Hong Kong runs wet/dry waste separation pilot programme

In recent years, Hong Kong has been testing out various waste recovery systems in order to identify the modes that are the most cost-effective and will best suit local needs. Such systems include placement of waste separation bins at public venues and public/private housing estates to encourage public participation.

A pilot programme was launched earlier this year on dry and wet waste separation of domestic waste, an alternative mode that attempts to provide more convenience to residents. The objectives are to:

test this alternative mode of waste collection and sorting in further enhancing the waste recovery rates and reducing waste

make it more convenient for residents to separate waste encourage residents to separate waste at home

The 12-month pilot programme was launched in four housing estates in the Eastern District on Hong Kong Island, including Aldrich Garden, Heng Fa Chuen (Upper), LeSommet and Lei King Wan, with 7,877 households and a total population of about 24,000. Under the programme, residents will be encouraged to separate their waste at source into ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ portions. They are provided with bags of two different colours – green for dry waste and black for wet waste (refuse).

Dry stream – that which is dry and un-contaminated. Recyclables such as waste paper, metal cans, plastic bottles, floppy disks, batteries, glass bottles, old clothes, baskets, pens and shoes

Wet stream – that which is not accepted in the dry waste bag. It includes food waste, contaminated paper and tissue, containers with food scraps, diapers and used personal hygiene items, etc.

Residents separately place dry waste and wet waste in designated locations. Residents then place their waste at the back-stairs or refuse room of each floor. The black bag put in the refuse collection bin, and the green bag is put beside the refuse collection bin or in a designated dry waste bin (In LeSommet, residents bring their dry waste bags down to a drop-off point on ground floor, in order to compare against floor-to-floor collection as practised in the other three estates).

Wet waste (refuse) will be taken to the landfill.

Dry waste is delivered to a waste separation pilot facility at the Island East Transfer Station (IETS) for further sorting. The sorted dry waste can be recycled into many different useful products. For example, waste paper can be turned into recycled paper; plastics can be recycled into new plastic products like benches in parks, stationery, toys, picture frames and jackets, etc.; metals can be recycled into new metal products or construction materials; and computer products can also be recycled.

Markets for recyclables with potential outlets are being further explored. Materials like old clothes and shoes in good condition can be reused by the needy. Dry and wet waste separation is different from the existing 3-coloured-bin system. The latter requires householders to source separate recyclables like paper, aluminium cans and plastic bottles, bring them to the ground floor, and place them in the 3-coloured waste separation bins. This scheme only covers three types of recyclables.

The Dry and Wet Waste Separation covers many different types of recyclables, and only requires residents to put recyclables in one bag. This dry and wet waste separation pilot programme is only a trial and the 3-coloured-bin system is still being widely used in Hong Kong. Residents who prefer to use the 3-coloured waste separation bins are welcome to continue such practice under the pilot programme.

A review will be carried out upon completion of the pilot programme to examine the feasibility, logistics and cost-effectiveness of dry/wet waste separation.

Ano da Publicação: 2003
Fonte: WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #19-2003: May 31, 2003
Autor: Kit Strange
Email do Autor: bulletin@residua.com

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