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SEN visits waste management facilities and waste charging system in Korea (with photos)

     The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, started his visit to Seoul, Korea today (April 3) by inspecting local recycling and waste-to-energy facilities. He also learned about the implementation of the waste charging system there to see how Hong Kong could gain from Korean experience when charting relevant environmental policies.

     Mr Wong first paid a visit to the Songpa recycling centre, which treats up to 450 tonnes of food waste per day using an anaerobic digestion process. Food waste recycling programme has been implemented in Korea since 1998. Mr Wong was impressed by the effectiveness of the facility and believed that Hong Kong has much to learn from the successful experience of Korea in recycling food waste.

     He then toured the Mapo Resource Recovery Plant to learn about the development of waste treatment technology. The waste-to-energy plant is able to treat municipal solid waste through incineration, and generates electricity during the process.

     In the afternoon, Mr Wong visited the residential and commercial areas of Geumcheon-gu to understand the operation of Koreaˇ¦s nationwide volume-based waste charging system and food waste recycling programme. Implemented since 1995, the waste charging system has successfully reduced municipal solid waste generation and increased the recycling rate in the country. Under the system, residents are required to dispose of trash in pre-paid garbage bags. Mr Wong noted that the Korean waste charging system, coupled with education, publicity and stringent measures against unauthorised dumping, comprehensively and effectively boosted waste separation and reduction at source, and the result is remarkable.

     Mr Wong will continue his visit to other waste recycling and treatment facilities in Seoul tomorrow.

Ends/Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:10


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