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Press Release



World experts discuss new technologies in waste recycling at
Eco Asia Conference


30 October 2013 – Wrapping paper, disposable tableware, leftovers… an enormous amount of municipal waste is produced every day. Environmental protection and waste reduction have become a global issue. With the theme “Waste Management and Recycling”, yesterday’s Eco Asia Conference, held during the 8th Eco Expo Asia, saw participants engaged in a green dialogue exploring new solutions for waste reduction.


Hong Kong produces a per capita 1.27kg of municipal solid waste each day, an amount way higher than that of other cities in the region. The three landfills are close to saturation point, and the city’s waste problem has become imminent. Waste reduction is the most effective solution. Albert Lam, Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Department, said at yesterday’s Eco Asia Conference that compared to Seoul and Taipei, Hong Kong’s waste reduction infrastructure is still inadequate.


Hong Kong Government takes the lead in waste reduction
“To achieve the 60% waste reduction target by 2022, the government will be promoting waste reduction, improving efficiency, and undertaking legislative amendments, etc., including stepping up  recycling and implementing waste charging, to promote waste reduction at source.” Lam remarked that the implementation of food waste recycling is not easy in Hong Kong as restaurants are scattered across the city. The government will be setting up food waste processing stations at different points in Hong Kong to attract more corporations, hotels and restaurants to recycle.


Recycling waste into useful materials is one of the main ways to tackle Hong Kong’s waste problem. Waste management service provider ALBA Asia has developed a technology that turns waste into green coal. The technology is a departure from traditional landfilling and incineration that pollute the environment. The green coal produced can even be used for power generation.


Turning waste into green coal for power generation
Tobias Fabian Huinink, ALBA’s Director of Legal & Business Development – Greater China, said the technology has been in use in Germany since 1997, and has converted some 2,600 tones of waste, provided 15% of Germany’s energy needs, and achieved zero waste in urban areas. The technology is in its third generation and is already very mature, it is safe for the environment and is suitable for places with an enormous amount of waste, such as the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.


Alistair Starkie, Brand Development Director of UK’s waste management service provider Orchid Environmental, added that solid waste can be processed through liquefaction or gasification, and the carbon dioxide, potassium chloride, nitrogen, hydrogen, and ethanol, etc., produced during the process can be used for generating electricity.


Atsushi Okamoto, Managing Director, Overseas Business Sector of JFE Engineering Corporation, considered an integrated approach to waste management using conversion technologies the best solution, “Countries or regions that have a per capita GDP of USD5,000 or above are financially capable of building “waste-to-energy” facilities, these include China, Japan and Singapore, etc.; although the facilities in the Chinese mainland still have room for improvement.”


Okamoto added, “Singapore, a country where land is limited and the population is large, sends 60% of their waste to recycling, 37% to incineration plants, and only the small amount that cannot be incinerated to landfills. For Japan, 68% of their waste is processed through pyrolysis, 20% is recycled and 12% sent to landfills.”


Japan leads the way in extracting raw materials from waste household appliances
For some, there are buried riches in waste. Household appliances such as refrigerators and TVs, contain raw materials like metals, plastics and glass. Corporations such as Panasonic are extracting useful raw materials from recycled household appliances. Panasonic’s Recycling Business Promotion Team Councilor Shigehiko Nakayama remarked that natural resources such as metals are becoming scarce. It takes mining through 300kg of soil for 1kg of copper.


The high cost for mining has inspired Japan to extract raw materials from waste household appliances. The initiative has received wide public support, “Up to July this year, Japan has recycled over 150,000 tones of steel, 24,000 tones of copper and 13,000 tones of aluminum.”


Japanese exhibitor showcases smokeless incinerator
With Pay-As-You-Throw gaining prominence in the discussion on waste charging, more and more corporations and organisations are carrying out their own waste management. Apart from recycling, incineration is another option. Renowned Japanese corporation Chuwa Industrial Co., Ltd.’s subsidiary Chuwastar is best known for its smokeless incineration technology. Its small incinerator F-1S made its debut in Hong Kong at the Eco Expo Asia. The product uses only kerosene as fuel, and emits no toxic gases. It is particularly suitable for hospitals and estate management companies for their processing of medical waste and other mixed waste. The company staged a number of live demonstrations at the expo, showing how the incinerator can incinerate tires and PET plastics without emitting any smoke.


Eco Expo Asia open to the public for free tomorrow
Eco Expo Asia will be open to the general public for free tomorrow. Visitors may purchase various kinds of eco-friendly products at the Green Mart and join public forums and green workshops.  Visitors will also have the chance to experience painting with tree branches, creating an aquaponic system and composting potted plants by food waste – and take part in protecting the environment. Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing Wong will be attending the activity “Dialogue with Secretary for the Environment” and speak to some a thousand secondary school students on how to live a low carbon life. The concurrently run Sports Source Asia will also be open for free admission.


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Albert Lam, Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Department, said at the Eco Asia Conference yesterday that Hong Kong’s waste reduction infrastructure is still behind those of Seoul and Taipei.

Tobias Fabian Huinink, ALBA Asia’s Director of Legal & Business Development – Greater China, said his company’s waste-to-green coal technology is widely used in Germany.

Atsushi Okamoto, Managing Director, Overseas Business Sector of JFE Engineering Corporation, considered an integrated approach to waste management using conversion technologies the best solution.

No seats were untaken at the Eco Asia Conference, at the 8th Eco Expo Asia.

Renowned Japanese corporation Chuwa Industrial Co., Ltd.’s subsidiary Chuwastar debuted its smokeless incinerator F-1S at the expo, and held many live demonstrations on smokeless tyre and PET plastic incineration.


Background information on HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 12 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com.
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