(idea from Keen, posted here at his request): Is Government paying millions to have waste tyres create pollution and fire hazards? I would like to hear comments on the use of waste tyres to form artificial reefs for recreational fishing and water sports. We live in a high tension city and also have a rapidly ageing population. Recreational fishing, outdoor activities including water sports are getting more and more popular. We also have many waste tyres which I know can be, and have been, reused to form biofilters that serve as artificial reefs to attract fish along our coast. Could this be a Sustainable Tourism product? If so, can we ask EPD to consider the option of reusing HK’s waste tyres? I am prompted to pose the question first of all due to my interest in Sustainable Tourism, and also because of an incident reported in the local magazines “NEXT”. Apparently, over the past 16 months, EDP paid HK$4million to a private company operated by a university professor to turn 4,000 tons of HK’s waste tyres into marketable products so as not to over burden existing landfills. Up to the end of Sept, the company managed only to process about 8% of the lot. The remaining waste tyres were stockpiling in Yuen Long breeding mosquitoes and generally posing other health and fire hazards. This is a time when Dengue fever was deemed a chronic public health problem in the district. After the matter was exposed by the magazine, the company proceeded to dump the waste tyres indiscriminately in various government lands in Yuen Long, some of which were grounded or turned into scraps. The problem is therefore accentuated by the spread and especially near residential areas. The larger dumpsites are some 30m x 20m and 2m high, such as one near Tin Sam Village on Castle Peak Road. That dump caught fire on 23 Oct which was not fully extinguished, emitting toxic gas for some 10 days. According to the news report, EPD is renewing or extending the contract to the same company subsequently. One may question: • Why is such a disposal technology and unproven product adopted by EPD? • Who gave the company right to dump the waste tyre scraps in various government lands? • What remedial actions have Government taken to rectify the problem? • Is the $4million public money well-spent on this project, or could it be better spent on creating more artificial coral reefs and benefiting sustainable-tourism? • Has the Government (EPD) considered other ways of disposing future waste tyres still being delivered to the company? The question remain, can we not make use of waste tyres to form artificial reefs at some quiet beautiful bays that can be used for water sports and recreational fishing. Keen from another email from Keen: I understand that ARs base on waste tyres have been used and proven successful at Hoi Ha Marine Park and the AFCD has plans to use the same to mitigate damaged seabed a various locations. If there is adequate interest from the HK Forum, I intend to get someone to study the present waste tyres issue.