Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cut the flab!

Hong Kong has  launched a ten-year plan to reduce waste by 40 percent per person as part of efforts to catch up with other leading Asian cities and avert a looming environmental crisis. With a population of more than 7 million, the city currently sends 1.27 kg (2.8 pounds) per person per day (or 9000 tonnes) to three huge outdoor landfill sites which are set to reach capacity by 2020.
The government's 'blueprint' document proposed reaching its reduction target by expanding recycling, levying duties on household rubbish and improving waste-related infrastructure.
The government hopes to recycle 55 percent of the city's waste, incinerate 23 percent and place 22 percent in landfills by 2022. In 2011, 52 percent of waste was put into landfills and 48 percent recycled.
But the proposal to build an incinerator is unpopular with residents and some environmentalists.
Other possible measures include an expansion of food-waste recycling, a waste separation and collection system, a charge on construction waste and landfill extensions.
Taipei is being cited as an example where a volume-based waste fee system helped reduced waste per person by 65 percent from 2000 to 2011, according to Taiwan Environmental Authority statistics. What is important as Hong King rulers realised is to involve the community in the exercise by creating awareness first. Without that, any grandiose plan remains just a plan. Look at what is happening in Bangalore. A lot of noise and what have you - many parts of Bangalore, the residents have no clue what you mean by segragation! Many others still dump their garbage in the drain...

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