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Discovery Bay sets the standard in environmental sustainability

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When it comes to being committed to sustainability, Discovery Bay leads the way for many communities in Hong Kong. Working together with residents, Discovery Bay Services Management Limited (DBSML) – commonly known as City Management in DB – is dedicated to creating a ‘greener’ way of life by providing a variety of innovative green services, such as DIY recycling information sharing sessions, plant markets and floral workshops. As a result, DB residents enjoy a greener quality of life than they would in many places in Hong Kong.

Green contribution
The Green Lifestyle Committee, established by City Management and whose members include people from its different departments, has conducted an in-depth study to identify solutions to improve DB’s environmental sustainability. Through the study, the committee found that glass bottles made up a high percentage of the refuse and recycling collected in DB. Instead of sending the glass to Tuen Mun to be recycled, the committee identified the alternative solution of processing the glass recycling on site in DB.

With support from Discovery Bay City Owners Committee, City Management purchased a glass processor in 2014, which enables glass to be processed, recycled and reused for upcycling activities all within the local DB community. In addition, this reduces the community’s carbon footprint since the glass is no longer sent away to be recycled.

The DB glass processor
The effectiveness of the DB glass processor in reducing environmental impact can be seen in the 6% reduction of recycling sent for processing in Tuen Mun from 2018 to 2019. The monthly average sent out in 2018 was 8,870 kilogrammes, in 2019 the monthly average was down to 8,321 kilogrammes. To collect the glass for recycling, City Management has provided glass recycling bins at each village. Once the glass recycling has been collected and transported to the recycling site in DB, the glass is put in the crushing machine, where it is turned into fine glass sand. This glass sand is then bagged and made available to DB contractors for construction works and infrastructure projects. The ability to upcycle the recycled glass is important, as recycling succeeds best when the recycled materials can be used to create something more sustainable
and valuable. In the case of City Management’s glass processor, the recycled glass sand has been used for infrastructure maintenance and road paving within DB. City Management has also enlisted 11 designated ‘green contractors’ who are welcome to collect the recycled glass sand free of charge for use in interior renovations of individual
DB flats. City Management is also working on plans to make road ramps, drainage covers and other traffic facilities from tyre waste and the recycled glass sand produced by
the DB glass processor.

[email protected]
To encourage the continued practice of recycling glass in the DB community, City Management has prioritised community education and outreach. In 2018 the Green Lifestyle Committee opened [email protected] as a green education centre, making DB the first residential area in Hong Kong to have its own dedicated space for environmental education.

An unused refuse collection chamber prior to 2018, [email protected] serves to educate future generations of DBers about the importance of environmental protection, while spreading the word on how to make DB greener and more sustainable. [email protected] houses displays of different environmental initiatives already in place in the community, and also acts as a food and glass recycling demonstration and operation centre.

“Credit must be given to DB residents for their support of our many green initiatives,” says a City Management spokesperson. “Residents are our number one concern and we can work with them to build a better community. Our commitment to environmental protection and sustainability in DB will continue long into the future.”

These efforts were recognised on June 8, when City Management was awarded the HSBC Living Business SDGs Awards silver medal for Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production, plus the HSBC Living Business ESG Awards Certificate of Merit.

City Management has developed pioneering waste reduction and recycling practices throughout its operations. Waste collection and separation facilities are in place to encourage residents to recycle glass and plastic bottles, tyres, clothes, books, toys, fluorescenttubes and energy-saving bulbs.

Green bus recycling
The commitment to sustainability and waste reduction doesn’t stop with small-item recycling or even with the DB glass processor – it extends to DB’s entire fleet of buses. Discovery Bay Transportation Services Limited (DBTSL) is highly committed to making a green contribution.

To ensure that all vehicles in the DB bus fleet are functioning properly and meeting the highest emission standards possible, each bus is regularly serviced by DBTSL’s certified maintenance provider. As part of this regular maintenance process, older and damaged engines and mechanical components are replaced. The regular inspection and maintenance process helps reduce metal waste as the inevitable damage to mechanical components can be caught and replaced before causing additional damage to the rest of the vehicle, which if left unchecked, would result in the entire bus having to be replaced, thus generating more waste.

Older buses that are replaced as art of the maintenance schedule are sold to developing countries through dedicated sellers. Alternatively, DBTSL contacts qualified waste recyclers who collect the old buses and process the scrap metal for recycling.

Euro V/VI-standard buses
Reducing the environmental impact of the vehicles in the DB bus fleet is another key concern. For example, DBTSL has recently purchased two new MAN Euro VI double-deck
buses to be added to the DB bus fleet and used on external bus routes serving Tung Chung and Sunny Bay.

The Euro VI emission standard is the highest emission standard in the market. In comparison to the Euro V emission standard, the new Euro VI buses emit almost 80% less Nitric Oxide (NOx) and 50% less Respirable Suspended Particulates (RSP). In high concentrations NOx emissions can cause inflammation of the airways and, together with
RSP emissions, they are central to the formation of fine particles (PM) and ground level ozone, both of which are associated with adverse health effects. In addition to reducing NOx and RSP emissions, Euro VI buses, in comparison to Euro V, emit 50% less PM.

In addition to the two newly purchased MAN Euro VI buses, almost 90% of the vehicles in the DB bus fleet meet either the Euro V or the Euro VI emission standard. This
makes the DB bus fleet one of the greenest and youngest in Hong Kong.

“Along with passenger and pedestrian safety – which is always our highest priority – we’re committed to building a greener community; it’s one of our long-term objectives,” a DBTSL spokesperson concludes.

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