Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ7: Recycling of food waste

     Following is a question by the Hon Wong Kwok-kin and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council meeting today (June 27):


     It has been reported that an environmental group conducted an investigation into the problem of supermarkets trashing food, and the findings have revealed that major chain supermarkets in Hong Kong dispose of nearly 90 tonnes of food per day, and some supermarkets even purposely made the trashed food inedible to discourage scavengers from picking food from the throwaways.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a)  of the latest construction progress of the two organic waste treatment facilities in Siu Ho Wan of North Lantau and in Shaling of the North District; whether they can be commissioned in 2016-2017 as scheduled; of the latest details of the Government's plan to construct other food waste treatment facilities;

(b)  of the effectiveness of the Food Waste Recycling Partnership Scheme since its introduction; the number of participating organisations so far; the amount of food waste successfully processed; whether the authorities will plan to expand the Scheme to allow participation of other organisations or units; and

(c)  whether the authorities will consider introducing measures (e.g. banning food waste in landfill or recovering the costs for processing food scraps and food waste) to encourage shops and eateries to donate edible leftover or food waste to the food banks, with a view to helping the grassroots in need; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     Our reply to the question raised by Hon Wong Kwok-kin is as follows:

(a)  Biological treatment technology, such as anaerobic digestion and composting, will be adopted for the organic waste treatment facilities (OWTF) to convert source-separated food waste from the commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors to renewable resources such as biogas and compost.  The first phase of OWTF will be developed in Siu Ho Wan of North Lantau to treat about 200 tonnes of food waste per day.  As the result of the tender had substantially exceeded the original estimates, we are arranging a re-tender according to the established mechanism, with a view to commissioning the facility in 2015.  We also commenced a study in late 2011 on the development of the second phase of OWTF in Shaling of the North District to treat about 300 tonnes of food waste each day.  We plan to complete the environmental impact assessment for the project in mid-2013, and if progressing smoothly, the facility is expected to be completed in 2017.  By then, the two phases of OWTF will be able to treat food waste from the C&I sectors at a total capacity of about 500 tonnes per day.

     In addition, the Government started the search for suitable sites throughout Hong Kong in 2011 with a view to developing more regional OWTFs.  Subject to the results of the site search exercise, we will undertake further studies to assess the feasibility and detailed requirements of developing more OWTFs in Hong Kong.

(b)  It has been nearly two years since the launch of the Food Waste Recycling Partnership Scheme in June 2010.  The results are encouraging.  Up to mid-2012, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has helped train the management and frontline staff of more than 60 organisations on food waste reduction management practices.  The EPD has also drawn up guidelines on the management and source separation of food waste.  Some 920 tonnes of food waste have so far been collected under the Scheme for recycling at EPD's pilot composting plant in Kowloon Bay.  About 160 tonnes of compost products have been produced for use at local farms and schools.  The EPD will keep the Scheme going and invite more organisations and institutions to join in.

(c)  Through the Social Welfare Department, food banks, food donation schemes, etc, the Government encourages businesses to donate edible leftovers to help the needy.  As regards the suggestion to recover the costs for processing food waste, the Government is analysing the results of the public consultation on the municipal solid waste (MSW) charging scheme and will draw up a proposal on the way forward.

Ends/Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:01


Print this page