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Yau rubbishes fears on incinerator policy – The Standard

Yau rubbishes fears on incinerator policy

Mary Ann Benitez

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Building a new incinerator is an essential part of the government’s strategy for solid waste management, a senior official said.

Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah was addressing legislators’ concerns yesterday that the government might abandon the incinerator plan if chief executive candidate Leung Chun-ying wins on March 25.

Civic Party lawmaker Audrey Eu Yuet-mee noted at a special Finance Committee meeting scrutinizing the 2012 budget that Leung’s election platform states that the SAR may do without incinerators. His rivals Henry Tang Ying-yen and Albert Ho Chun-yan thought otherwise, she said.

Yau insisted that the government will stick with the “holistic” strategy for solid waste reduction that includes an incinerator.

“Experience in Europe and other developed cities shows that, even with the implementation of various measures on waste reduction at source, there is still a substantial amount of waste that cannot be recovered which requires treatment,” he said.

“In the context of Hong Kong, even if the target recovery rate of 55 percent is achieved, there will still be about 8,000 tonnes of [municipal solid waste] that cannot be recovered or recycled and which requires treatment on a daily basis,” he added. This is why an incinerator is essential.

“We are developing a sludge treatment facility which employs state-of-the-art incineration technology,” Yau said. “It is expected to be commissioned in 2013. By then, daily disposal of sludge at landfills will be reduced by nearly 1,000 tonnes.

” It will also demonstrate how modern technology can serve as an effective means in tackling the problem of [municipal solid waste].”

There are plans to increase the plant’s capacity from 800 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes of waste a day.

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