spoken of using park land with “low ecological value” for housing, and a foundation led by a predecessor, Tung Chee-hwa, wants a review on park use.

One of Lam’s university colleagues, Ng Sai-leung, said planners should consider developing brownfield sites, golf courses and military sites before parks.

Recycling in Germany

CTA was in Germany last week

The local environment people actually promote recycling there unlike Hong Kong

Street level recycling containers for Green Glass and White glass are actively used and collected daily for recycling by the Administration

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Incineration of Municipal Waste in MSW Incinerators

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Clear the Air’s view on meetings with the non-negotiable HK Airport Authority

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UNIVERSAL POLITICS (including Hong Kong) GRAPHICALLY EXPLAINED

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Cathay Pacific, Dragonair struggle to grow cargo volumes amid China slowdown

CTA says: Which means the bridge to nowhere connecting HKG with HKAA’s 55% investment in Zhuhai airport management, will be another white elephant

PRD too expensive now so the big guys moved out and north.

Cathay Pacific Airways and its wholly owned unit Dragonair barely achieved growth in cargo volumes last month, underscoring concerns over a slowdown in exports from China.

Volumes grew just 1.5 per cent to 157,688 tonnes from the same month a year earlier, Cathay Pacific said on Thursday.

“The cargo traffic growth of 1.5 per cent is weak. This is a cause for concern. Chinese exports fell sharply in March. The cargo traffic of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair followed the Chinese export trend,” said Ajith Kom, a Singapore-based analyst with UOB Kay Hian Research.

In March, China’s exports fell 15 per cent year on year, according to official data. Cargo services accounted for 20.5 per cent of the combined revenue of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair in the first half of 2014, while passenger services made up 74.7 per cent, according to the company’s 2014 interim report.

 

The March figures provided a brighter picture on the passenger front. The two carriers boosted passenger numbers by a bigger than expected 11 per cent to 2.89 million from a year earlier.

Mark Sutch, Cathay Pacific general manager of cargo sales and marketing, said: “Air freight demand was generally robust throughout March, helped by the month-end and quarter-end production rush out of the key manufacturing cities in mainland China.”

In the first quarter, passenger traffic rose 8.6 per cent, just short of an 8.7 per cent growth forecast by Citi, while cargo and mail tonnage increased 12.3 per cent.

For the first two months of the year, passenger traffic grew 7.4 per cent and cargo tonnage soared 19.6 per cent. For the whole of last year, passenger numbers increased at a slower pace of 5.5 per cent, while mail and cargo tonnage rose 12 per cent.

“March is traditionally a shoulder season between the Chinese New Year and Easter peak periods, but this year saw passenger demand for the month rising above expectations. Demand was strong in all cabins, with high load factors to and from southwest Pacific, Europe and the UK,” said Patricia Hwang, Cathay Pacific general manager of revenue management.

JP Morgan, in a research report, cited Cathay Pacific management as saying the improvement in operations from last year has continued in the first quarter, adding that the company was positive about the Hong Kong-listed firm’s overall prospects for 2015.

 

Source URL (modified on Apr 16th 2015, 8:25pm): http://www.scmp.com/business/china-business/article/1767779/cathay-pacific-dragonair-struggle-grow-cargo-volumes-amid