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Burning rubbish not the answer

South China Morning Post

The news from the Civic Exchange think tank on the environment makes for frightening reading (“HK lags behind Beijing on air pollution: lobby”, January 13).

How can the Environmental Protection Department justify itself ? Who will be held accountable for its incompetence? The facts are that these officials continue to hold their highly-paid jobs at our expense, while failing utterly to fulfil stated policies and deliberately misleading the public.

Why are our air quality targets set low? Could it be an arrangement to suit the grand infrastructure schemes that this government is hell-bent upon?

A child can see that the construction of a giant bridge, a third airport runway, a mega-railway – and all the ensuing heavy traffic – will add to the air pollution. Hong Kong’s public will choke while big developers and construction businesses benefit on a huge scale. To compound the folly, the department wants to build a super-incinerator as a way of dealing with Hong Kong’s rubbish.

Burning rubbish is an outdated solution that adds dioxins to the air. We know only too well that we simply cannot afford to add to the city’s toxic load. We also know that dioxins don’t “blow away”, as the department tells us.

Breathable air is a basic citizens’ right. We are being cheated by a government and its vested businesses, who put misguided projects above people’s health. It’s time for a comprehensive policy and planning rethink.

Julia Brown, Lantau

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