EPD launches food waste collection trial scheme in public rental housing estates (with photos)
The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (October 30) launched an 18-month food waste collection trial scheme in public rental housing (PRH) estates. In the first phase of the trial, the EPD will progressively install smart recycling bins to collect food waste in about 30 blocks of five PRH estates under the Housing Department and the Hong Kong Housing Society.
At a publicity event held at Shek Pai Wan Estate in Aberdeen today to promote the trial scheme, the Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Mr Tse Chin-wan, said that domestic food waste currently accounts for about 70 per cent of the total quantity of food waste disposed of in landfills. While 30 per cent of Hong Kong's population (over 2 million) lives in PRH estates, the trial scheme thus targets PRH residents to encourage the practices of food waste source separation, collection and recycling, which can mitigate environmental hygiene problems caused by food waste and make good use of organic resources.
Mr Tse pointed out that the EPD's trial scheme has been successfully launched with the indispensable support from the Housing Department and the Hong Kong Housing Society. The Government will gain more experience in food waste collection through the trial scheme to formulate a set of practical and cost-effective sustainable solutions for proper domestic food waste collection, and progressively extend the scheme to more PRH estates in the territory so as to tie in with the implementation of municipal solid waste charging.
The first phase of the trial scheme covers about 30 blocks of the five PRH estates, namely Shek Pai Wan Estate in Aberdeen, Choi Tak Estate in Ngau Tau Kok, Sheung Tak Estate in Tseung Kwan O, Kwun Lung Lau in Kennedy Town and Lin Tsui Estate in Chai Wan. The trial scheme uses smart recycling bins equipped with overflow prevention and odour abatement devices to collect food waste and maintain environmental hygiene. The EPD will strengthen the publicity and education of the scheme, coupled with the GREEN$ Electronic Participation Incentive Scheme, to incentivise residents to participate in the scheme. In the short term, the trial scheme will be extended to a total of 100 blocks of PRH estates in 2023-24, involving about 150 000 residents. The food waste collected will be delivered to O．PARK1 for treatment and conversion into energy and compost. Details are available on www.foodwasterecycling.hk/prh/.
To facilitate the gradual expansion of the food waste collection network, the Government has been enhancing the food waste treatment capacity by developing various food waste recycling facilities and conducting food waste/sewage sludge anaerobic co-digestion at suitable sewage treatment works to convert food waste into renewable energy. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality gradually.
In addition to implementing a trial scheme in PRH estates, the Government has also subsidised private residential buildings in adopting smart recycling bins for food waste collection through the Recycling Fund, and has provided free food waste collection services to participating housing estates to encourage and facilitate domestic food waste collection. Subsidised by the Recycling Fund, the first large-scale food waste collection scheme with smart recycling bins was launched in November 2021. The Recycling Fund has also approved 15 applications under a solicitation scheme to support residential buildings in adopting smart bin technology in food waste collection.
The Government will review the food waste collection trial scheme, with reference to the actual operation, residents' participation rate, and quantities of food waste collected, so as to formulate a food waste collection model in a cost-effective manner for both public and private housing estates.
Ends/Sunday, October 30, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:36