Solid waste at landfills down 2%

The average daily quantity of municipal solid waste (MSW) disposed of at landfills was 11,128 tonnes in 2022, a 2% decrease compared to the previous year, according to a report released by Environmental Protection Department today.


Food waste took up 30% of this disposed waste, followed by waste plastics and waste paper that accounted for 21% and 20% respectively. The percentages are comparable to those in 2021.


The per capita MSW disposal rate per day in 2022 was 1.51kg, down from 1.53kg in the previous year.


The overall MSW recovery rate rose from 31% in 2021 to 32% in 2022, of which the quantity recovered for local recycling was about 420,000 tonnes, an increase of more than 50% compared to 2021, mainly driven by local recycling of plastic recyclables and ferrous metal recyclables.


Regarding construction waste, the quantity of waste generation dropped by 6% to 49,865 tonnes per day on average when compared with 2021, with 92% recovered either through transferring to projects for direct reuse or storing at public fill reception facilities for reuse in the future. The remaining 8% was disposed of at landfills.


Taking into account the disposal of both MSW and construction waste, the average daily quantity of solid waste disposed of at landfills in 2022 was 15,725 tonnes, a slight increase of 1.2% as compared to 2021.


The department said that in addition to the implementation of municipal solid waste charging and the preparation of a bill to regulate disposable plastic tableware and other plastic products from April next year, the Government will launch a host of new initiatives.


A bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council early next year to regulate the proper handling of recyclables in residential buildings, targetted for implementation by end-2024.


Another bill will be introduced in the same year to establish a legislative framework to extend the producer responsibility schemes to gradually cover plastic beverage containers, beverage cartons, electric vehicle batteries, vehicle tyres and lead-acid batteries from 2025 onwards.


There will also be an expansion of the GREEN@COMMUNITY and the development of a recycling stores’ networks in 50 public rental housing estates from the end of 2023, while the installation of smart recycling bins has progressively started in all public rental housing estates to collect food waste, with 2024 as the target date for completion.

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