Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

Freebie Mission Study Trip Invitation Letter to Living Islands Movement

So the ‘Environment and Conservation Fund’ is bankrolling the sponsored ‘incinerator’ trips to Singapore and to Taiwan, Professor Lung sits on both the Environment and Conservation Fund committee and the Environmental Campaign Committee and Jonathan Wong of HK Baptist University who is the invitor to the Taiwan trip is on the funding committee of the ‘Environment and Conservation Fund’.

2012/5/15  (Google translate)
Subject: Hong Kong Baptist University  nominate you to participate in the 4th and three nights of Taiwan’s environmental protection mission
Nominated you to participate in
4 Days 3 Nights of Taiwan’s environmental protection mission
Baptist University, Sino-Forest Pearl River Delta Environmental Applied Research Centre in the period from January 2012 to June waste none of your business “community involvement & public education programs Thanks to the active support of people from all walks of life, the plan was successful. This education program not only reflects the warm attention of the public of Hong Kong’s waste problem, and successfully collected the views of the districts public. In addition, the center will hold on June 25-28, 2012, a four-day and three nights of Taiwan’s environmental protection mission,

Thank you for your support of this program, the Centre wishes to nominate you as  a candidate to participate in the event, the organizers and The sponsor will be further screened the participants list. Program “Environment and Conservation Fund”, you only need to pay (HK $ 1,000) will be able to participate in the total value of $ 5,000

Taiwan’s environmental protection mission.
The main purpose of this mission is to see the successful examples of green community as learning, visit the local waste disposal facilities: Taiwan EPA, waste recovery and disposal sites, incinerators, biotechnology, treatment facilities, and so on. In addition, the will to Taiwan’s famous attractions (please refer to the attached tentative itinerary).
You fill in on or before May 19 of the annex to the reply slip, indicating that you have / are not interested in participating in the event, and pass to this center. Sponsor of the Environment and Conservation Fund “and the final list of this center will be further screening delegation from interested participants. Upon completion of the screening, the center will later notify all invited participants will later be selected for individual contact to arrange the details of activities. This is a golden opportunity! Hope that you will not miss the opportunity and look forward to your reply as soon as possible.
After the mission, each participant (institution) shall submit a brief inspection report within two weeks on personal feelings and views on waste management (about two A4 paper) as a reference to the views of the Hong Kong Government.
If you want to do this mission or have any questions or inquiries, please, and is responsible for contact colleagues Miss Tan (3411-2089/helentam @ or Chen (3411-2094/11467169 @ Let us work together to build a green community.
Sincerely yours reply. Cis-designate
Sino-Forest director of the Pearl River Delta Environmental Applications Research Center
Professor Jonathan Wong
May 15, 2012

Subject:香港浸會大學提名閣下參加四日三夜之臺灣環保考察團 ( HKBU nominate you to join the 4 days/3nights Taiwan Environmental Protection Study Tour)



浸會大學嘉漢林業珠三角環境應用研究中心於2012 年 1 月至 6 月期間的《廢物關你事》社會參與暨公眾教育計劃承蒙得到各界人士的積極支持 ,本計劃才得以順利進行。此教育計劃不但反映了公眾對香港垃圾問題的熱烈的關注,並成功收集了各區市民有關的意見。另外,本中心將於2012 年 6 月25至28日舉辦為期四日三夜的臺灣環保考察團,為感謝閣下對本計劃的支持,本中心欲提名閣下為是次活動的候選參加者,主辦和贊助單位會進一步篩選最後的參加名單。計劃獲得 《環境及自然保育基金》資助,您只需以優惠價(港幣一千元正)便能參與總值五千多元的臺灣環保考察團。

此考察團主要目的是以臺灣的綠色社區成功例子作為借鏡,參觀當地廢物處理設施,例如: 臺灣環保局、廢物回收處理場、垃圾焚化爐、生物科技處理設施等等。此外,還會到臺灣著名景點遊覽 (請參閱附件的暫定行程)。

