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SCMP letter

SCMP Letter to Editor , 3 Jun 2005

We refer to the letter dated May 14 regarding waste treatment and the article ‘Ambitious scheme for waste treatment plant’, (City, May 14).

We share many of the concerns of Friends of the Earth regarding the planned use of large-scale incineration as the main method of destroying municipal solid waste.

But there is an alternative renewable energy technology that should be given consideration. It is a proper disposal system that:

1. does not pollute the air

2. does not create landfill

3. creates clean-burning gas for electric power generation

4. may produce potable water

5. allows the harvest of useful raw materials from waste

6. does not draw electricity from the grid after initial start-up

7. generates significant electric power to sell to the grid

8. has the ability to handle significant volumes

9. is competitive in price to set up

10. is relatively quick to install

11. could be set up as distributed plants to meet district requirements

This off-the-shelf technology has been in use for more than 60 years and is often known by such names as ‘electric pyrolysis’ or ‘plasma gasification’.

Its electric power generation uses traditional steam boiler or low heat output gas generators. We propose that the authorities in Hong Kong should visit such facilities in Taiwan, Japan, Hawaii and Europe.

The same waste-to-energy plants are being built in the US and the UK. It is a wonder that such an off-the-shelf technology has not been examined as a suitable solution for Hong Kong.

Wes Loran and Fraser Simpson, Pokfulam

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