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SEN visits food waste recycling facilities in Islands District (with photos)

     The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, today (November 29) visited the food waste recycling facilities in Mui Wo to learn more about the implementation of food waste recycling in the community.

     Mr Wong said that of some 9,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste disposed of in Hong Kong's landfills everyday, nearly 40 per cent is food waste. The proper treatment and recycling of food waste is therefore an essential element in implementing waste reduction at source, which in turn reduces the amount of waste disposal at landfills.

     He pointed out that waste reduction at source, and reducing food waste in particular, is the main target of the Government's waste management policy. The Government will continue to organise various educational and promotional activities to promote food waste avoidance and reduction for all sectors. He said the Government also encourages organisations, by using the Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF), to conduct food waste recycling programmes and turn food waste into compost or other useful resources, alleviating the pressure on landfills.

     The Hong Kong Outlying Islands Women's Association was granted ECF funding to launch the "To Unearth the Treasure Kitchen Waste Recycle Scheme" and installed food waste recycling facilities in Mui Wo. Participating families are given air-tight food waste containers for separating and collecting daily food waste, and then send the waste to four designated collection points in the vicinity. About 130 families have participated in the scheme and some 22 tonnes of food waste has been collected in 11 months. In addition, the association receives lunch food waste from schools in the district to help recycle it properly.

     Mr Wong visited a collection point in Ngan Wan Estate to have a look at its operation of food waste collection. He then proceeded to the environmental education farm where a food waste composter has been installed for treating the food waste received from all the collection points. The compost produced is used in organic farming, fully utilising the waste. Mr Wong was briefed by members of the association on the procedures for treating food waste and the testing of the compost.

     During the visit to the farm, Mr Wong was delighted to note that local residents had put green living into practice by making good use of the compost, thus experiencing organic farming and getting a diversified harvest in return. The association organises talks and workshops regularly to promote food waste reduction and recycling.

     He also visited the Sunny Centre (Mui Wo), which is one of the food waste collection points, and talked to members of the organisation about food waste collection and other measures to promote environmental protection.

     Mr Wong said the Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to deal with the problem of food waste, including education and promotion, co-operation with the commercial and industrial sectors, and the development of food waste treatment facilities. The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) launched the Islands Food Waste Recycling Scheme on Cheung Chau and at Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island early this year. Free food waste collection bins were provided by the EPD to shops and hostels for collecting food waste for delivery to the department's refuse transfer facilities. The food waste processors installed there will decompose the food waste into organic fertilizers, which will then be distributed to the community for greening projects and for resource regeneration on the islands.

Ends/Thursday, November 29, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:24


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