請閣下於519日或之前填妥附件的回條,表明您有/没有興趣參加是次活動,並傳給本中心。贊助單位《環境及自然保育基金》和本中心會進一步從有興趣的參加者中篩選考察團的最後名單。篩選完成後,本中心會稍後通知所有被邀者,被挑選的參加者會稍後作個別聯絡,以安排活動細節。 這是一個千載難逢的機會!! 希望閣下切勿錯失良機,盼您能盡快回覆。

考察團過後,每位參加者(機構)須於兩週內提交一份簡短的考察報告,闡述個人感受和有關廢物管理的意見 (兩頁A4紙左右),作為給香港政府的意見參考。

如閣下對此考察團有任何疑問或查詢,歡迎與負責同事譚小姐(3411-2089/ 或陳小姐 (3411-2094/ 聯絡。讓我們攜手共建一個綠色社區。




2012 5 15

From: James Middleton []
Sent: 24 May, 2012 13:02‘; ‘
Cc:; ‘garychk’; Audrey Eu; ‘
Subject: Freebie Mission Study Trip Invitation Letter to Living Islands Movement.pdf

Dear Sir,

We note that the intended trip to Singapore attached herewith is seemingly funded by both your organisations ? We believe another like trip to Taiwan is also on offer ?

Please advise to what extent the funding exists ?

We find it strange that supposed Environmental bodies should be funding joy rides to Singapore to view incineration projects which pollute the environment in an obvious public money attempt to

influence voters and Outlying Island resident stakeholders to support flawed Government policies (incineration) that have already been refused funding by Legco.

Furthermore thermal reduction systems (incinerators) have toxic residues of 22-24% % bottom ash and 6-7% fly ash per mass of MSW burned as well as god awful emissions.

That means for an intended incinerator of 3000 tonnes MSW per day proposed for Shek Kwu Chau (aren’t environmental bodies supposed to protect pristine islands ?)

each day 960 tonnes of ash would remain that would need treatment and landfilling – but our landfills are full so where will the ash magically disappear to ? Of course they will have to build islands in the sea to become the new ash lagoons. Does that make any environmental sense ?

Instead, you should be funding trips to visit Plasma Gasification technology companies which do not pollute the environment, the technology has only inert residues that can be used for road aggregate

and the resultant Syngas can be converted to electricity, bio jetfuel, bio marine fuel, bio- diesel and bio–naptha.  Moreover plasma plants can be placed on landfills and the landfills reverse mined back to their original environmental state.

Yours faithfully,

James Middleton


ECC Secretariat

Prof. David LUNG, SBS, JP,

Chairman of the Environmental Campaign Committee

Tel No.:  2519 9173

Fax No.:2827 8138



5/F Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai

Dr. Joseph LEE, SBS, JP,

Chairman of the Environment and Conservation Fund Committee

Environment and Conservation Fund Committee – Membership List

(2010 – 2012) ChairmanDr. Joseph LEE, SBS, JP


Mrs. CHAN NGAN Man-ling, Edith
Mr. CHUA Hoi-wai
Ms KUOK Hui-kwong
Mr. LEUNG Wai-kuen, Edward
Professor LUNG Ping-yee, David, SBS, JP
Ms WONG Wai-ching
Professor WONG Woon-chung, Jonathan
Mr. Douglas WOO

J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2006 Mar;56(3):244-54.

Impact assessment of waste management options in Singapore.

Tan RBKhoo HH.


Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


This paper describes the application of life cycle assessment for evaluating various waste management options in Singapore, a small-island city state. The impact assessment method by SimaPro is carried out for comparing the potential environmental impacts of waste treatment options including landfilling, incineration, recycling, and composting. The inventory data include gases and leachate from landfills, air emissions and energy recovery from incinerators, energy (and emission) savings from recycling, composting gases, and transport pollution. The impact assessment results for climate change, acidification, and eco toxicity show that the incineration of materials imposes considerable harm to both human health and the environment, especially for the burning of plastics, paper/cardboard, and ferrous metals. The results also show that, although some amount of energy can be derived from the incineration of wastes, these benefits are outweighed by the air pollution (heavy metals and dioxins/furans) that incinerators produce. For Singapore, landfill gases and leachate generate minimal environmental damage because of the nation’s policy to landfill only 10% of the total disposed wastes. Land transportation and separation of waste materials also pose minimal environmental damage. However, sea transportation to the landfill could contribute significantly to acidification because of the emissions of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides from barges. The composting of horticultural wastes hardly imposes any environmental damage. Out of all the waste strategies, the recycling of wastes offers the best solution for environmental protection and improved human health for the nation. Significant emission savings can be realized through recycling.



[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

‘Incinerators have to be shut down on occasion, both for routine maintenance and because of operating problems. It has been observed that during shutdown and startup, the levels of dioxins and other pollutants can be much higher than under optimal operation. Tejima et al [2007] tested the dioxin stack emissions of an MSW incinerator under conditions of startup, steady state and shutdown. They found concentrations of WHO-TEQ dioxin of 36 – 709 mg.m-3 during startup, 2.3mg.m-3 during steady state operation, and 2.5 – 49 mg.m-3 during shutdown. They estimated that 41% of the total annual emissions could be attributed to the startup period, assuming three startups per year. L.-C. Wang et al [2007] found that a single startup could contribute about 60% of the PCDD/F emissions for one whole year of normal operations; hence, assuming three startups per year, 64% of total annual emissions could come from startup.’

So every time they have to restart the incinerator and what happens then is shown above.

What is dioxin ?

supporting evidence for the JR

Emissions 30-50 times underestimated

Japan Times

24 December 2010 Last updated at 12:38 GMT

Neath waste plant closed over emissions

Related Stories

A waste incinerator has been voluntarily shut down after breaching its limit for emissions.

Environment Agency Wales said it was taking legal action against the council-owned plant at Crymlyn Burrows in Neath Port Talbot.

Officers said it had failed five out of 10 dioxin emissions tests since the summer although breaches were not at levels to cause health problems.

From: Hansell, Anna L []
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 19:05‘; ‘
Cc: Andrew Tristem; ‘Frances Pollitt’; ‘Kelly, Frank’; Elliott, Paul
Subject: FW: Incinerator study

Dear Mr Middleton

Thank you for your enquiry on behalf of ‘Clear The Air’ in Hong Kong.

The English Health Protection Agency announced last week that they have approved funding for a Small Area Health Statistics Unit study to investigate whether there is any potential link between municipal waste incinerators and reproductive health – see

This is for a two year study starting in April 2012.  Results will be made publicly available once accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Best wishes

Anna Hansell

(Dr) Anna Hansell  MB BChir MA MRCP MSc PhD FFPH

Clinical Senior Lecturer

Assistant Director, Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU)

MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

School of Public Health

Faculty of Medicine

Imperial College London

St Mary’s Campus, Norfolk Place


Phone: +44 (0)20 7594 3344

Fax: +44 (0)20 7594 0768


From: James Middleton []
Sent: 30 January 2012 09:43
To: Kelly, Frank;
Subject: Incinerator study

Dear Prof Elliott,

We are an NGO Charity based in Hong Kong.

Our website is

Could you please tell us what is the status of your Unit’s investigation regarding possible incinerator proximity dangers and when the study would likely be complete ?

Kind regards

James Middleton



Professor Judith Mackay

Professor Anthony Hedley

Inquiry is ordered into incinerators and health hazards they may pose

An investigation is to be launched – the first of its kind in this country – into whether incinerators present a risk to public health.

by Mark Metcalf

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

A team from Imperial College, London, has been commissioned to carry out the inquiry by the Health Protection Agency after fears were raised about the health risks of incinerators, particularly for young children.

