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August 30th, 2013:

No technical feasibility and reliability issues in Green Island Cement’s waste plan

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > No technical feasibility and reliability issues in Green Island Cement’s waste plan

No technical feasibility and reliability issues in Green Island Cement’s waste plan

Friday, 30 August, 2013, 12:00am


I refer to the letter by Elvis W. K. Au, assistant director of environmental protection (“Cement plan not yet viable refuse solution [1]“, August 16).

Mr Au says the government has refused to consider Green Island Cement’s Eco-Co-Combustion proposal for the treatment of municipal solid waste because the company must first deal with “technical feasibility and reliability, environmental acceptability and planning issues”. I wish to clarify some of the points he raised.

Regarding technical feasibility and reliability, our Eco-Co-Combustion waste treatment process uses proven conventional technology, which can be either kiln-based or moving-grate-based. It just means integrating conventional technology with a cement plant. There are no technical feasibility and reliability problems.

On environmental acceptability, over the last decade we have completed more than 100 separate technical studies, and have set up a pilot plant to demonstrate the feasibility, environmental impact, and public acceptability of the proposal. One of the main objectives of our study was to verify the air emission results which, when scaled up, yielded no discernible impact on nearby villages. Also, our Eco-Co-Combustion proposal uses heat energy very efficiently and it has a very low residue to be sent to landfills.

With regard to the environmental impact assessment study, when it became clear in 2008 that, no matter what we did, the government would not consider our proposal, we ceased expenditure on the project. If we were given the chance to participate, we would carry out such an assessment promptly. As there is virtually no adverse environmental impact, we are confident that our assessment would be successful.

On planning issues, according to studies conducted by law firm Mayer Brown JSM and international planning, design and environmental firm EDAW, since Tap Shek Kok is an existing industrial site and the cement plant is already in operation, our Eco-Co-Combustion System does not face any land-zoning/planning issues as it is a cement-related activity. In fact, we received a letter from the Lands Department stating that the operation of the Eco-Co-Combustion System would not change the land use.

We believe that the Eco-Co-Combustion System is a good option for solving Hong Kong’s imminent waste problem. We hope the Environmental Protection Department will reconsider the benefits of our proposal and let us participate in the municipal-solid-waste-management tender process.

Don Johnston, executive director, Green Island Cement (Holdings) Limited




Ta Kwu Ling villagers blame landfill for ‘polluted’ stream

Saturday, 29 June, 2013, 12:00am

NewsHong Kong


Water in the Ta Kwu Ling stream is ‘black and muddy’ from contamination, residents say

In Ta Kwu Ling, the residents no longer let their children play in the stream that runs through their village, let alone drink from it.

They say the nearby landfill, which is northeast of Sheung Shui near the mainland border, is to blame for the contamination of their stream, which flows into the Ping Yuen River.

The pollution comes from trucks that drive through sewage as they enter and leave the landfill, the villagers say.

Sometimes the water is “black and muddy”, and is now used only for irrigation, they say.

The Ta Kwu Ling site, which opened in 1995, is one of three landfills the government wants to expand. Protests have already forced the government to shelve its Tseung Kwan O proposal, while the fate of the Tuen Mun expansion is yet to be decided. Residents there have also put up strong opposition.

But relatively few people live in Ta Kwu Ling, and the plan there has met with the least resistance.

Lau Tsan-hung, 42, has lived in the village since birth. He said they used to swim and fish in the stream. “But after they built a landfill next to us, the water quality started deteriorating,” he said. “Now, we don’t dare let our children play in it.”

Just a few households live in the village, some of them running small farms. Lau said they would let the water sit in a bucket for a few days before using it for their crops, so that all the residue would sink to the bottom.

“But we don’t know if eating the crops will have any adverse effect on our health,” he said.

Another villager, Lam Yuet-foon, 62, said the stream sometimes gave off a foul smell.

Principal environmental protection officer Lawrence Lau Ming-ching said the department took samples from the stream for testing every month, and the water quality had always been up to standard.

