Food waste recycling facilitated

April 16, 2024

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today said it has optimised the screen interface of food waste smart recycling bins (FWSRBs) to make it easier for cleaning staff and residents to know the status of the bins and expedite notifications.


It made the remarks in response to recent media reports on the food waste recycling measures in the city.


Currently, there are about 900 food waste collection points across the city with a daily collection quantity of about 210 tonnes, representing a 40% increase compared to the same period last year.


At present, the EPD has installed about 530 food waste smart recycling bins (FWSRBs) in 70%, or about 150 of the public rental housing (PRH) estates in the city.


Its target is to complete the installation of more than 700 FWSRBs in all of the 213 PRH estates across the city by this August, covering about one-third of the population in Hong Kong.


The EPD noted that some media reports stated that as of February 2024, no FWSRBs had been installed in the PRH estates in Yau Tsim Mong and Wan Chai districts.


The department responded that given each of the two districts has one PRH estate managed by the Housing Society, the EPD had already installed a FWSRB in Prosperous Garden, Yau Tsim Mong District on March 13.


The FWSRB in Lai Tak Tsuen, Wan Chai is expected to start operation by the end of this month, it added.


In addition, according to some recent media reports, the FWSRBs in some individual PRH estates, such as Yau Lai, Kin Ming and Choi Hung estates, were found to be fully loaded or malfunctioning. 


The department explained that each FWSRB is equipped with an inner bin with a capacity of 120 litres. The system will automatically notify the cleaning staff to replace the inner bin when the collected food waste reaches 70% capacity.


Based on actual experience, each inner bin can accommodate food waste from 60 to 70 households, and each FWSRB is sufficient to serve at least 500 households.


The EPD has already allocated additional resources to hire manpower for the replacement and cleaning of FWSRBs in the PRH estates. It will also review the usage rate of the smart bins in each PRH estate from time to time, and gradually add more smart bins in estates that have a higher usage.


As for the operation of FWSRBs, the EPD’s big data platform indicated that in general, over 99% of such bins are functioning normally.


In the event of machine failure, the system will automatically restart the FWSRB. If it still cannot be used, the contractor will send technicians for repairs within 48 hours, and additional FWSRBs are available for swift replacement when necessary.


To further enhance the speed of notification, the EPD has established a new alert system. Additionally, it has optimised the screen interface of the FWSRBs, to make it easier for cleaning staff and residents to know the status of the smart bins and expedite notifications to responsible parties.


For PRH estates experiencing malfunctions or higher food waste quantities, cleaning staff will place traditional purple food waste bins next to the FWSRBs to ensure an uninterrupted food waste recycling service and maintain environmental hygiene.


The department said it will keep enhancing publicity and promotion to citizens and various sectors in order to increase the amount of food waste recovered in Hong Kong in an orderly manner.


It will also provide more training and support to encourage active participation in food waste recycling.

Back to top