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LCQ17: Provision of glass container recovery facilities
     Following is a question by the Hon Kenneth Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, in the Legislative Council today (March 28):


     According to the information provided by the mobile application "Waste Less" launched by the Environmental Protection Department, glass container recovery facilities are currently not provided in some old districts (e.g. San Po Kong, Ngau Tau Kok, etc.) where there are a large number of tenement buildings or single-block buildings. Regarding the provision of glass container recovery facilities, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether the authorities will set up additional glass container collection points in the housing estates and public places in various districts across the territory; if not, of the reasons for that;

(2) whether the authorities will place glass container recycling bins alongside the three-colour waste separation bins which are currently placed in the housing estates/residential buildings and public places in various districts, so as to facilitate residents in the districts to participate in glass container recycling; if not, of the reasons for that;

(3) of the number of village-type Refuse Collection Points provided with glass container recycling bins at present, and the total number of such recycling bins;

(4) as the authorities have indicated that, in order to reduce space needed for providing recycling bins in public places, they will explore the feasibility of adopting mixed recycling bins to collect different types of recyclables, whether the types of recyclables to be collected by such recycling bins will include glass containers; if not, of the reasons for that; and

(5) given that it is provided in the glass management contracts awarded by the authorities that contractors are required to set up glass container collection networks in their responsible catchment regions, whether the authorities have issued to contractors guidelines for or standards of the distribution of collection points; if so, of the details; whether they have required contractors to include in the collection networks all of the locations within their responsible catchment regions at which three-colour waste separation bins have been placed; if not, of the reasons for that?



     To promote glass bottle recycling, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has, through its glass bottle collection services and other voluntary recycling programmes, been progressively increasing the number of glass bottle collection points in various districts since December 2013 to facilitate public participation in glass bottle recycling. In addition, in November 2017, the Government appointed through open tender the glass management contractor (GMC) to undertake waste glass container collection and treatment services for the catchment regions of Hong Kong Island (including Islands District) and the New Territories. It is expected that the contract for the Kowloon region will be awarded in the second quarter of this year.

     Our responses to the questions raised are as follows:

(1) and (2) In general, glass bottle collection points under various glass bottle recycling programmes are mainly set up in places such as residential estates or suitable government facilities where their day-to-day management is taken care of by responsible personnel. This is to ensure that no nuisance or danger would be caused to the public. As at December 2017, there were over 1 490 glass bottle collection points set up in housing estates across the territory, mainly alongside the existing three-colour waste separation bins. There were also over 650 collection points set up in other facilities and places, including parks, sport centres, schools, hotels, shopping malls, pubs and other food premises, etc.

(3) Currently, there are 14 village-type Refuse Collection Points with glass bottle collection points, mainly in the Islands District covering Lamma Island, Cheung Chau, Mui Wo and South Lantau, Tai O, Peng Chau, etc. Depending on the actual requirements, each collection point will be provided with one to three recycling bins to facilitate the residents on the outlying islands to participate in glass bottle recycling.

(4) In response to the demand of the public on recycling bins and litter containers and to further enhance public participation in waste reduction and clean recycling, the Environment Bureau set up in 2016 the Steering Group on the Modification of Recycling and Refuse Collection Facilities in Public Places (the Steering Group) to review the distribution and design of recycling bins and litter containers in public places. The Steering Group has discussed the pros and cons for introducing "mixed recycling bins" and considered that though "mixed recycling bins" could effectively reduce the space needed for providing recycling bins in public places, trial run should first be conducted to ensure smooth operation before introducing such bins to certain public places. The Steering Group has also commissioned a consultant to design for different recycling bins and litter containers. The consultant will collect views of the public and stakeholders on the proposed new designs at a later stage.

(5) As stipulated in the Glass Management Contracts (the Contracts), the contractors awarded with the Contracts shall take over the existing glass container collection points set up by the EPD and those under various voluntary recycling programmes to ensure continuity of the collection services. The contractors shall also progressively expand their collection networks on this basis to achieve the annual recovery targets as set under the Contracts. The Contracts have specified that the contractors shall set up new collection points at suitable locations or make appropriate arrangements to provide the required glass container collection services within 28 days upon receipt of requests for such services. In consideration of public safety and environmental hygiene, we consider it not suitable to provide glass container recycling bins on streets alongside the three-colour waste recycling bins for collection of glass containers.
Ends/Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Issued at HKT 12:35
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