Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

Providing adequate recycling facilities far more effective than waste charges

South China Morning Post – 18 Jan 2012

With all the news about such issues as incinerators, landfills and excessive wastage, I am glad to see that someone is trying to move in the right direction [with proposed waste charges]. But the government appears to want to take more money from people without providing other means of handling waste.

Before the administration starts charging for handling refuse, it should be certain that it has ensured all possible means of recycling waste are available to people. And they must be adequate. The existing options are almost non-existent. In fact, at my place of work, we are only able to recycle plastic and cardboard, and organising the former proved difficult.

At my home, I have repeatedly asked if we can get recycling bins emptied more frequently or larger ones put in place as the paper one, in particular, is always full. My requests have been ignored.

Recycling of glass is almost impossible in Hong Kong. We generate tonnes of glass every month at my workplace.

I have tried to get a recycling scheme launched, but no one wants it. Even the organisation which has a recycling service in Wan Chai, while being supportive, has said there is just too much glass for recycling.

In some countries, people take glass to large containers outside supermarkets and it is sent back to the manufacturer for reuse. If that was done here, it would ease the pressure on our landfills.

While a waste charge will pay for part of the cost of dealing with refuse, it will not encourage citizens to recycle, as we have too few recycling facilities in Hong Kong.

Marco Veringa, Tung Chung

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *