The Programme on Source Separation of Domestic Waste was launched in January 2005 to address an urgent environmental problem. Hong Kong's landfills will be full within a few years and we are running out of land to build new ones. We therefore need everyone in the community to help manage waste more sustainably, by reducing, re-using and recycling waste.

The source separation programme seeks to make it as convenient as possible for all of us to participate in waste recovery. It promotes floor-based facilities where residents can conveniently drop off their separated waste. It also broadens the types of recyclables collected significantly so that more materials can be recycled or re-used.

Our targets are ambitious. By 2010, we want 80% of the population to participate in the source separation programme. Through source separation and other measures contained in the "Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014)" , we aim to increase domestic waste recovery rate from 16% in 2005 to 26% by 2012.

The initial results are encouraging. In just two years, we have recruited 497 housing estates against a target of 470 for 2006 and extended the Programme to cover 29% of the population. In 2006, the domestic waste recovery rate has increased to 20%. At the same time, domestic waste loads have also continued to drop, with a decrease of 3% in 2006 when compared to 2005.

This year, we will appoint Ambassadors to the Programme to help attract publicity. Announcements of Public Interest will be broadcast on TV and electronic media. Advertisements will be placed on public transport and in newspapers. Road shows will be organised in various districts. Community groups will be recruited to approach estates and encourage them to join the Programme. Private estates will continue to be supported through the Environment and Conservation Fund. And the Environmental Protection Department will continue to work with the Buildings Department to explore the feasibility of requiring new residential buildings to reserve floor space for refuse storage and materials recovery.

Waste reduction is one of the easiest and most effective ways for all of us to contribute to environmental protection. We need everyone in the community to realise and support this.




Anissa Wong Sean-yee, JP
Permanent Secretary for the Environment /
Director of Environmental Protection