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EPD – Control on Import and Export of Waste and recycling stats

HKG Recycling = Reshipping

Hong Kong Government’s ‘recycling’ statistics ? Import it-Do nothing with it – Export it to China – Enhance local recycling figures ? China Operation ‘GREEN FENCE’ will decimate HKG’s ‘recycling’ figures.

Chart of Hong Kong's Wast Trade (Import & Export) Statistics

Control on Import and Export of Waste


Waste Trade Statistics

Chart of Hong Kong's Trade (Import & Export) StatisticsThe transboundary movements of waste in Hong Kong are mainly caused by international trading of waste for recycling purposes. The majority of these recyclable non-hazardous wastes such as plastic waste, metal waste and scrap paper are destined for recycling in Hong Kong or the nearby areas. The substantial volume of waste import, export and re-export activities are driven mainly by the manufacturing and industrial activities in southern China and their demand for recovered scrap materials as raw materials.

Image of Waste Flow with Major Waste Trade PartnersThe USA, Japan, and other regions in southern China are the major waste trade partners of Hong Kong. In general, waste is shipped from developed countries such as the USA, Japan, and the United Kingdom through Hong Kong into southern China.
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Chart of Hong Kong Waste Import and Export Figures (2007-2011)

Chart of Hong Kong Waste Import and Export Figures (2007-2011)

Image of Hong Kong Waste Import

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Waste reduction and recycling are very important elements of the local waste management framework. They help both to conserve natural resources and to reduce demand for valuable landfill space.

Through the existing waste recovery system, about 3.02 million tonnes of municipal solid waste were recovered in Hong Kong in 2011. Of that total, 1% was recycled locally and 99% was exported to the Mainland and other countries for recycling, with an export earning of HK$8.2 billion for Hong Kong.

Major Materials Recovered / Recycled in 2010

The Environmental Protection Department encourages waste reduction and recycling activities. Since 1991 it has provided a helpline service to help the public organize waste reduction and recycling programmes. It also provides information on recyclers and technical advice on waste recovery and recycling. In 2011, we received 5,000 enquiries from the public.

Value of Exported Recyclable Materials in 2010

Remark: Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding off.

Statistics of Municipal Solid Waste Recovered in 1991-2010

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Last Revision Date: 20 Dec 2012

Major Materials Recovered/Recycled in 2011




Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous Metals








Recycled Locally






Quantity of waste (x 1 000 tonnes)

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