5.1 Achievements

The Programme on Source Separation of Domestic Waste has had a successful start, enrolling 497 housing estates in its first two years against a target of 470. As at end 2006, some two million people or 29% of the population could participate in source separation of domestic waste and recycle a much wider range of recyclables. Most of the estates had recorded impressive increases in waste recovery:

  • Among the housing estates with expanded ground-level waste separation facilities, some 120 of them reported that their waste recovery rates increased by an average 36%, by collecting a wider range of recyclables.
  • Estates that installed waste separation facilities on each floor performed even better V some 70 of them reported an average 54% increase in their waste recovery rates.

  • About 80 participating estates had never done any waste separation and recovery before joining the programme. Some estates installed waste separation facilities on each building floor and others set up waste separation bins on ground floor.

  • The improved recovery of waste helped to reduce the quantity of waste requiring disposal to 3 V 4% overall among the participating housing estates.

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.




Some 1,200 private housing estates and all 160 public housing estates will join by 2010 and by 2012 respectively. In public housing estates, the Programme is co-ordinated by the Housing Department, Hong Kong Housing Authority and Hong Kong Housing Society. All 62 government quarters under the Government Property Agency have now joined the Programme.


* Note:
Based on 70 housing estates that have introduced waste collection on each floor. Prior to joining the Programme, collection facilities were at ground level and accepted only waste paper, aluminium cans and plastic bottles. These estates have also recorded reliable baseline data.

* Note:
Based on 121 housing estates with waste collection facilities on the ground floor. Previously they collected only waste paper, aluminium cans and plastic bottles, and they are now collecting a wider range of recyclables. These estates have also recorded reliable baseline data.


5.2 Constraints

Our goal is to see waste separation facilities set up on each floor of most residential buildings. However, a number of estates have faced difficulties in doing this and only 210 estates are using a floor-based system. The others have installed waste separation facilities at ground floor only. Some of the difficulties encountered included:

  • lack of a refuse room to accommodate waste separation bins on each floor

  • lack of space in refuse rooms to accommodate waste separation bins

  • concern that placing waste separation bins on staircase landings will block means of fire escapes (regular rubbish bins are already placed there)

  • concern that the cost of installing waste separation bins on all building floors is too high


5.3 Technical Support

The Government recognises that property managers and residents need support and guidance in adopting the Programme on Source Separation of Domestic Waste. We have taken several measures to address their concerns and help them overcome any obstacles in joining the Programme.

A "Guidebook on Source Separation of Waste in Residential Buildings" has been published which provides advice on how to practise source separation of domestic waste on each floor of residential buildings. It also explains the building and fire safety regulations related to the Programme.





Discussions have been held with the Fire Services Department (FSD) on how best to accommodate floor-based waste separation facilities. The EPD is now designing a waste separation bin that would meet the FSDs requirements (see "8. The Next Stage").

EPD staff visit housing estates and buildings to answer questions and provide advice on matters such as where to purchase bins, where to locate the bins and where to send recovered recyclables. By the end of 2006 they had made visits to more than 1,100 estates. Many of the estates have either joined the Programme or are making arrangements to do so.

5.4 Funding Support

The Environment and Conservation Fund Committee has allocated $5 million to provide partial support to private housing estates that join the Programme. Successful applicants are subsidised for 50% of the total set-up cost for installing waste separation facilities on each building floor, up to a maximum of $800 per building floor and $250,000 per application.

By the end of 2006, 53 applications had been received and 29 applications had been awarded grants worth a total of $1 million.