22 March 2014 at 2:18 pm #7407
Presentation I gave to to Legco Panel on Env Affairs today, re incinerator and landfill extensions:
It’s over three years since I became involved in opposing the Shek Kwu Chau incinerator.
First because of the location being beautiful and home to wildlife including endangered finless porpoises.
But over time, opposing incineration anywhere in Hong Kong because of the poison emissions, toxic ash, expense, and sheer wastefulness.
There has been considerable disinformation.
For instance, the EPD claimed incineration will destroy all organic pollutants. This is not true.
I once asked Elvis Au, why not put the incinerator in Central?
He said no, the air quality objectives would be exceeded.
Our environmental officials make no mention of research revealing health issues with modern incinerators, like cancers, premature births, children with stunted growth.
Chemicals cleaned from the chimney – including dioxins and heavy metals – will go into the ash. Ideas for dumping this in a landfill island would create a toxic time bomb for future generations.
People have suggested alternatives to incineration and expanding landfills.
For each, the EPD comes up with supposed failings.
There are widespread moves towards Zero Waste to landfills or incineration.
Why not in Hong Kong?
Plasma arc gasification has almost no emissions, no toxic ash, and can be used to produce jet fuel, and mine landfills. I helped with and fully support the plan from the New Territories Concern Group.
Air Products has invested over US$1 billion in the technology, and just completed a major facility in England.
Oddly, the Environmental Bureau is more interested in an incinerator with a ski slope that won’t even be ready for 3 years.
Food waste treatment is worthwhile, too.
But the north Lantau plant will supposedly cost an enormous HK$1.5 billion; eight a similar sized plant in the UK!
Panel members may ask: where will the excess HK$1.3 billion go?
It does seem that the main supporters of the government’s plan including the Big Crazy Bonfire are those who are benefiting and will benefit financially.
With construction costs, and landfill extensions and so forth, measures discussed here today look set to cost over HK$40 billion.
This is an outrageous figure.
But hopefully, panel members will again reject the government’s appalling waste plans.
In making your decision regarding the waste plans, please avoid being swayed by scaremongering about waste piling up on the streets.
Instead, note that alternative plans can be implemented more quickly and far more cheaply than the incinerator plus landfill expansions.
With a can-do attitude, coupled with science and wisdom, we can make Hong Kong a role model for waste treatment and environmental protection.
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