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New offer proposes zero waste, zero pollution and zero to landfill

04 December, 2014

Howard Winn

Given the controversy surrounding the proposed Shek Kwu Chau incinerator and extensions to the landfills, you would think a proposal that involved zero waste, zero pollution and zero waste to landfill would be of interest to the government and the public at large.

Zero Waste Smart City Resources Association says it can do this by the end of 2018 and is today sending copies of the proposal it sent to the government to the district councils and legislative councillors. Furthermore, Zero Waste chief executive Peter Reid says his company’s proposals would obviate the need to extend the landfills since there would be no waste left to send.

At the same time there would be no waste for the mega incinerator, organic waste treatment plants, hazardous waste incinerator, or even the sewage sludge incinerator.

The approach views “waste” as a resource, much of which can be recycled on a commercial basis. The government’s approach assumes waste is useless and is proposing to incinerate it, a process which produces up to a third by weight in toxic waste which has to be sent to landfill.

The zero-waste scheme envisages that the waste will be sorted within Hong Kong’s 18 districts using advanced proven digital waste separation technologies and waste applications at no charge to households. The food and green waste would also be dealt with at district level using anaerobic digestion plants, which would produce fertiliser and fish food. Recyclables would also be extracted at this stage. The remaining waste after this would be sent to a plasma vapourisation closed-cycle combined power and heat plant to be built at the Tai Po Industrial estate or the Science and Technology Park.

This would produce syngas to be used in the production of electricity or fed into the gas network. Reid believes his proposal can achieve a 12.5 per cent net return on investment. This stands in stark contrast to the government proposals which will cost about HK$60 billion to build and operate.

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