Dozens of incinerators have been built around the country as Britain struggles to cope with its mounting refuse problems. But campaigners have become concerned that the price is being paid with poor health among babies and infants in the localities where such amenities are sited.

One such activist is Michael Ryan, who lives in Shrewsbury, and who lost his only daughter at 14 weeks – and then suffered further personal tragedies when his teenage son and his mother both died, too. All lived downwind of an incinerator.

Mr Ryan began a painstaking piece of research into the subject of health – and deaths – of people living in close proximity to incinerators. The results from London are startling. In 12 of the capital’s 625 wards, there were no infant deaths between 2002 and 2008. But Southwark, which has two incinerators close by, had the highest rate with 7.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in that period.

Critics say it’s not microscopic particles from incinerators that kill babies and young children, but poverty. And while it is true that some people living close to incinerators are at the lower end of the social scale, Mr Ryan’s research reveals that death rates in more affluent middle class areas are higher if there is an incinerator nearby.

Affluent Chingford Green ward in Waltham Forest has the second highest average number of child deaths in London. It happens to be close to Britain’s largest incinerator.

“If it’s all about poverty, then how come the levels of infant mortality in countryside areas, where wages have always been below average, aren’t high?” asks Mr Ryan.

Now, to cries of “at last” from Mr Ryan, HPA head Justin McCracken has said that following discussions with Professor Paul Elliott, head of the Small Area Health Statistics Unit at Imperial College, it has been “concluded that an epidemiological study of birth outcomes around municipal waste incinerators would produce reliable results. Work is now progressing in developing a detailed proposal for what will be a complex study.”

In 2004, a study in Japan found a “peak decline in risk with distance from the municipal solid waste incinerators for infant deaths and infant deaths with all congenital malformations combined”.

Small Area Health Statistics Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK

Dioxins and other harmful incinerator emissions

.The information below is adapted from: Dearden, J. C., Proof of Evidence submitted on behalf of Residents Against Incineration (RAIN) regarding proposals at Ince Marshes, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire (2008)

Dioxins are a family of 75 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs). This compound is one of the most toxic chemicals known, and is a known human carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. Similar chemicals are polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), of which there are 135. Other related compounds are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), of which there are 209, many of which are known [Mukerjee 1998] to be endocrine disrupters. Yet others are polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), of which there are 209, and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) of which there are also 209. PBDEs and PBBs are used as flame-retardants for electrical goods, clothing and furniture. They are known to be endocrine disruptors and to cause developmental neurobehavioural defects [Mikula & Svobodová 2006, Eriksson et al 2006]. The principal cause of their presence in the environment is widely accepted to be incineration [D’Silva et al 2004].

All these compounds are hydrophobic (lipophilic) and therefore tend to accumulate in adipose tissue in the body. They are also chemically very stable and are therefore resistant to metabolic attack, and therefore to excretion, since chemicals need to be reasonably soluble in water in order to be readily excreted.

PCBs, PBBs and PBDEs can be present in waste materials. Dioxins (PCDDs and PCDFs) are not normally present in waste, but are formed when chlorine-containing organic substances (e.g. PVC) are burned. If combustion takes place at temperatures of about 850ºC, any dioxins already formed are destroyed, but can re-form again post-combustionCunliffe and Williams [2007] found that “formation of PCDD/PCDF on flyash deposits in the post-combustion plant of incinerators can result in the release of significant amounts of PCDD/PCDF to the flue gas stream”. Littarru [2006] has shown that about 57% of emitted dioxins (in terms of TCDD equivalents) are in the flue gases, with about 43% sorbed on the fly-ash.

As recently as 1997 Douben [1997] of H.M. Inspectorate of Pollution stated that “MSW incinerators are the dominant source of PCDD/F emissions to atmosphere and are responsible for up to 80% of the inventory”. It is now acknowledged that dioxin emissions from incinerators have fallen considerably in recent years. However, there remain a number of areas of concern.

