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Something is rotten in the city of Hong Kong

dynamco Jun 1st 2013

OK, buy some ships and sell the trash to Oslo. Give the profits to the poor. Europe has massive incinerator overcapacity due to their successful recycling efforts so they have a burning problem and compete for feedstocks.
“OSLO This is a city that imports garbage. Some comes from England, some from Ireland. Some is from neighboring Sweden. It even has designs on the American market
“I’d like to take some from the United States,” said Pal Mikkelsen, in his office at a huge plant on the edge of town that turns garbage into heat and electricity. “Sea transport is cheap.”
The problem is not unique to Oslo, a city of 1.4 million people. Across Northern Europe, where the practice of burning garbage to generate heat and electricity has exploded in recent decades, demand for trash far outstrips supply. “Northern Europe has a huge generating capacity,” said Mr. Mikkelsen, 50, a mechanical engineer who for the last year has been the managing director of Oslo’s waste-to-energy agency.
Yet the fastidious population of Northern Europe produces only about 150 million tons of waste a year, he said, far too little to supply incinerating plants that can handle more than 700 million tons. “And the Swedes continue to build” more plants, he said, a look of exasperation on his face, “as do Austria and Germany.”

yongms May 31st 2013

I recall not too long ago, Mr. Chugani (supported by the expatriates among us) berating the locals on radio and in another of his articles for being racist or prejudiced against the Mainlanders and their behaviour. His opinion appears to have changed. He sees now, the abhorrent behaviour that locals have seen for a long time. Welcome to reality Mr. Chugani.

stoatmonster May 31st 2013

Hmmm, this quote from Chugani’s article gave me a sense of deja vu: “Here in Hong Kong, the crude behaviour of mainland visitors is well known – children pooping into shopping bags while riding the MTR, peeing into bottles while eating in restaurants, not queuing up, spitting, and talking too loudly.”
I recall observing similar behaviour amongst certain strata of our Hong Kong society 20 years ago or so. What goes around comes around.

yellow_lynx_cat May 30th 2013

Hong Kong never tried to reduce waste or the extravagence in their packaging. In fact cost of land put a stopper to recycling of a lot of materials (plastics, metals, glass). Even though I tried quite hard to separate my garbage, but I always wonder how much I can help if the Government won’t give hand to help.

mercedes2233 May 30th 2013

If HK has more public toilets, and in more obvious places, it might help. HK residents can go home to their own toilets, but visitors don’t have the same convenience.



jpinst May 30th 2013

Not so sure about the first paragraph, but the second hits the nail on the head. But he wrong about one thing, I am actually jealous that I cannot **** in a bag on the MTR. It seems rather convenient.


dynamco May 29th 2013
Cancer mortality in the vicinity of incinerators
‘Our results support the hypothesis of a statistically significant increase in the risk of dying from
cancer in towns near incinerators + installations for the recovery or disposal of hazardous waste’
‘the change of cancer occurrence has for the last 3 years increased to 4.8 times more
than the Belgian average’
‘The report on the Sint Niklaas incinerator showed that blood and glandular cancers appeared in children about 5 years after the incinerator started operating. This preceded the increase in adult cancers by 7 years. Adults cancers showed a five-fold increase over 20 years. Knox found a doubling of childhood cancers + leukaemias within 5km of municipal incinerators greatly exceeding the risk around non-combustion urban sites.
Congenital Abnormalities A recent large study by Dummer over a 37 year period showed that the incidence of spina bifida was 17% higher and heart defects 12% higher near incinerators . Congenital defects of many kinds were found at Sint Niklass . Orofacial defects were found to be more than doubled near an incinerator at Zeeberg Amsterdam. Dolk found a 33% higher incidence of birth defects (86% higher neural tube defects, 50% higher incidence of cardiac septal defects) and a higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities within 3 km of municipal waste

South China Morning Post

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > Something is rotten in the city of Hong Kong

Something is rotten in the city of Hong Kong

Wednesday, 29 May, 2013, 12:00am

NewsHong Kong


Michael Chugani

What’s happening to everyone? How did Hongkongers get to be so damned unreasonable? They demand everything but will give nothing in return. Is there no limit to their selfishness? Hongkongers are among the world’s biggest producers of waste. We generate twice as much waste per person as people in Tokyo. Yet we’re not the slightest bit shamed by this. What’s even more sickening is that we couldn’t care less how we dispose of this garbage as long as it’s not dumped in our backyard. Hong Kong is running out of places to dump our rubbish. We’ll drown in it soon if nothing is done, Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing has warned. But Hongkongers shrugged their shoulders and yawned. The government has been banging its head against the wall for years trying to get public support and funding approval from legislators to deal with the city’s ever-growing mountain of rubbish. A plan to expand the three overflowing landfills has been thwarted for years by our Nimby (not in my backyard) selfishness. Tseung Kwan O residents, backed by vote-seeking legislators, have rejected a government plan to expand the landfill there. And environmental nutjobs, backed by selfish “Nimby” people and vote-seeking legislators, have blocked funding for an incinerator. Not only that, the incinerator proposal is even being challenged in court. If Hongkongers won’t tolerate incinerators or larger landfills, and politicians can’t be bothered to suggest alternative workable ideas, how do they want the government to dispose of the garbage they produce? Maybe we should rocket it all into space. Public Eye is sure the Martians haven’t yet been corrupted by Nimby. Or we could empty it all into our harbour. But then we’ll have the harbour protectionists screaming their heads off. Public Eye’s advice to the environment chief is to fold his arms, sit back, and let the piled-up garbage rot. Hongkongers deserve the stink. And it will teach our vote-seeking legislators a lesson.

Michael Chugani is a columnist and television show host


Chinese tourists

Wong Kam-sing

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