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December 15th, 2013:

SCMP: Activists to show why incinerator plan should be thrown out

from Howard Winn of the SCMP:

A New Territories group will tomorrow publish a report recommending that the government does not proceed with the controversial Shek Kwu Chau incinerator.

The New Territories Concern Group (NTCG) has taken up the issue of Hong Kong’s waste management and recently sent a delegation to Europe to inspect waste management systems including incinerators, and gasification plants.

The group is chaired by Ronnie Tang, who is also a village representative and the founding chairman of the Pat Heung North Environment Attention Group. The group’s spokesman is Junius Ho kwan yiu, who in addition to being a former president of the Hong Kong Law Society also has the distinction of having deposed Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat as chairman of the Tuen Mun Rural Committee.

The group’s findings to be released tomorrow will include a recommendation that food waste should be dealt with separately instead of dumping it in landfills as the government does at present.

The suggestion is that food waste, which comprises 42 per cent of the waste sent to landfills and is between 70 and 90 per cent water, should be shredded at source by garburators and handled by Stonecutters Water Treatment plant, which is currently operating at 50 per cent of capacity.

To cope with the residual non-organic waste, which cannot be recycled, the group recommends gasification as a more mature and appropriate technology to meet Hong Kong’s present and future waste management needs. These measures would obviate the need for the incinerator, the report says.

It suggests the establishment of one or more pilot plants to determine the suitability of gasification technology for Hong Kong.

The report also recommends there should be no further delays to territory-wide charging for waste.

The Environmental Protection Department in recent years has stoutly resisted gasification technology and is apparently wedded to incineration. The incinerator is currently on hold as a result of being denied funding by the Legislative Council and because of the appeal which has been lodged against the rejection of the judicial review by the High Court in July. This is unlikely to be heard until June next year.

Those opposed to incineration are hopeful that with opposition within Legco, together with the efforts of lobbying groups such as the NTCG, it will be possible to redirect government policies in dealing with waste.

22 Nov 2013

Letter from NT Concern Group: Waste Management in Hong Kong

Dear Green Groups and Friends of the Enviroment:

Re : Waste Management in Hong Kong

As you may well be aware, under government’s proposals, their solution to Hong Kong’s growing waste production problems are to extend the three landfills currently at Tuen Mun, Twa Kwu Ling and Tseung Kwan O as soon as possible as they are projected to become saturated between 2015 and 2019.  In addition, government intends to build incinerators on an artificial island just off Shek Kwu Chau.

We, the New Territories Concern Group (“NT Concern Group”), a non-politically affiliated group, are concerned with these proposals and have committed ourselves to commission a report to spark national debate and interest in this area.  We went on a fact-finding mission to the Netherlands and to the UK between 16th September 2013 and 22nd September 2013. From our research findings and for the following reasons, we have concluded that Plasma Gasification is superior to government’s proposed incinerator as it is:-

  1. CLEANER as there are no dioxins, fly ash or carbon dioxide discharged;
  2. MORE EFFICIENT in that the syngas produced allows for greater energy potentials;
  3. MORE ENVIROMENTAL FRIENDLY in that the by-product, vitrified inert slag, does not need to be put in landfills and the technology allows for backmining of landfills; and
  4. MORE COST EFFECTIVE in construction and maintenance.  It occupies less land and does not require reclamation of land.

The NT Concern Group aim to build up constructive communications with government so that they will seriously consider alternative technology such as plasma gasification before they commission the construction of the incinerators and expand the landfills and therefore:-

  1. WASTE BILLIONS of dollars of your money;
  2. WASTE HUNDREDS of hectares of Hong Kong’s precious land;
  3. FURTHER POLLUTE Hong Kong’s environment; and
  4. HARM and have an adverse impact on your health and the health of your future generations.

To that end, please find our Waste Management Report for your kind attention. We welcome your kind comments and questions and our Mr. Junius Ho (public relations and spokesperson) and Mr. Vincent Chung (researcher) can be contacted on 2523 3846 and 2106 9824 respectively.

We believe plasma gasification to be a better solution for “Hong Kong: Our Home”, for the environment and for the people of Hong Kong. Government should give Hong Kong a chance. Give ourselves a chance.  Give our future generations a chance.

Yours faithfully,

NT Concern Group