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Hong Kong needs more than an incinerator to achieve its zero waste goal

An incinerator is not a waste disposer. Incineration serves to reduce mass and volume. There is still the problem of the non-combustible waste residue, which is almost 10 per cent of the original volume. This is where a landfill is useful – to bury the output from the incineration process, inert bottom ash.

If we had built an incinerator 10 years ago, Hong Kong might have extended the lives of our three strategic landfill sites by at least 10 years. In other places, bottom ash is used as filler for construction materials. In Singapore, which has at least four incinerators, it may soon be used for marine reclamation.

The waste processing capacity of I·PARK1 is 3,000 tonnes of waste per day. When I·PARK 2 comes on line, Hong Kong’s capacity could increase to 9,000 tonnes per day. According to the Environmental Protection Department’s data on waste, we produce 15,725 tonnes per day, so we are still short of dealing with all of Hong Kong’s solid municipal waste.


Hongkongers are urged to recycle more, but is the government doing enough to help?

Taipei, which has been lauded as a success story on waste management, has three waste incinerators designed to process around 3,900 tonnes of waste per day. Due to waste recovery measures deployed – which included waste sorting, waste charging and public education – Taipei became a victim of its own success and there is now a deficit of solid waste to burn, resulting in the “powering off” of one of its three incinerators every month.

Tokyo has 19 waste incinerators located in the central part of the city. Tokyo’s authorities faced less opposition as a result of integrating the incinerators with public facilities like swimming pools and greenhouses, where heated water from the