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June 30th, 2013:

Incinerator site folly is sadly symptomatic

SCMP Comments dynamco Jun 30th 2013 10:48am

little doubt Hong Kong needs a waste incinerator
how wrong can you be!

In fact there is zero doubt living downwind of incinerator PM1 /PM2.5 kills children + adults + causes birth defects +cancers. Read the reports.
Options are available:
Export MSW to Europe where there is a shortage + countries like Norway, Sweden, Germany and Netherlands need it since they have incineration overcapacity + strict recycling laws in place.
Our landfills could be recovered following the Belgium example.

Our MSW could be feedstock to be converted to bio jetfuel, bio marine fuel or bio naptha using the Fischer Tropsch process after gasification with No ASH residues.
Alternatively gasification technology could be used to generate electricity with No Ash residues + the generation sold to PRD.
Incineration (thermal conversion) of MSW in the presence of oxygen leaves 30% by weight as ash of which 7% is toxic fly ash – ash requires landfilling + treatment. Gasification in absence of oxygen renders MSW into molecular gaseous plasma (4th state of matter) components at the temperature of the sun; the residues are lava like rock that can be used as road aggregate since the ash is fused as vitreous lava + there are no residues to landfill. HKG currently imports all its construction aggregate with associated pollution.

South China Morning Post

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > Letters to the Editor, June 30, 2013

Letters to the Editor, June 30, 2013

Sunday, 30 June, 2013, 12:00am


Incinerator site folly is sadly symptomatic

There is little doubt Hong Kong needs a waste incinerator, but huge advances could still be made in recycling.

For example, how about a government-led initiative to buy back plastic bottles, at a similar price to that paid for aluminium cans, thereby incentivising Hong Kong’s amateur army of aluminium recyclers to also collect plastic? And if Swire Properties can put glass collection points on all their estates, why can’t the government?

Sadly, Hong Kong lags far behind our Asian neighbours Taiwan, South Korea and Japan when it comes to household waste separation and recycling.

Given the need for a super-incinerator, it is the choice of location that is totally bewildering. Siting it on a remote island makes no sense at all; the experts all agree on this point.

It will take longer and cost more to build and to run than at alternative locations. Just the infrastructure required is stupefying: the building of a mini-town to house site workers.

Experts agree the Tsang Tsui ash lagoons in Tuen Mun would make a far better location. Alternatively, adapting an existing landfill site would also be far more efficient.

The Environmental Protection Department’s excuse for the choice of site, “balanced spatial distribution” of facilities, is absolutely laughable, or would be if it wasn’t so tragic.

The saddest part of the whole farce is that the department’s preferred site, Shek Kwu Chau island, is a pristine location, a stone’s throw from Hong Kong’s most beautiful unspoilt natural coastline.

This natural heritage is a treasure that should be protected for future generations – not ruined forever with an industrial facility that would make so much more sense in just about any other location.

Bert Young, Chai Wan

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