He visited the village yesterday with lawmakers Dr Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung and Frederick Fung Kin-kee.

Lau said sewage from the landfill was sent to a sewage treatment facility via another route, and that any murkiness in the water was unrelated to the landfill. He attributed the muddy colour to deposits of iron in the hills nearby.

Source URL (retrieved on Aug 30th 2013, 5:50am):

Second landfill leakage stokes talk of cover-up

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A holding lagoon at Ta Kwu Ling near the one that leaked contaminated leachate into nearby rivers last month. Photos: David Wong

South China Morning Post

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > Second landfill leakage stokes talk of cover-up

Second landfill leakage stokes talk of cover-up

Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 9:42pm

NewsHong Kong


Olga Wong

Tuen Mun dump has also been releasing liquid waste, residents complain after environmental department admits problem at Ta Kwu Ling

Environmental authorities have drawn fire for covering up the scale of effluent leaks from landfills, after a top official admitted that seepage from the Ta Kwu Ling tip was not an isolated case.

The landfill in Tuen Mun was similarly plagued by the problem, assistant director David Wong Tak-wai of the Environmental Protection Department said yesterday.

But the department released a statement last night rejecting Wong’s admission.

The statement conflicted with evidence provided by residents in the area and fuelled speculation on the extent of the cover-up.

The controversy arose on Wednesday when the department disclosed the Ta Kwu Ling landfill had been leaking liquid waste that might contain a high level of ammonia into the Kong Yui Channel, which flows into the ecologically sensitive Deep Bay.

Both landfills are operated separately by two contractors that belong to the same parent company, Suez Environment.

Yesterday morning, a Tuen Mun resident said on radio that in July last year, the dump in her area was also found to be leaking. The incident polluted water in Ha Pak Nai, Yuen Long, she said.

Wong replied that the department had planned to prosecute contractor Sita Waste Services. “We obtained a water sample and were ready for prosecution. But the evidence was found to be insufficient after we sought legal advice from the chief justice.”

The Tuen Mun dump is said to have been leaking for a long time. Two residents of Ha Pak Nai backed up the complaint with their own experiences.

Cheng Wai-kwan said the leakage threatened his oyster farm near Deep Bay last July. “The crushed rubbish, together with the leachate, is often discharged into the sea whenever there’s torrential rain. This is almost a yearly affair.”

Another resident, To Sik-yu, presented a letter the department sent to him in July 2011 after he lodged a complaint. The department wrote that the impermeable layer at the base of the landfill was damaged. It said that on July 19, officers found the tip discharging muddy water and rubbish into a big nullah.

In its statement last night, the department sidestepped the claims, including Wong’s admission. It said investigations held last year found no leachate leak and the discharge was only a surface run-off due to heavy rain.

Contractor Far East Landfill Technologies reported the Ta Kwu Ling leak on July 28.

The department took a further month to disclose the matter.

Explaining the time lapse, it said that results of tests on water samples showing the pollutants had exceeded legal limits only came in on Friday last week.

It added that it might prosecute the contractor.

EMEP-EEA air pollutant emission inventory guidebook – 2013.pdf

Download PDF : 1. EMEP-EEA air pollutant emission inventory guidebook – 2013

Govt probes Ta Kwu Ling landfill leak

Govt probes Ta Kwu Ling landfill leak



The Ta Kwu Ling landfill. Photo: Damon Pang

The government has reported a leakage of sewage from the Ta Kwu Ling landfill – one month after the incident took place.

A temporary leachate lagoon was breached on the 27th of last month, leaking some sewage into the Kong Yiu Channel that flows ultimately into the Shenzhen River.

The Environmental Protection Department blamed excessive rainfall last month for the leak.

An assistant director, David Wong, says a water sample taken earlier this month from the channel had exceeded the legal limit for pollutants.

Mr Wong didn’t explain why the government failed to make public the leakage earlier, only saying that lab results confirming the water samples had exceeded legal limits were returned last Friday.

He insisted the water in the affected areas is not drinking water for villagers, but officials had to inform several vegetable farms nearby to stop using the water for irrigation.


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