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Recycle! Reuse! NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

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Now’s the time for all of us to recommit to recycling, ensuring more of our waste stays out of landfill and gets a new lease of life. The EPD’s new pilot scheme on food waste collection can help us with that. Ray Robertson reports

PHOTOS BY Baljit Gidwaniwww.evoqueportraits.com & courtesy of Discovery Bay Services Management Ltd

Over the years, Discovery Bay Services Management Ltd (DBSML), as the manager of Discovery Bay, has made every effort to enable residents to live green. There are communal separation bins at all villages, clearly labelled for glass, plastic, paper and metal, and we can head to the Green [email protected] on Tuesdays to dispose of ‘harder to recycle’ items, such as polyfoam, liquid cartons, rechargeable batteries and energy-saving lightbulbs.

Initiatives like these are boosted by flea markets and beach clean-ups, and green-related workshops supported by the DB landscape team at Community Green Square. Launched in April last year, Community Green Square serves to highlight the natural beauty of DB, while encouraging residents to join together in healthy and eco-friendly outdoor activities.

In view of the intense pressure on landfill sites in Hong Kong, we all need to use less, re-use what we can and, most importantly perhaps, treat our waste like the waste industry sees it – as a resource. Consequently, as we move into 2022, DBSML has stepped up its commitment to food waste handling, boosting the measures already in place in DB by implementing the Environmental Protection Department’s (EPD) new pilot scheme on food waste collection.

“A green lifestyle in DB is established – over the years, we have done a lot to make DB an ecofriendly place to live – and now is the time to focus on food waste handling and reducing waste generation at source,” opens Ernest Lee, Assistant Director of DBSML.

“The EPD’s new pilot scheme on food waste collection takes what we have been doing in DB to another level. It is a responding solution for tackling the huge social challenge – the burden to the landfill sites – that we are facing in Hong Kong. At the same time, it benefits and enables eco-aware residents who want to reduce the amount of waste they generate.”

COMMUNITY-GREEN RECYCLING SPOT AT GREEN ICON@DB NEAR PARKRIDGE VILLAGE
COMMUNITY-GREEN RECYCLING SPOT AT GREEN [email protected] NEAR PARKRIDGE VILLAGE

NEW PILOT SCHEME
The new pilot scheme, in place since December 1, 2021 expands the scope of food waste collection in DB, and all residential units have been invited to participate. Interest from residents has been keen.

“Over 1,000 households were enrolled in the scheme as of the end of November, and the number of participants is increasing. DBSML has received an overwhelming response from residents,” says Ernest. “Auberge Discovery Bay Hong Kong, Discovery Bay Recreation Club and Fusion are now also participating.”

With the support of City Owners’ Committee (COC), 54 designated purple bins for collecting domestic food waste have been placed in 17 villages in DB. The aim is to have 1,000 kilogrammes of food waste collected per day.

“The City Owners’ Committee unanimously supports the new pilot scheme on food waste collection,” says Baby Hefti, Chairlady of the COC’s Environmental Protection Sub-Committee. “Most DB residents are very keen on reducing and recycling with an aim to alleviate the adverse impact on the environment. The food waste collection scheme is helping to relieve the pressure on landfill sites across Hong Kong. By participating in the scheme, parents can teach their children that we should handle our own food waste in an eco-way.”

A series of training sessions including how to source separate recyclable food waste were provided by the EPD prior to the commencement of the scheme.

The food waste collection bins are leak-proof, impervious to moisture and fitted with lids that close tightly and securely. Residents are tasked with keeping the collection points in each village clean and tidy, and disposing of their food waste properly.

The EPD collects domestic food waste on a daily basis from DB and transports it to O•PARK1 in Siu Ho Wan (Hong Kong’s first organic resources recovery centre) for recycling.

“DB is one of the pioneer properties to join this pilot scheme rolled out by the EPD to help progressively tackle the challenge of domestic food waste recycling,” Cary Wan, Senior Environmental Protection Officer of EPD says. “The EPD appreciates the support from Hong Kong Resort Company Ltd, DBSML, the COC and participating residents and merchants, and will facilitate the early achievement of the 1 tonne per day target.”

THINK BEFORE YOU TRASH
DB’s existing food waste collection drives will work in tandem with the new EPD pilot scheme. DBSML introduced its first Food Waste Collection Programme almost a decade ago, in 2012, to enable residents to dispose of their domestic food waste more productively.

“Under the original programme, food waste collected by residents is transformed into fertiliser, which the DB landscape team uses for composting,” says Ernest. “This initiative is a powerful example of what can be achieved if our community works together to recycle, repurpose and reuse. The new pilot scheme on food waste collection will further propagate the concept of sustainable development in DB.”

In addition, DBSML is already well ahead of the curve with regard to the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Charging Scheme, which is expected to be fully implemented in Hong Kong in March 2023. In line with the ‘polluter-pays’ principle, charges will be based on the quantity of waste generated by each household. The idea is that as people become more aware that waste disposal comes with a cost, they will work harder to reduce and recycle.

“DBSML launched a trial on the MSW Charging Scheme at Siena 2 and Headland Village in August 2021,” says Ernest. “Under the trial, participating residents are not required to pay but they can experience how the scheme operates and predict how much they will need to pay when it is in place.”

One thing’s for sure, there are numerous ways all of us can live greener, as long as we are prepared to make the effort. Our actions on a daily basis have the potential to positively impact our environment. In 2022, why not recommit to boosting your existing recycling regime by committing to the new pilot scheme on food waste collection?

NEW PILOT SCHEME ON FOOD WASTE COLLECTION KNOW MORE & ENROL NOW – HERE

SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS TREE-MAKING
WORKSHOP AT COMMUNITY GREEN SQUARE
SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS TREE-MAKING WORKSHOP AT COMMUNITY GREEN SQUARE
SUNDAY MARKET GREEN BOOTH HOSTED BY THE DB LANDSCAPE TEAM
SUNDAY MARKET GREEN BOOTH HOSTED BY THE DB LANDSCAPE TEAM
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