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Waste statistics for 2022 published
     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (December 22) published the report "Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong - Waste Statistics for 2022". It presents the 2022 statistics on disposal and recovery/recycling of solid waste generated in Hong Kong, including municipal solid waste (MSW) (covering both domestic waste and commercial and industrial waste), overall construction waste and special waste.
     An EPD spokesperson said that in order to achieve the vision of "Waste Reduction‧Resources Circulation‧Zero Landfill" by 2035, the Government is working at full steam to implement various policies and measures to reduce waste disposal and increase the recovery rate, with the goal of moving away from the reliance on landfills for direct disposal of MSW in the long run. Amongst others, the community recycling network GREEN@COMMUNITY under the EPD has been well received by the public since its expansion at the end of 2020. The quantity of waste recovered largely increased from about 4 000 tonnes in 2020 to about 20 000 tonnes in 2022.

     The total quantity of MSW disposed of at landfills was 4.06 million tonnes and the average daily quantity was 11 128 tonnes, representing a decrease of 2 per cent from 2021. Among the MSW in 2022, food waste accounted for 30 per cent, followed by waste plastics and waste paper, accounting for 21 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. These shares are comparable to those in 2021. As far as the per capita MSW disposal rate per day is concerned, the 2022 figure was 1.51 kilograms, down from 1.53 kilograms in 2021. The overall MSW recovery rate rose from 31 per cent in 2021 to 32 per cent in 2022, among which the quantity of MSW recovered for local recycling was about 420 000 tonnes in 2022, representing an increase of more than 50 per cent compared to about 280 000 tonnes in 2021. The increase was mainly driven by the local recycling of plastic recyclables (around 20 000 tonnes) and ferrous metal recyclables (around 100 000 tonnes).
     Regarding construction waste, the quantity of waste generation dropped by about 3 100 tonnes per day (6 per cent) as compared with 2021 to 49 865 tonnes per day on average, of which 45 736 tonnes per day of construction waste (92 per cent of the total) were recovered either through transferring to projects for direct reuse or storing at public fill reception facilities for reuse in the future. The remaining 4 128 tonnes per day of construction waste (8 per cent of the total) was disposed of at landfills, which was 483 tonnes more than that in 2021 and was on par with the level before COVID-19.
     Taking into account the disposal of both MSW and construction waste, the total quantity of solid waste disposed of at landfills in 2022 was 5.74 million tonnes and the average daily quantity was 15 725 tonnes, representing a slight increase of 193 tonnes per day (1.2 per cent) as compared to 2021.
     Looking ahead, apart from preparing for the implementation of MSW charging and the bill for regulating disposable plastic tableware and other plastic products starting from April next year, the Government will launch a host of new initiatives. These include: (1) the introduction of a bill into the Legislative Council (the LegCo) early next year to regulate the proper handling of recyclables in residential buildings, with a target for implementation by end 2024; (2) the introduction of a bill into the LegCo next year to establish a common legislative framework, with a view to extending the producer responsibility schemes gradually to cover plastic beverage containers, beverage cartons, electric vehicle batteries, vehicle tyres and lead-acid batteries starting from 2025; (3) the further expansion of the community recycling network GREEN@COMMUNITY and the development of a recycling stores network in 50 public rental housing estates starting from end 2023; and (4) the EPD has started to install smart recycling bins progressively in all public rental housing estates in Hong Kong to collect food waste, with a target of completion within 2024.
     Regarding construction waste, in parallel with the implementation of MSW charging starting from April 1 next year, the Government will also adjust the charging level of construction waste disposal, among which the public fill charge level will be kept at a lower level to encourage waste producers to carry out on-site sorting, thereby reducing the construction waste to be disposed of at landfills. In the meantime, the Government is building an advanced and efficient network of modern waste-to-energy facilities at full steam, including the implementation of the Food Waste/Sewage Sludge Anaerobic Co-digestion Trial Scheme at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works; the Organic Resources Recovery Centre Phase 2 (O · PARK2), which is under construction at North District; and the Integrated Waste Management Facilities Phase 1 (I·PARK1) which is under construction near Shek Kwu Chau. The goal is to move away from the reliance on landfills for direct disposal of MSW while transforming such waste into useful resources.
     The report and "Hong Kong 2022 Municipal Solid Waste - At a Glance" are both available in electronic format and can be obtained from the EPD website at www.wastereduction.gov.hk/en/assistancewizard/waste_red_sat.htm.
Ends/Friday, December 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:00
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