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Green Island waste system is cheaper option to Shek Kwu Chau incinerator

SCMP – 17 April 2012

Edwin Lau notes (“Costly incinerator will be a waste of money”, April 2) that the government has opted for a very expensive solution to Hong Kong’s waste management problem by choosing to build an incinerator on reclaimed land at Shek Kwu Chau. I could not agree more.

According to media reports, the government is seeking nearly HK$15 billion to fund the construction of this incinerator.

For the past decade, Green Island Cement has proposed using the Eco-Co-Combustion System, a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly waste management solution for the treatment of rubbish. The system would treat municipal solid waste and use it as fuel at our cement plant. Due to synergies with our plant, this system would only cost HK$4 billion upfront, or 27 per cent of the government’s spending for its proposed plant.

Extensive studies have demonstrated that emissions would be significantly less than the limits set by the government. Furthermore, with municipal solid waste being used to replace at least 40 per cent of coal used in the cement plant, there would be a net improvement in total emissions.

Any disturbance to the environment and community would also be minimised as we could use our existing cement plant site and no additional land or premises would be required. And, unlike the government’s proposal, which would generate residue ash to be dumped in our landfills, our system would use the ash as clinker to manufacture cement.

Despite the obvious economic and environmental benefits of our proposal, the government has refused to give Green Island Cement a chance to help with Hong Kong’s waste management problem. We hope that the government will reconsider the cost-effectiveness as well as environmental and community friendliness of our system.

Don Johnston, executive director, Green Island Cement

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