China – The Hong Kong government has launched an Advisory Committee on Recycling Fund together with China’s Environment Bureau. The new initiative will oversee a HK$ 1 billion (US$ 130 million) fund intended to stimulate recycling in the autonomous territory.
In the past 30 years, local municipal solid waste volumes have increased by nearly 80% while the population has grown just 36%. The estimated 7.2 million Hong Kong citizens are each said to produce an average of 1.36 kg of waste every day – equivalent to nearly twice the amount generated in, for example, Tokyo.
Secretary for the environment Wong Kam-sing, who has been chosen to chair the committee, speaks of an ‘imminent waste challenge’. The recycling fund will serve to promote effective operation and development of the recycling industry while updating existing facilities. Kam-sing stresses that reducing disposal to landfill is also ‘vital’ to the overall management policy in Hong Kong.
In this way, the fund is in line with the government’s mission to reduce the municipal solid waste disposal rate by 40% on a per-capita basis by 2022. Once achieved, 55% of waste will be recycled with 23% going for incineration and 22% being consigned to landfill.
The government currently spends up to HK$ 400 million (US$ 52 million) per year on waste collection.