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LCQ16: Refuse collection points in rural areas
     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Han-pan and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, in the Legislative Council today (December 6):


     Some residents of villages in the New Territories have relayed to me that with the rapid increase in population in rural areas in recent years, the refuse collection points (RCPs) in those areas are often full and hence garbage could be seen strewn all over the place outside such RCPs. Moreover, the service contractors of the Government have not stepped up the cleansing services for public places in response to the increasing quantity of waste, resulting in poor environmental hygiene conditions in rural areas. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the current number and distribution of RCPs in rural areas and, among them, the number of those which were set up in the past decade;

(2) of the average number of times the service contractors cleanse such RCPs each day, and the scope of and the time spent on the cleansing work;

(3) of the amount of resources allocated by the Government in each of the past five years for carrying out upgrading and refurbishment works for the existing RCPs; the current number of RCPs in rural areas for which such works have yet to be carried out; and

(4) whether it has plans to use refuse collection equipment (e.g. the compaction refuse collection bins being used in Macau) which makes better use of space, in order to increase the throughput of RCPs, thereby dealing with the increasing quantity of waste arising from the increase in population in rural areas?



(1) At present, refuse collection points (RCPs) in rural areas mainly comprise village-type RCPs built with reinforced concrete and RCPs made of aluminium / fibre glass / corrugated iron.  Over the past decade, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) provided a total of nine additional RCPs in the rural areas of Kwai Tsing, North and Tai Po Districts.  The numbers and distribution of existing RCPs in rural areas are as follows:
District No. of RCPs in Rural Area
Islands 78
Kwai Tsing 19
Tsuen Wan 45
Tuen Mun 53
Yuen Long 201
North 153
Tai Po 74
Sha Tin 54
Sai Kung 130
Total 807

Remark: Apart from the RCPs mentioned above, FEHD also provides about 1 800 bin sites in rural areas to facilitate the disposal of household wastes by villagers.

(2) Under normal circumstances, FEHD services contractors provide refuse collection services to RCPs in rural areas once daily and will increase the frequency of refuse collection according to the actual needs of individual RCPs.  Intensive cleansing work is also carried out at each RCP on a regular basis.  Major details of the cleansing work are at Annex.  The time required for each cleansing operation depends on the actual circumstances of individual RCPs.  In addition, FEHD carries out regular inspection of RCPs, reviews from time to time its refuse collection services as well as the hygiene conditions at RCPs, and will increase the frequency of collection and cleansing as and when required.

(3) FEHD staff will inspect RCPs on a regular basis and arrange maintenance or refurbishment works according to the actual situation and needs of individual RCPs.  FEHD does not keep a breakdown of maintenance works of RCPs in rural areas.

     Since 2009, FEHD has gradually substituted aluminium RCPs for fibre glass RCPs, of which about 80 have been replaced. FEHD has planned to replace all the remaining some 150 fibre glass RCPs with aluminium RCPs within 2018 to improve the refuse collection facilities in rural areas.

(4) FEHD has all along been striving to improve refuse collection services, including renewal of refuse collection facilities to increase work efficiency and enhancement of monitoring to upgrade its service performance.  Most of the RCPs in rural areas are relatively small in scale given the land constraints and the sparse population with limited amount of refuse yield in early years.  With the increasing population and amount of refuse resulting from the continuous housing development of rural areas in recent years, the existing refuse collection facilities are no longer adequate to meet the needs.  FEHD is contemplating the introduction of new facilities to help enhance the work efficiency of refuse collection services, such as the adoption of refuse bins and hydraulic refuse hoppers equipped with compaction devices, to reduce the number of refuse containers placed at those small RCPs in rural areas, with a view to tackling the problems of insufficient planned land sites.
Ends/Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:00
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