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July 14th, 2013:

The challenge of handling waste disposal will continue to be addressed by the government despite opposition to expanding existing landfills.

Solid pledge on tips quagmire

The challenge of handling waste disposal will continue to be addressed by the government despite opposition to expanding existing landfills.

Kelly Ip

Monday, July 15, 2013

The challenge of handling waste disposal will continue to be addressed by the government despite opposition to expanding existing landfills.

Emphasizing this, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying noted that even if there is greater reduction of solid waste at source, some refuse would still have to be sent to landfills or incinerators.

“This is a difficult task for any society, as many communities have expressed the view that it’s best not to carry it out in their districts,” he said. “But each society, like the government, needs to face up to the challenge.

“We could shirk the issue, but that would be irresponsible. We are not only responsible to the three districts but also to the whole society.”

Leung said source reduction will continue to be promoted and steps taken to minimize the nuisance from solid-waste transportation.

On Thursday, administration chief Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor failed to persuade district councillors to support a proposed HK$35 million feasibility study into expanding the Tuen Mun landfill.

The following day, lawmakers adjourned debate on funding requests for the Tuen Mun tip expansion study as well as an extension of the Ta Kwu Ling landfill. These proposals, along with the expansion plan for the Tseung Kwan O landfill withdrawn last month, will be resubmitted when the Legislative Council reconvenes after the summer break.

Environment secretary Wong Kam-sing promised stronger communication with residents. “Landfill expansion is needed and there’s no other end-of-pipe measure,” he said.

Executive councillor and Democratic Alliance for Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Starry Lee Wai-king said she respects her colleagues’ decision to defer debate as it will give the administration more time to propose specific remedial measures to help win over residents to the landfill plans.

“Suspending the plans does not mean the government has lost,” she said.

Heung Yee Kuk member Leung Fuk-yuen said villagers may support the Tuen Mun plan if Nim Wan Road access is widened and local economic activities are given a boost.

All three landfill expansion plans to be resubmitted to Legco

Sunday, 14 July, 2013, 12:00am

NewsHong Kong


Ada Lee and Joshua But

Shelved Tseung Kwan O dump extension to be revived, says Carrie Lam, signalling new battle

The plan to expand the landfill in Tseung Kwan O is to be resubmitted to the Legislative Council, along with expansion proposals for landfills in Tuen Mun and Ta Kwu Ling, after the legislature’s summer recess, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said yesterday.

But Sai Kung district councillors said it was still unlikely lawmakers would approve the expansion at Tseung Kwan O.

Lam’s announcement came after Legco passed a motion on Friday to adjourn debate on funding to extend the landfills in Tuen Mun and Ta Kwu Ling.

The Tseung Kwan O proposal had been shelved earlier after residents expressed strong opposition to it.

Lam said yesterday that the government would visit the districts and gather more residents’ views on the expansion plans in the coming months.

“We can’t give up extensions to any of the three landfills, so we hope when we submit the plans again, we can table all three together,” she said. “I hope the public will understand that the blueprint for the sustainable use of resources is a 10-year plan, so it’s not practical to expect a marked result in the short term.”

Gary Fan Kwok-wai, a NeoDemocrats legislator and Sai Kung district councillor, said there was little room for discussion of the expansion plan in Tseung Kwan O. “It will just force us to restage protests,” he said. “I can’t see how they will be able to implement compensatory measures in a short period of time.”

He expects the plans to expand the three landfills will be less unpopular after the recess, because the government could roll them out with a consultation on charging for waste disposal.

Sai Kung district councillor Christine Fong Kwok-shan, who staged a hunger strike before the government withdrew the Tseung Kwan O plan, also said it was unlikely the government would be able to persuade residents to support the plan within just a few months.

“They couldn’t handle the problem for the past three years,” she said. “How can they do it in three months?”

Executive councillor Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun said Legco’s Finance Committee had “done a good deed” by adjourning the debate on funding for landfill extensions, and that the government could take its time in preparing to reintroduce its proposals.

The adjournments avoided time being wasted on a filibuster of the proposals, she said.

“The government can now take the proposals to the district councils and the community and explain them in detail.

“Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and other principal officials should also reach out to the public to improve communication.”

Bernard Chan, another Exco member, said politicians had not wanted to face up to the problem of waste management.

Chan, also the chairman of the Council for Sustainable Development, said it was now the right time to introduce fees for waste disposal, and that the council was studying how to implement charges.


Tuen Mun landfill

Cloud hovers over East Liverpool following accident

Cloud hovers over East Liverpool following accident

July 14, 2013

By STEPHEN HUBA – Special to the Salem News , Salem News

EAST LIVERPOOL – An accident at Heritage Thermal Services on the city’s East End sent a large cloud of ash and steam into the air Saturday afternoon.

Because the ash has a high metal content, East Liverpool fire Chief Bill Jones advised East End residents to wash fruits and vegetables from their gardens and to replace food and water for pets and farm animals.

Heritage spokesman Raymond J. Wayne said the accident happened at 1 p.m. Saturday during the course of “routine incineration operations,” when a large amount of ash fell from several interior walls of the incinerator.

Article Photos

A plume of steam and ash rises over the east end of East Liverpool as a result of an accident Saturday at Heritage Thermal Services, formerly Heritage-WTI. Authorities advised East End residents to, as a precaution, wash fruits and vegetables from gardens and replace any outside food and water for pets. (Photo courtesy Alex Tambellini)

The volume of ash was larger than the ash-removal system could handle and an undetermined amount was deposited outside of the incineration unit,” Wayne said.

The ash release was the result of an explosion that occurred when hot slag landed in a large water tank, said Luke Newbold, director of the Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency. “That sent ash and steam out into the air,” he said.

Also, an ember fell on several bags of vermiculite that were stored nearby and caught them on fire, Wayne said. The fire was extinguished by the facility’s emergency responders, with assistance from the East Liverpool Fire Department.

No injuries were reported, and cleanup efforts are under way, Wayne said.

As a result of the ash fall, the facility, formerly known as Heritage-WTI, stopped operations and immediately began a previously-scheduled outage. The outage, which had been scheduled to start today for maintenance purposes, will last for two weeks, Wayne said.

Heritage personnel also are conducting air and soil sampling as a precaution at the facility’s fence line.

Ash from the accident was believed to have fallen as far north as Pennsylvania Avenue and as far west as Ohio Avenue. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is responding to see if any ash was deposited into the Ohio River, Newbold said.

Heritage Thermal Services, located at 1250 St. George St. for more than 20 years, processes about 60,000 tons of hazardous and non-hazardous waste a year.

Disposal is done through a rotary kiln incineration process where temperatures reach anywhere from 1,800 to 1,950 degrees F.

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