Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

Call for recycling as second nature

HK Standard – 3 April 2012

A “surprising” majority of residents recycle their trash, but many who wish to do the same are deterred by the lack of suitable facilities nearby.

That is the indication of a survey by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, which found as many as three-quarters of the 1,101 respondents often separate household garbage into recyclable portions.

And of the rest, a third said they are put off by the absence of recycling points in their neighborhood, while another 30 percent are discouraged by the lack of separate bins on their estates.

“It is surprising but heartening to know the culture of recycling is strong here, but it remains inconvenient due to a lack of facilities along streets and in buildings,” DAB lawmaker Gary Chan Hak-kan said.

“People are keen to recycle, but are not given the chance to.”

Many respondents felt the three- colored waste separation bins fail to provide for other recyclables such as glass, food waste, batteries and compact discs.

In use since 1998, the bins are now placed at more than 9,000 locations, separating waste paper, aluminum cans and plastics from other rubbish.

But Tai Po district councillor William Cheung Kok-wai said many old estates lack corridor space to hold these bins, hobbling any serious recycling effort.

The survey also revealed that people are divided on charging a fee for the disposal of municipal solid waste, with 44 percent for and about 38 percent against.

However, more than 80 percent of those polled said that such a fee, if introduced, should be no more than HK$20.

Cheung said this shows that the primary concern is about financial impact.

The DAB has urged officials to install more recycling facilities to encourage the practice, with Chan saying innovations like vertical bins may help solve the space problem in old estates.

And Cheung called on the authorities to enact a comprehensive recycling policy to legitimize small-time garbage collectors and implement a producer- responsibility scheme.

He said: “There needs to be a proper policy in place to make recycling a collective community effort.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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