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Enhancing waste reduction in Hong Kong : a review on waste separation

Waste management is always a headache to the policy makers to tackle with nowadays as we are generating more waste than the past generations. Landfill is the only disposal method in Hong Kong since the early of the 1990s and the three strategic landfills are going to be filled. Therefore, the quantity-based waste charging is going to be implemented in the near future in order to reduce waste generation. A complementary recycling system is a must to complete the newly proposed waste management policy to reduce waste volume. There are some obvious problems existing in the current recycling efforts, which hinder the success of waste separation for recycling so as to reduce waste generation.

As a result, it is important to review the current Programme on Source Separation of Domestic Waste. Moreover, a successful waste separation programme for waste reduction requires fulfilling the criteria in the aspects of Recycling Facilities/Services, Public Education & Promotion and Statutory Requirement & Complementary Policy. Based on the survey results, 40% of the current recycling facilities are inconvenient or inconvenient at all and most of the respondents think that there are insufficient recycling facilities in the territory. Nearly 70% of them agree or fully agree to implement mandatory waste separation and more than a half of them prefer to fine each non-compliance below $500. Moreover, the majority of the respondents suggest that the incentives for them to recycle are not enough or not enough at all, which take up 55% of the total. And 60% of them agree or fully agree to reward people who recycle.

From the site visit, it is obvious that the public abuses the roadside 3-coloured bins especially in the Hong Kong Island and the New Territories. Meanwhile, the misuse of the recycling bins leads to the cleanness problem. The tendered contractors are not doing well in terms of emptying and locking the 3-coloured bins. There are fewer problems arising from the recycling facilities or bins collecting other recyclables as these recycling bins are designed for collecting specific types of recyclables and they are not adjacent to the rubbish bins. Also, the centers for collecting bulky recyclables have management staff to collect the recyclables.

According to the reply from the Environmental Protection Department, there are many monitoring works to ensure the services quality provided by the service contractors. However, it is questionable that it can maintain the performance of the contractors. Since there are increasing complaints on the unsatisfactory performance of the service contractors. As a result, the Government should review the current Programme on Source Separation of Domestic Waste in accordance with recommendations proposed in the scopes of Physical Enhancement to Recycling Facilities/Services, Education and Promotion and Policy Recommendations, including increasing the convenience and availability of the recycling facilities and the range of separation; implementing compulsory environmental education and improving the promotion on waste separation; implementing complementary policy and regulations for waste separation, monitoring the performance of waste separation and providing incentives to encourage recycling. / published_or_final_version / Environmental Management / Master / Master of Science in Environmental Management
Date January 2014
CreatorsTang, Yan-yi, 鄧欣宜
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Source SetsHong Kong University Theses
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works., Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License
RelationHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)

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