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Shenzhen residents visit Hong Kong to protest Tuen Mun landfill plan

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Shenzhen residents visit Hong Kong to protest Tuen Mun landfill plan

Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 [Updated: 1:37PM]

Chris Luo

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The landfill in Tuen Mun is Hong Kong’s biggest dump. Photo: Martin Chan

The Hong Kong government’s controversial Tuen Mun landfill extension plan has not only elicited strong objections from locals, but it appears to have also provoked residents across the border.

Two residents of Nanshan district in Shenzhen, just across Shenzhen Bay, paid a visit to Tuen Mun district councillor Chan Wan-sang on Tuesday to lodge a complaint about the unpopular plan, Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Wednesday.

“The Tuen Mun landfill has been built for almost 20 years. Facing this vast area of waste every day is difficult for Nanshan residents to accept,” the paper said, quoting Ao Jiannan, secretary of the Shenzhen People’s Congress. The landfill site is less than six kilometres from Nanshan’s coast.

Chen Nansheng, three-time deputy of the Shenzhen People’s Congress, added: “As a highly developed city, there is no need for Hong Kong to further invest in a backwards method such as a landfill to process waste.”

“Hong Kong should build waste incineration plants. Endless landfill extensions will only lead to a dead end,” said Chen, whose solution was inspired after a visit to waste incineration plants in Japan, according to the paper.

The officials’ visit to Tuen Mun come as the Hong Kong government struggles to push forward a plan to expand the landfill in the New Territories. The proposal aims to ease the city’s increasing waste problem. The extension plan will be scrutinised in the Legislative Council on Friday and is expected to be met with strong resistance from lawmakers and local residents.

Shenzhen’s Ao also urged governments on both shores to enhance dialogue in the future.

“Shenzhen and Hong Kong in a sense can be seen as a whole. The two governments should co-operate when it comes to major planning and construction regarding their people’s livelihood,” he said.

Tuen Mun lawmaker Chan, who also opposes the plan, has promised to present feedback from Shenzhen residents to Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in a meeting on Thursday, the paper said.

In response to Shenzhen residents’ complaint, Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department told the Daily that its evaluation of the plan’s environmental impact does not look at affected areas outside Hong Kong.

Tuen Mun accounts for about 7 per cent of the area and population in Hong Kong, but its landfill is responsible for processing nearly half of all waste the city produces every day.

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