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Sustainable development is an important concept in world and it is widely
used in many aspects, such as transport, business and energy. The term
sustainable development was first coined by the Brundtland Commission in
their Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development
(1987). The meaning of sustainable development is to meet the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their
own needs. Hong Kong is facing dilemma of not enough landfill area and lack
of infrastructure to reduce waste. The concept of sustainable development
should be applied in Hong Kong waste management system.

It is estimated that the 3 landfills in Hong Kong will be full by about 2020
gradually if not extended. We are still generating large quantities of waste
every day. In 2015, there were 5.51 million ton of solid waste dumped into
landfill. However, there are not enough incentives to reduce waste and proper
infrastructure or system to handle waste effectively. Therefore, we need to
reduce production of waste and develop a complete and efficient system to
manage such large amount of waste. It is urgently need to develop new sites
for landfill and find out sustainable way to solve the problem in the future.

2. Background
Until 2015, there were over 15 thousand ton of waste dumped to landfill every
day and it is in an increasing trend since 2011. There are 3 major sources of waste,
they are Municipal Solid Waste (including households, commercial and industrial
waste), construction waste and special waste (i.e. animal carcasses, livestock waste,
radioactive waste and sewage sludge). There are lots of waste produced every day, but
the recycle industry is not well developed in Hong Kong. In average, there are only
35% of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) were recycled. Compare with other countries,
like Germany, South Korea and Taiwan, their recycling ratio of MSW reach 63%,
61% and 52% respectively. ( It seems that there are great
potential to develop the recycle industry in Hong Kong.

In recent years, landfill still is the major way to dispose waste in Hong Kong.
Landfill is not the perfect way to dispose waste in Hong Kong. There are disadvantage
using landfill. There is a potential hazard of polluting the surrounding soil and ground
water with toxins and leachate. The waste usually contain high amount of chemicals
and heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, arsenic and PCBs. Although there were
impermeable layer installed at the bottom when building the landfill, damage of the
layer cannot be determined and repaired. Besides, land reserve in Hong Kong is not
enough. In addition with high land price, investigations and consultations, it is
difficult to select a suitable place for landfill in Hong Kong.
There are 13 landfill site closed in Hong Kong and the total area is about 287
hectare. The restoration work of the landfills launched at 1997 and finished at2006.
After the restoration program, the landfills were transformed to recreation area, green
are, sports facilities, public area and other facilities usage. This changing makes the
area develop in sustainable way.

3. Objective
This project aims at discuss about the topic around landfill in Hong Kong. Landfill
is a direct, inexpensive way to dispose the waste. However, people life is influenced
by economic development and the lifestyle changes accordingly. As the quality of life
increase with high income, the amount of waste generate also keep changing.
Nowadays, it is not allow to use this simplest method in Hong Kong as the landfills
will full in the next few years, the surrounding environment is not allow the landfill to
expand and there are lack of suitable site for developing new landfill site. Under
several constraints and quantities of waste production every day, it is required to find
out new solution to solve the problem.
Therefore, this report try to find out the current condition, analyzing the measures,
facilities and policies that adopted in Hong Kong. In addition, this report will discuss
about different technologies and measures about waste management in world.
Through analyzing the current condition in Hong Kong and investigate the feasibility,
our team try to suggest some possible plans that suitable to be operated in Hong
Kong. We hope this project can help to develop a great Hong Kong future and
fulfilling our obligation of sustainable development.

4. Literature Review
From the statistics of Hong Kong government, until 2016, there are over 7.3
million population in Hong Kong. There are about 15 thousand tons of wastes
dumped to landfill every day and the amount of waste production is in an increasing
trend. It is common that the amount of waste increase with the economic growth.
Since 1980s, the amount of MSW has increased by 85%, it is match with the
population growth and economic expansion period in Hong Kong (Blueprint, 2013).
The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) is responsible
for waste management and policy implementation. The strategy
using now is promoting the concept of sustainable use of resources
in five pronged approach, they are: reduction at source, food wise
HK, clean recycling, waste to energy and hygienic landfilling. (EPD,
2013). To promote these five concepts, the EPD put effort in social
campaigns and educate the general public to change people life
style. The overall target of the EPD is reduce the MSW disposal rate
by 40% by 2022. The target also included to change the waste
management structure by increasing recycling ratio to 55% and
reduce the ratio of landfill to 22%. To achieve the target, MSW
charging and Producer Responsibility Schemes (PRS) have
implemented through legislation to encourage reduce waste
production. Besides, the government invested in incinerator and
landfill expansion to cope with landfill saturation problem. (Blueprint,
Other than MSW, food waste is also a large sources of waste in Hong Kong that
cannot be ignored. There are about 40% uneaten food producing 3,500 tons of
unwanted food every day (EPD Food, 2014). Food waste in landfills not only depletes
the space of landfill, it also produces other problem, such as bad odor, generates
greenhouse gases and waste of organic substances. There has great potential to reduce
food waste in Hong Kong (Cohen, 2015). For example, there are organizations
collecting uneaten food from hotels and restaurants and transfer the food to who may
need it in free of charge. But the scale is not large enough to change the current
condition. Another way is composting. Changing the organic matter in food waste and
recycled as fertilizer, which can reduce the burden of landfills.
Besides of landfill, recycling, incineration and composting, the
scientists in world are developing different kinds of technologies for
waste treatment. For example, anaerobic digestion, ethanol production
and mechanical biological treatment are relative advanced and
mature technologies in world, but the feasibility in Hong Kong need
to be investigated.
Indeed, Hong Kong not only faces the problem of landfill
saturation, also public mistrust. For example, although the policy of
waste separation policy was implemented, some people may
wonder the efficiency of the method and the result. Some may even
think it is a politic action rather than a necessity action in Hong
Kong. Also, although there were Environmental Impact Assessments
(EIAs) for the expansions of landfills, public controversy among
residents cannot be stopped (Cohen, 2015). For example, the South
East New Territories Landfill that located in Tseung Kwan O, the
location is closed to residential area and the residents are affected by
the odor for long period.
Therefore, we need to find out a comprehensive and sustainable way to solve the
problem and fulfill the needs of different stakeholders. It is not easy to get consensus
between different parties but we hope to build a better Hong Kong in future through
this project.

Yau, Y (2010). Domestic waste recycling, collective action and

economic incentive: The case in Hong Kong. Waste Management
(30): 2440-2447