The Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Mr Tse Chin-wan, today (August 23) accompanied several Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) to visit the waste management and resource recovery facilities of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), and briefed them on the policy and scope of work of the Environment and Ecology Bureau (EEB) and the EPD in promoting waste reduction in the districts and building more waste-to-energy and waste-to-resources facilities.
To complement the implementation of the municipal solid waste charging, the EPD continues to expand the community recycling network and outreach services for supporting and bringing convenience to residents living in different types of premises to practise source separation of waste and clean recycling. Accompanied by Mr Tse and the Permanent Secretary for Environment and Ecology (Environment)/Director of Environmental Protection, Miss Janice Tse, eight Legco Members visited GREEN@TUEN MUN, a recycling station under the community recycling network GREEN@COMMUNITY. They gained first-hand experience of the EPD's smart recycling systems built with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, including the Reverse Vending Machine for collecting plastic beverage containers, the GREEN$ electronic participation incentive scheme, and smart recycling facilities such as the smart balances and smart gift redemption units.
Under the GREEN@COMMUNITY network, there are currently over 160 public recycling outlets in the 18 districts of Hong Kong, including 11 Recycling Stations, 32 Recycling Stores and more than 120 Recycling Spots which operate at fixed locations and times in the form of kerbside booths to collect the eight common recyclables. The GREEN@COMMUNITY network has already covered over 80 per cent of single buildings, including the "three nil" buildings. The LegCo Members were briefed on how the EPD enhances the community recycling services and efficiency through application of technology. Under the Pilot Programme on Smart Recycling System launched in late 2020, the EPD has been testing in phases the smart recycling systems with the IoT as the skeleton technology, for local application and assessment of their effectiveness. Starting from this year, the testing points will be further increased to 80 to 100 locations and technical testing areas will also be expanded.
They then went to the yard waste recycling centre, Y‧PARK, in Tsang Tsui, Tuen Mun, to learn about the operation of the waste-to-resources facility. Y‧PARK mainly handles yard waste generated from daily vegetation maintenance duties and public works, and converts them into useful materials to help reduce filling the limited space of landfills, which can reduce not only waste disposal but also carbon emissions.
Y‧PARK's resource centre allows the trade and the public to learn more about, and touch, the wood boards or beams transformed from local yard waste. The LegCo Members also viewed some upcycled products such as artwork, furniture, decorations and ornaments, which were made of local trees.
The last stop of the tour was T‧PARK, Hong Kong's first large-scale waste-to-energy facility. Members were briefed by the EPD staff on how the waste-to-energy facility treats sewage sludge effectively with advanced incineration technology. The sludge incineration process also generates heat energy that is turned into electricity to support the energy needs of the facility, and the surplus electricity generated is exported to the public power grid, making good use of resource recycling. The Members also visited T‧PARK's environmental education centre to learn about the key environmental protection messages promoted to the public to eliminate their negative impressions of waste management facilities from the past, and how they have integrated with the community.
Mr Tse said the EEB will continue to develop waste-to-energy facilities, with a view to gradually replacing the disposal of municipal solid waste in landfills, in order to achieve the goals of "Zero Landfill" and carbon neutrality set out in the Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035 and Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2050.
The eight Members participating in the visit were Mr Robert Lee, Ms Carmen Kan, Mr Chan Pui-leung, Dr Wendy Hong, Dr Stephen Wong, Mr Lam Chun-sing, Dr Johnny Ng and Mr Andrew Lam. The EPD will continue to arrange two more visits to enable more LegCo Members to learn about the waste management and recycling facilities.
Ends/Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Issued at HKT 18:35