Dioxin emission levels from incinerators are measured once or twice a year by external assessors who have to give prior notice of their visits. It is thus likely that operators ensure that a plant is running under optimal conditions for a visit. If much more frequent or continuous measurements are made, the total dioxin emissions are found to be very much higher than those calculated from biannual measurements. De Fré and Wevers [1998] found that emissions measured using the European standard method EN 1948 over a 6-hour period were 30 to 50 times lower than the average over a two-week continuous period. Reinmann et al [2006] showed that use of continuous dioxin sampling enabled operators to reduce dioxin emissions by a factor of 10, through careful control of operating conditions. True dioxin emissions from the proposed Ince incinerator, which would be subjected only to biannual checks, are thus likely to be very much higher than claimed.

Incinerators do not, for various reasons, run under optimal conditions all the time. Grosso et al [2007] found that even under steady-state conditions total dioxin release varied between 1.5 and 45 g TEQ per tonne of waste burned, depending on whether activated carbon was used and how fly-ash was collected. Sam-Cwan et al [2007] investigated the post-combustion re-synthesis of dioxins, and found that levels at waste heat boiler outlets were 10.8 – 13.6 times higher than at the furnace outlets, whilst water spray cooling was very effective at removing dioxins. Peel’s Environmental Statement [2007] states: “Each energy recovery boiler includes an economiser to cool the flue gas to temperatures suitable for the air emission control equipment”. It thus appears that the Peel process would significantly increase dioxin levels in the flue gases prior to treatment, and consequently would make reduction of dioxin levels more difficult.

Incinerators have to be shut down on occasion, both for routine maintenance and because of operating problems. It has been observed that during shutdown and startup, the levels of dioxins and other pollutants can be much higher than under optimal operation. Tejima et al [2007] tested the dioxin stack emissions of an MSW incinerator under conditions of startup, steady state and shutdown. They found concentrations of WHO-TEQ dioxin of 36 – 709 g.m-3 during startup, 2.3 g.m-3 during steady state operation, and 2.5 – 49 g.m-3 during shutdown. They estimated that 41% of the total annual emissions could be attributed to the startup period, assuming three startups per year. L.-C. Wang et al [2007] found that a single startup could contribute about 60% of the PCDD/F emissions for one whole year of normal operations; hence, assuming three startups per year, 64% of total annual emissions could come from startup. H.C. Wang et al [2007] found that during startup the PCDD/F removal efficiency was only 42% with selective catalytic reduction, compared with > 99% during normal operation.

It is clear from the above that levels of pollutants emitted from incinerators can vary greatly, and can exceed the statutory limits placed upon their emission. (It must be noted here that those limits are generally based on what is achievable and measurable, rather than what is safe [House of Commons 2001]). In 2001 Greenpeace carried out a review of the performance of municipal waste incinerators in the U.K. [Greenpeace 2001]. They found that for the ten incinerators that they reviewed, there were 546 self-reported limit exceedances in the two years 1999 and 2000, covering HCl, SO2, NOx, CO and particulates. It is noted that there were no reported exceedances of limits for dioxins or other substances that are not continuously measured. The Greenpeace report says that “it is difficult to accept that this is truly the case. High levels of pollutants in the gases often indicate a malfunction in the system or poor combustion of waste. For example, high levels of carbon monoxide would indicate poor combustion conditions under which increased production of dioxins, particles of incomplete combustion and other pollutants might be expected. Similarly, high levels of hydrogen chloride may be the result of large amounts of chlorine in the system, which again would provide improved conditions for dioxin formation. These peaks in production of dioxins and other hazardous substances are unlikely to be recorded by sampling undertaken only for a few hours, twice a year”. A Defra report [2004] stated that “there were 56 incidents of emissions outside permitted limits at the 14 incinerators accepting MSW in the UK in 2003…Three quarters of the incidents related to increased emissions of carbon monoxide and hydrogen chloride, which would not be expected to result in any significant environmental impacts (but see Greenpeace comments above). There were four incidents of dioxins and furans above permitted levels, and one incident of cadmium emissions above permitted levels”.

