Escaping from SARS worries, Hong Kong urban dwellers leave tons of rubbish in country parks

Associated Press reports that Hong Kongers littered country parks with 460 tons of rubbish last month, when SARS fears prompted thousands of residents to go out to the scenic areas for fresh air.

Some 1.4 million people visited the territory’s 23 country parks in April, when Hong Kong’s SARS outbreak was at its peak, according to a spokeswoman for the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department. That represented a 75 per cent rise from visits in April 2002, while the amount of rubbish left behind; in barbecue pits, along mountain trails, and elsewhere was up by 38 per cent.

Hong Kong has suffered 1,728 SARS infections and 269 deaths, and many people who have worn surgical masks around town have been taking them off in visits to the territory’s countryside.

“Most hikers are self-disciplined, although some leave water bottles behind,” said Cheung Kwok-wai, a senior park officer. “There are bigger problems at popular barbecue sites.”

Ano da Publicação: 2003
Fonte: WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #19-2003: May 31, 2003
Autor: Kit Strange
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