Society

Hong Kong Says It Will Reduce Waste by 40 Percent Per Person

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As one of the most populated cities in the world, Hong Kong has a lot of waste. They are hoping to reduce their waste by 40 percent in ten years as part of a plan to catch up with other leading Asian cities.

Their population stands at 7 million, and they currently send 2.8 pounds per person per day to three outdoor landfill sites. Those sites are going to reach capacity by 2020 if waste is not reduced.

They have proposed reducing their waste by recycling, levying duties on household waste and improving waste-related infrastructure.

"To face the challenges of the waste issue fundamentally, we need the joint efforts of the entire community to embrace an environmentally sustainable culture in daily life," Wong Kam-sing, the city's environmental minister, said. 

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"We are committed to taking all the necessary decisions and actions now so we can put Hong Kong on a clear path…towards a use less, waste less lifestyle."

They're hoping to ultimately recycle 55 percent of the city's waste, incinerate 23 percent and put 22 percent in landfills in ten years. Two years ago, 52 percent was sent to landfills and 48 percent recycled.

Though they believe reducing waste will be good for the environment, the building of an incinerator has many residents and some environmentalists upset.

Others have proposed the expansion of food-waste recycling, a waste separation and collection system, a charge on construction waste and landfill extensions.

Most of the waste is from households and businesses.

Hong Kong has a high population, but so do many other Asian cities, and those cities do not face the same waste problems the Chinese city does. Wong said this is because they have not taken the proper steps to reduce their waste.

Their waste is larger than Tokyo and Seoul, which have only .77 kg and .95 kg of waste per person.

Sources: Raw Story, AFP