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Scheme will lead to illegal dumping

Tuesday, 20 August, 2013, 12:00am


Scheme will lead to illegal dumping

I refer to the letter from the undersecretary for the environment Christine Loh Kung-wai (“Public acceptance of waste-charging scheme is essential [1]“, August 15) where she admits that the cogs of government are grinding rather slowly on the matter of a waste-charging scheme.

Loh cites the necessity of public consultation, though in Hong Kong this usually doesn’t amount to much more than going through the motions.

It appears certain that the logistics of introducing such a fee-charging scheme into this highly congested high-rise environment will be a bureaucratic nightmare.

Such charges will surely encourage illegal dumping and disposal, while not meaningfully reducing the volume of waste going to landfills.

I think the Environmental Protection Department’s time and effort would be better spent on how to maximise waste recycling.

Presently those three little bins that have been introduced are no more than a sorry joke. The undersecretary seems to take umbrage at Philip Bowring’s criticisms (“Land policy on shaky ground [2]“, August 11). but Loh has (pointedly) passed up the opportunity to address the more serious allegations that “officials here refuse to discuss options” to the Shek Kwu Chau incinerator – thus avoiding public consultation.

Loh should respond to Charlie Chan (“Come clean on waste disposal strategy [3]“, August 13) and the many other correspondents who have complained through these columns on the official choice of the Shek Kwu Chau site.

I agree with Bowring that “the public naturally suspects pecuniary interests, not the public interest, are again at play”.

It appears that the Environment Bureau has dug itself into an entrenched position, and those pecuniary interests will not become clear until after the contracts connected to this massive project have been signed off.

K. Y. Leung, Shouson Hill

Idling engine ban law is ineffective

The Hong Kong government could not care less about the quality of Hong Kong’s air.

This is evident in the laughable enforcement of illegally parked cars which spend their entire days idling, free of fear of prosecution.

On days when the very hot weather signal is in effect, these drivers can legally sit for hours on end idling away in air-conditioned comfort, adding to the city’s air pollution totally secure in the knowledge the law is on their side. How can this be the policy of a government concerned with the air we all have to breathe?

That the Environmental Protection Department and police enforcement of illegal parking and illegal idling is incompetently pursued is no longer news. That the government of Leung Chun-ying continues to look the other way and allow this illegal activity to continue unabated reflects his own nefarious neglect of Hong Kong people’s right to clean air.

Mark Peaker, The Peak


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