Integrated sustainable waste management in densely populated cities: The case of Hong Kong

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Abstract

There is a need for a more effective strategy in managing municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in Hong Kong, especially food waste, which contributed to 38% of MSW disposed of in landfills. This article aimed to identify the inherent obstacles of waste management in Hong Kong, assess relevant establishments and policies, and recommend integrated sustainable management to address the deficiencies. Emphasis is made on food waste, treating it as a resource rather than a waste. The effectiveness of MSW management strategies adopted by the Hong Kong Government has been reviewed since the 1960s. The four small incinerators used between 1967 and 1994 were phased, with landfilling (via three large landfills), the primary method for disposing of MSW. The ‘Waste to Energy Facilities’ is underway to treat sludge and food waste, but the treatment capacity is limited. A modern incineration facility with a more extensive treatment capacity is needed to reduce the waste volume into ash for disposal into landfills. This should be accompanied by a more integrated MSW resource management strategy. Recommendations are made for managing food waste. (1) Establishing centralized and decentralized facilities with effective food waste reduction and separation. (2) Raising environmental awareness. (3) Food waste should be converted to value-added products rather than regarded as waste. (4) Reactivating local agriculture and aquaculture activities using recycled products (compost, fish feed). (5) Integration into the Great Bay Area for overall integrated region's waste management. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Southern University of Science and Technology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100014
JournalSustainable Horizons
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Citation

Wong, M. H. (2022). Integrated sustainable waste management in densely populated cities: The case of Hong Kong. Sustainable Horizons, 2. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.horiz.2022.100014

Keywords

  • Food waste as a resource
  • Incineration
  • Landfilling
  • Waste recycling
  • Application of value-added products

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