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Report quantifies solid waste disposal

January 28, 2014

The average daily quantity of solid waste disposed of at landfills in 2012 was 13,844 tonnes, up 2.9% compared with 2011, the Environmental Protection Department says.


It issued its "Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong - Waste Statistics for 2012" report today, which showed the per capita municipal solid waste disposal rate per day of 1.3kg remained stable, and was slightly lower than the 1.4kg rate a decade ago.


Compared to 2011, the total quantity of recovered recyclable materials was 860,000 tonnes lower, with waste plastics accounting for 530,000 tonnes. These reductions resulted in a drop in the municipal solid waste recovery rate from 48% in 2011 to 39% in 2012.


This drop was mainly attributed to the decrease in the quantities of recovered recyclable materials. However, the quantities of municipal solid waste disposed at landfills remained stable, without any major increase. This suggests the drop in the estimated municipal solid waste recovery rate has not significantly affected the pressure on landfills nor compromised the effectiveness of the department’s work on waste recovery and recycling.


'Significant' fluctuations reviewed

In the past several years, the quantity of recovered waste plastic has fluctuated significantly. The department commissioned a consultant to study the reasons for this and review whether the present method of estimating the municipal solid waste recovery rate is appropriate.


The department concluded it will continue to use the present method, but will implement improved data collection measures, including:

* reinforcing the auditing of the relevant statistical figures;

* preparing additional guidelines and arranging regular workshops for recyclers and exporters so that trade declarants can understand and comply with the relevant statutory declaration requirements; and

* conducting surveys with waste plastics exporters who make declarations regarding domestic exports to collect supplementary information, to enhance the municipal solid waste recovery-rate estimation.


The department said the Administration puts great emphasis on waste-management work and will continue to strengthen its efforts and resources in implementing waste-reduction policies and actions, to resolve Hong Kong’s waste problem.


Click here to see the report.

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