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Environmental Impact Assessment Study for Integrated Waste Management Facility now available for public inspection

     The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies for developing the Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) at two shortlisted sites --Tsang Tsui in Tuen Mun and an artificial island off Shek Kwu Chau (SKC), have been completed and were released for public inspection today (February 17).

     Under the EIA Ordinance (EIAO), the public are welcome to provide their views on the EIA reports on or before March 18 and the Advisory Council on the Environment will also give comments on the reports. The EIA reports are accessible at the EIAO website (

     The EIA studies indicate that developing the IWMF at either or both of the two potential sites will be environmentally acceptable.

     As part of its strategy for improved waste management, the Government plans to build an IWMF with a daily capacity of 3,000 tonnes. Using advanced incineration as the core technology, the facility will reduce the volume of municipal solid waste (MSW) treated by 90%. The IWMF will also include a mechanical sorting and recycling facility.  It will recover energy from the waste to generate sufficient electricity for some 100,000 households, achieving a reduction of 440,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

     The Government has conducted a number of consultation forums, and briefed the Legislative Council, the relevant district councils and the Advisory Council on the Environment in the process of the site selection studies and explained to them in detail the technology and standard to be adopted. The two shortlisted sites were then put forward for EIA studies.

     "To ensure protection of public health and the environment, the IWMF will adopt the most stringent European Union (EU) emission standards. The EIA results confirm that emissions from the IWMF will not cause any unacceptable health or environmental impact to Hong Kong,"  the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, said.

     "Based on the result of the EIA studies, the Government has assessed carefully the merits of the two shortlisted sites and considers the artificial island near SKC as the preferred site for the first IWMF in Hong Kong," he said.

     Factors that have been taken into account include the overall distribution of waste treatment facilities in Hong Kong, the distance for transportation of waste from the existing Refuse Transfer Stations in Hong Kong and Kowloon by ship to the future IWMF and the resulting environmental benefits, the impact of prevailing wind directions as well as possible economic synergy with nearby areas.

     Mr Yau said that the Government would continue to consult the district councils and relevant stakeholders in the planning and implementation of the IWMF project.

     "We will actively engage the stakeholders concerned in the process, including the design of the facility, as well as the ancillary facilities to suit the community's needs," he added.

     Subject to the approval of the EIA reports, the Government plans to seek funding from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in the first half of 2012 with a view to building the IWMF for commissioning by 2018.

     At present Hong Kong relies on landfills alone to dispose of the waste. The existing three landfills are expected to reach their capacities one-by-one in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

     "Although Hong Kong has achieved good progress in recycling municipal solid waste and reducing waste disposal in the past years, there remains a substantial amount of non-recyclable waste requiring disposal in the coming years. Current waste disposal practices in Hong Kong are not sustainable. There is a pressing need for Hong Kong to develop facilities such as the IWMF that will use advanced technologies to reduce waste disposal to landfills and to recover useful resources," Mr Yau said.

     In 2008, the government identified Tsang Tsui in Tuen Mun and an artificial island off Shek Kwu Chau as two potential sites for developing the IWMF. In the same year the Government commenced the Engineering Feasibility and EIA studies so as to confirm the overall suitability of the two sites before deciding which one would be used to develop the first IWMF.

Ends/Thursday, February 17, 2011
Issued at HKT 14:52


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