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Transcript of remarks by SEN

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, on the proposed landfills extension after attending a public event this afternoon (June 23):

Reporter: The Federation of Trade Unions says if you provide stronger supportive measures, they will support the extension of the landfills. What sort of supportive measures would be proposed?

Secretary for the Environment: Through the media, I've heard about their idea and it is in line with our Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources. We would like to support better waste reduction, including recycling. While they mention the idea about a kind of funding to support the recycling industry, I think that may be in line with our proposed waste charging scheme to be under consultation. I think that is similar to other places and they have similar ideas. On one hand, they would propose the volume-based waste charging, and at the same time, they may put aside part of the money to support the industry on recycling. So I think those ideas are in line with our blueprint. And probably we would take more time to talk with them about the ideas in details.
Reporter: You said that the Tseung Kwan O Landfill will only take the construction waste, as what you want after the law has passed. But does that mean the municipal solid waste of Tseung Kwan O residents will then have to move all the way to other landfills in the North District or Tuen Mun? Does it actually bring more pollution?
Secretary for the Environment: For the municipal solid waste generated in Kowloon, on (Hong Kong) Island, or probably in the future including those in Tseung Kwan O, under the new proposal, they will be diverted to elsewhere. But the point is that those waste will probably be transferred through marine means. That means they will take the sea route through our transfer stations so that the impact on the other landfills will be minimised in terms of road-based pollution and nuisance. So I think this is a balanced approach.
Reporter: But even through sea route doesn't mean they don't have to travel longer, ... but now Tseung Kwan O residents' waste would all the way go to Tuen Mun?
Secretary for the Environment: I think what you are talking about is in fact reflecting the truth. But I think it is an overall balanced approach so that we can minimise the nuisance to those very concerned areas. I think given the availability of marine transport through the transfer stations, it should be a balanced approach.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Sunday, June 23, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:23


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