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September 5th, 2013:

Efforts to recycle met with obstacles

Letters to the Editor, September 5, 2013

Thursday, 05 September, 2013, 12:00am


Efforts to recycle met with obstacles

I read with interest the comment by Christine Loh, undersecretary for the environment (“Charging scheme provides incentive for waste separation [1]“, August 27), that the government needed to focus both on maximising waste recycling and waste charging. I cannot agree more.

Our family has been attempting to recycle our waste for a number of years but, regrettably, our efforts have been hampered on all fronts.

The estate manager of our complex gallantly confirmed that there was a good recycling programme in place and yet the cleaners regularly dump the contents of our recycling boxes with general domestic waste.

The government recycling containers in our neighbourhood are regularly full, at times with leaves and other rubbish collected by government-contracted cleaners who sweep the streets.

I also tried “paid” recycling and, after paying the required fee, I was told there was insufficient interest for the services to be extended to our neighbourhood and so it was not economically viable.

From time to time, we read in the press of difficulties faced by recycling companies and the purported lack of government support and funding.

Without stating the obvious, recycling companies will only operate if there is a profit to be generated and without the recycling companies, all efforts will be to no avail.

While our children have been coached in the message of RRR (reduce, reuse and recycle), I have yet to come across any evidence of efforts by the administration to make recycling a real and readily available option.

We have high hopes in Ms Loh and with her dedication and foresight, I am sure her department will strive to improve our environment.

Nevertheless, it would be helpful if she could enlighten us on the government’s plans and actions and, more specifically, let me know where I should take our boxes of paper, cans, glass and plastic bottles; and how I can be sure that these are properly recycled.

Kelly Lam, The Peak


Glare from London Skyscraper Blamed for Melting Car

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Glare from London Skyscraper Blamed for Melting Car

Did the building developers make a glaring error?

By Samantha Grossman @sam_grossmanSept. 03, 20130

o to Kindle




A man reacts to a shaft of intense sunlight reflected from the glass windows of the new “Walkie Talkie” tower in central London on August 30, 2013.

Anticipation is building as construction of London’s “Walkie Talkie” skyscraper continues, but there’s one problem already towering over its developers: the structure may be melting cars. Seriously.

The commercial skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in the city’s financial district, which earned its nickname for its distinct shape, has been blamed for reflecting enough sunlight to warp the metal on parked cars, the BBC reports. A man said he had parked his Jaguar on a nearby street and after he returned two hours later, noticed damage to the vehicle’s mirror, panels and Jaguar badge. He also told the BBC that he found a note from the construction company on the windshield that said, “Your car’s buckled, could you give us a call?” Ouch.

In the meantime, the building developers, Land Securities and Canary Wharf, aren’t taking this lightly. They apologized to the Jaguar owner and paid for repairs, and are now investigating. “As a precautionary measure, the City of London has agreed to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected while we investigate the situation further,” the companies said in a joint statement. They also hit us with some science: “The phenomenon is caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky. It currently lasts for approximately 2 hours per day, with initial modelling suggesting that it will be present for approximately 2-3 weeks.”

The epic car-melting ray of light has already caused such a stir that if we’re lucky, maybe Madonna will write another song about it.

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