Another reason for variable levels of pollutant emissions is lack of adequate control by the plant operators. The Greenpeace report states that “no incinerator currently operating in England is able to meet the legal requirements of its license (sic)”, and points out that despite the 546 exceedances, only one prosecution (of Sheffield City Council in 1999) was brought by the Environment Agency in the period 1999-2000.

Incineration produces two forms of solid residue – fly-ash, which is fine particulate matter carried with flue gases, and bottom ash, which falls from the fire-grate. They constitute, between them, about one quarter to one third of the total pre-combustion weight of waste.

Fly-ash is known to sorb chemicals from the flue gases. As pointed out earlier, around half of emitted dioxins are sorbed on fly-ash [Littarru 2006]. Fly-ash is also responsible for the so-called dioxin memory effect [Cunliffe & Williams 2007], whereby slow de novo synthesis of dioxins occurs on the surface of the fly-ash; the dioxins then slowly desorb into the flue gases [Weber et al 2002] for prolonged periods after the implementation of beneficial changes to the incineration process. There is recent evidence [Jiang et al 2007] that fly-ash from larger incinerators (which Ince would be) has higher content of volatile components and higher leaching toxicity. Fly-ash is classed as hazardous waste, and has to be disposed of to landfill. There is concern that, because of its dust-like nature, less than extremely stringent handling could disperse dioxins and other pollutants such as metals sorbed on the fly-ash into the atmosphere around the RRP. Recent figures for the metal content of fly-ash from the Eastcroft (Nottingham) incinerator are: zinc 0.3%, lead 0.1%, copper 0.05%, manganese 0.05%, 0.01% chromium, 0.01% cadmium, 0.01% vanadium. For an estimated fly-ash production of 49,000 tonnes per annum (tpa), this means 147 tpa of zinc, 49 tpa of lead, 24.5 tpa of copper and of manganese, and 4.9 tpa of chromium, cadmium and vanadium. We are concerned that in the main body of Peel’s Environmental Statement there is an indication that some fly-ash could be used in construction. This is in our view irresponsible.

Bottom ash contains similar proportions of heavy metals (except cadmium, which is lower than in fly-ash). Under the List of Wastes (England) Regulations 2005, incinerator bottom ash is classed as non-hazardous. However, the Environment Agency recently confirmed, in a letter to Mr. Alan Watson [Watson 2008],that 12 out of 96 bottom ash samples that they tested met the criteria for hazardous waste, and the EA website [Environment Agency 2006] now states that zinc oxide has been given an ecotoxic classification (H14 by R50/53, very toxic to aquatic organisms and may cause long-term effects in the aquatic environment). This probably means that all of Peel’s bottom ash (estimated in their Environmental Statement to be 36,000 tonnes per annum) would have to be disposed of as hazardous waste, and should not be used for block-making or indeed for any other purpose. If the testing of Peel’s bottom ash showed the presence of chemicals meant that it was classified as hazardous waste, this would impact significantly on the economics of the operation. It should be noted that The Netherlands will soon require a higher immobilisation efficiency of bottom ash treatment [Xiao et al 2008].

All of the above suggest that the dioxin emissions from the proposed Ince incinerator would be many times those claimed in Peel’s Environmental Statement.

It should also be noted that there are high levels of dioxins on Frodsham Marshes, arising, it is believed, from the former I.C.I. chemical plant (now IneosChlor) at Runcorn [Vale Royal 2002].


Download PDF : Group Machiel Joint Venture 26 May 2011 press release v FINAL

Mission Study Trip Invitation Letter to Living Islands Movement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *