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Country Parks (Designation)(Consolidation)(Amendment) Order 2010 to be gazetted tomorrow

     Hong Kong is facing an imminent waste problem, and its three strategic landfills are gradually approaching their capacity, and will be full, one by one, in the next decade. The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has been working on various fronts to tackle this problem.  

     An EPD spokesman said that in 2005, the EPD published the Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014) and set out a comprehensive waste management strategy for the next 10 years.  

     "With continuing efforts, we have progressively achieved positive results in waste avoidance and reduction at source, waste recovery and recycling, as well as bulk reduction of waste.  For example, under the Source Separation of Domestic Waste Programme, we achieved a municipal solid waste (MSW) recovery rate of 49%.  The efforts in waste recovery also reduce the volume of waste which requires disposal at landfills.  

     "However, pursuing waste reduction, recovery and recycling alone will not resolve our waste problem.  Therefore, as set out in the Policy Framework, we will develop the Integrated Waste Management Facilities (IWMF) with incineration as the core technology to substantially reduce the volume of unavoidable waste.  We are carrying out relevant preparatory works, with a view to commissioning the phase I of the IWMF facilities by the mid-2010s," he said.

     He added that, although Hong Kong has been taking forward the above measures, there is unavoidable waste that needs to be disposed of properly, for example non-recyclable waste and residual waste after treatment.  The three strategic landfills, comprising the South East New Territories (SENT), the North East New Territories and the West New Territories landfills, are approaching their capacity, and need to be extended to provide the final repository for local waste.  

     "We now propose to extend the lifespan of the SENT landfill by another six years, in order to tackle the problem brought by its exhaustion in 2013 to 2014.  

     "As to the remaining two landfills, we have completed the feasibility and environmental impact assessment studies on their extensions, and our target is to commission these two landfill extensions by the mid to late-2010s before the exhaustion of their existing capacities."

     The Country Parks (Designation) (Consolidation)(Amendment) Order 2010  will be gazetted tomorrow (June 4), and will be tabled at the Legislative Council on June 9 for negative vetting procedures. The order will excise the area in the Clear Water Bay Country Park (CWBCP) that will be affected by the proposed SENT landfill extension from the original approved map of the CWBCP.

Ends/Thursday, June 3, 2010
Issued at HKT 18:32


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