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Government action in response to suspension of waste paper collection by some recyclers
     A government spokesman today (September 15) said that in response to the suspension of collection and processing of waste paper by some recyclers starting today, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and relevant government departments, including the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD), have set in place temporary measures to cope with the situation.
     The public should continue separating recyclables at source and observing clean recycling in particular. If the situation permits, the public can save their recyclables, including waste paper, up to a certain amount, before taking them to the recycling facilities available at their residential estates or workplaces to enhance recycling efficiency. If necessary, the public may also take sorted clean waste paper to the four Community Green Stations (CGSs) and the 18 Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) supported by the Environment and Conservation Fund. For details of the relevant operators, locations and contacts, please refer to Annex 1.
     Property management companies, cleaning service contractors, waste and recyclables collectors, and logistic companies transferring recyclables should maintain proper sorting and storage of collected recyclables. They should also handle them in accordance with the requirements, procedures and channels as set out in their service contracts. Those who encounter difficulties in identifying downstream recycling channels and face imminent needs may deliver the recyclables to the sites in the EcoPark for temporary storage.
     Taking into account the actual situation and practical needs, the FEHD will enhance its street cleaning and collection services for recyclables. Waste paper collected from streets by the FEHD will be stored temporarily at refuse collection points and delivered to the EPD's EcoPark in Tuen Mun for temporary storage. Additional recycling bins will also be placed near the existing recycling bins outside designated refuse collection points with a larger capacity. The FEHD's recycling contractors will provide stepped-up service in collecting and recycling clean and sorted waste paper in large quantity or bulky sizes. The locations of such designated refuse collection points are set out in Annex 2.
     Depending on actual needs, the FEHD's contractors will also increase the frequency of collecting recyclables, particularly waste paper from public recycling bins, and make corresponding arrangements. The FEHD will keep close track of the situation in reviewing the above arrangements. If necessary, the FEHD will further enhance the collection service and arrange additional collection points. The public are advised to rely on their property management companies, the CGSs and 18 CRCs for recycling of their domestic waste paper, and use the FEHD's extra recycling facilities provided at refuse collection points when necessary.
     The EPD has reserved temporary sites in the EcoPark for temporary storage of sorted waste paper pending for exportation. Recyclers can use the temporary storage sites free of charge starting today, but they are required to properly cover the waste paper and take them back for processing in due course. Members of the trade intending to use the temporary storage sites should make prior appointments by calling the hotline 9166 4592.
     The spokesman called on members of the public to practise clean recycling by properly sorting different types of waste paper, with a view to increasing their recycling value and efficiency. The public should prevent recyclables from being contaminated, getting wet or mixed with other non-recyclable waste, as it would entail extra processing costs and their potential value for recycling would then drop significantly.
     The Government will continue maintaining close dialogue with the industry and stakeholders and actively supporting the recycling industry to enhance and expand its operations with assistance from the Recycling Fund, such that their operational level can be upgraded while the pressure on landfills relieved.
     The Government has also communicated with relevant Mainland authorities regarding the current situation, including the concerns of the local recycling industry. In the long run, the Government will incubate and support the development of environmental recycling industry for more efficient use of local recyclables and production of recycled products.
Ends/Friday, September 15, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:59
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