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September 25th, 2012:

No Incinerator at Shek Kwu Chau

Submitted by admin on Sep 25th 2012, 12:00am



Howard Winn

No Incinerator at Shek Kwu Chau
We hear that the previous government’s proposed monster incinerator – which it suggested siting near the scenic island of Shek Kwu Chau – will not go ahead. It will be recalled that this controversial project involved building the incinerator on reclaimed land next to the island which is off south Lantau. The total project was expected to cost about HK$23 billion and was anticipated to handle a daily capacity of 3,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste.

When the Environmental Protection Department sought funding from the Legislative Council earlier this year, the project was shelved. However, there are a number of outstanding judicial reviews with respect to the project to be heard later this year. The original preferred site for the project was Tang Tsui near the landfill in Tuen Mun.

The project raised controversy after Donald Tsang’s government decided that the political cost of locating it in Heung Yee Kuk leader Lau Wong Fat’s fief was too great and Shek Kwu Chau “emerged” as the government’s favoured location. Although it has been shelved, mysterious forces have been at work to advance the project. Groups such as the Hong Kong Islands District Association, a United Front organisation, was able to access government environmental funds to organise subsidised trips to Singapore and Taiwan to study incinerators. It is not known how the government proposes to deal with the problem of waste disposal.

Green groups spar with AAHK
The sparring between the green groups and the Airport Authority over a study to consider the social return on investment (SROI) of the third runway rumbles on. The green groups and the legislative council want the authority to carry out this study. The authority, which talks of wanting to become the greenest airport in the world, is prevaricating by saying that it, too, wants to study the social and environmental impact of the runway, but says it has yet to find the best method. It has so far ignored the SROI that was conducted for a third runway at London’s Heathrow airport which contributed to the shelving of the project. This is not the outcome the authority is seeking. The green groups intend to hold their own meeting to discuss the carbon emission audit and the SROI, and to invite the authority to attend.

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Director of Public Prosecutions

Shek Kwu Chau

Waste disposal

Environmental Protection Department

Airport Authority

Social return on investment

Source URL (retrieved on Sep 25th 2012, 6:40am):


Hung Hom recycling scheme faces closure over high costs

Submitted by admin on Sep 25th 2012, 12:00am

News›Hong Kong


Cheung Chi-fai

Unless Hung Hom initiative to reprocess rubbish gets more government aid, it may have to shut due to hefty cost increases in rent and insurance

A community-based rubbish recycling scheme warned yesterday that sharp increases in its insurance and rent costs may doom the project – and others like it – unless it can get more funds from the government.

The recycling scheme is based in Hung Hom and run by the Ever Green Association. Its insurance fees for workers’ injury and compensation had increased more than 16 times – from HK$5,000 to HK$90,000 – in the past 18 months, said the association’s executive secretary, Virginia Ip Chiu-ping.

Rent at the project’s base had risen from HK$18,000 in 2010 to HK$30,000, Ip said. These costs could eat up half of the HK$1.2 million in funding the project was awarded 18 months ago from the government’s Environment and Conservation Fund.

“We feel as if the fund is being robbed, and there is nothing we can do to resist,” said Yip. “Now most of our funding and income goes to the landlord.”

The Hung Hom project helps nearby residents separate their rubbish, to promote recycling, and provides collection services for plastic recyclables.

Dr William Yu Yuen-ping, a member of the Environment and Conservation Fund’s vetting committee, said committee members were aware of the situation facing agencies like Ip’s.

“It is not an isolated phenomenon, but is beyond the control of the fund,” he said. “However, we are trying our best to help these agencies.”

Ip, too, warned that such costs could force other small-scale, community-based agencies out of business.

She said some insurance firms had refused to sell them any coverage, while others had quoted unaffordable prices because they thought the government might provide more funding.

Some insurers had labelled waste recovery a dangerous business, Ip said, acknowledging that one of their employees broke a leg at work.

She applied to renew the project’s funding last week, and is awaiting a final decision. She is seeking a HK$1.1 million subsidy for 12 months of operation, hiring two full time and six part-time employees.

Insurance sector lawmaker Chan Kin-por said the higher insurance fees correspond to the risk of workplace accidents.

“It is not uncommon for drivers and workers to get hurt while moving loads of metal and paper; their working environment is often riskier [than average],” he said.

Insurers paid little attention to the recycling sector until earlier this year, when statisticians worked out the risks, Chan said.

The sector’s insurance fees now cost 18 per cent of the average total wage package, he said.


Financial Institutions


recycling scheme

Source URL (retrieved on Sep 25th 2012, 6:34am):