Advisory Council on the Environment


Progress Report of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Flytipping Control (March 2000)

(ACE Paper 08/2000)
For information

Working Group on Flytipping Control (March 2000)


Following the winding up of a special inter-departmental task force set up under the auspices of Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to deal with a number of serious cases of indiscriminate and unregulated dumping of waste in the north-west New Territories, the then Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands directed that Task Force (Black Spots) of Lands Department (Lands D) should be responsible for maintaining the momentum which had already been achieved and co-ordinating Government efforts towards quicker and more effective responses to such problems.

2.The Terms of Reference for the Inter-departmental Working Group on Flytipping Control (IWG) are: -

(i) To co-ordinate the efforts of relevant Government departments towards the cleaning-up of illegal dumping of waste and to determine responsibility, where necessary, for specific clean-up operations.
(ii) To monitor and co-ordinate the progress of the enforcement actions of relevant Government departments against cases of illegal dumping and provide support when necessary.
(iii) To consider initiatives, including legislative measures, aimed at preventing and controlling illegal dumping activities and recommend implementation where appropriate.

3.A total of thirteen Interdepartmental Working Group meetings have been held since August 1998. In accordance with the suggestion of ACE at the meeting on 30.3.99, the Director of Housing was invited and thereafter accepted the invitation to be represented. Departments currently represented are Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD), Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), Housing Department (HD), Lands D and Planning Department (Plan D).

II. Main Achievements of the IWG during 1999/2000

a) Central Database on Flytipping Sites

Data relating to flytipping sites identified by EPD, FEHD, Plan D and Lands D has been input and the database is now being utilised to monitor and ensure efficient clearance of the sites. Problem locations where repeated dumping or non-clearance are identified for special action. This can take the form of dumping prevention work (see para.e) or a specific waste clearance project (see para.d(iv)).

According to the database, a total of 461 dumping sites have been cleared by the relevant departments since January 1998 with action currently being taken at another 120 dumping sites. Another 73 dumping sites are under investigation and appropriate enforcement/cleaning up action will be initiated soon.

b) Prosecution of Flytipping/Littering Offenders

In accordance with the suggestion of ACE on 30.3.99, the statistics indicated at Appendix A have been collected from relevant departments.

The IWG at its meeting on 6.8.99 urged the relevant departments to consider increasing the maximum penalties of the offences.

c) Strengthening of Efforts by District Lands Offices (DLOs)

Following consultation with Lands D/HQ, DLOs have been instructed to strengthen patrolling in parallel with enforcement action taken by other departments. Since the introduction of the Central Database in September 1998, 162 cases have been identified and 137 of them were already cleared.

d) Special Waste Clearance Projects

(i) Clearance of the major waste dumping sites at Sheung Pak Nai/Ngau Hom Shek was completed in April 1999.
(ii) A joint project involving Lands D and FEHD to clean up dumping on 242 sites on Government Land in the New Territories is nearing completion.
(ii) A further joint project involving Lands D and FEHD to clean up 204 tree waste sites and Urban Area dumping sites is also nearing completion.
(iv) Further special clearance projects are being sought and two sites in Sai Kung District used for dumping several years ago and were now overgrown are being investigated for clearance.

e) Dumping Prevention Works

Task Force (Black Spots) has undertaken preventative landscaping on 31 illegal dumping black spot sites in the Tuen Mun and Yuen Long Districts. Subject to availability of funds further sites will be given similar treatment in 2000/2001. In addition to preventing illegal occupation and opportunistic illegal dumping, local residents will be able to enjoy an improved environment.

(f) Trip-ticket System for Disposal of Construction and Demolition Material

In February 1999, Works Bureau promulgated the policy which took effect on 1 July 1999, to implement a trip-ticket system (documentary evidence) in Public Works Programme contracts for the proper disposal of constructions and demolition materials at public filling facilities or landfills. Housing Department have now agreed to apply this requirement to all of their future contracts.

IWG fully supports applying this system to all private sector and non-PWP contracts. The relevant Bureau has indicated support to the introduction of this requirement (probably by legislative amendment) and is currently giving consideration to implementation details.

g) Disposal of Waste Tyres

A paper outlining the problems and some possible improvements relating to proper disposal of waste rubber tyres prepared by Task Force (Black Spots) was discussed at IWG. EPD and FEHD have agreed to look into some of the proposals.

h) Extension of Opening Hours for Public Filling Areas and Public Barging Points

Following a request from the IWG, Civil Engineering Department extended the opening hours for PFAs and PBPs from 8:00 a.m.to 8:00 p.m.to 8:00 a.m.to 9:00 p.m.in May 1999.

This was done in an attempt to reduce the number of flytipping incidents resulting from drivers leaving construction sites in the evening and being unable to dispose of fill material at a properly designed site before the closing time. This arrangement should also help to reduce the amount of inert construction and demolition wastes being transported to landfills for disposal.

i) Earth Filling

The problem of earth filling on private land which is destructive to the environment but does not constitute development or is not in breach of lease conditions has been discussed recently in the light of the situation at Sham Chung Wan where a small golf course has been constructed.

Whilst appreciating that earthfilling is a difficult and sensitive subject, the IWG has recently suggested that the following be considered to improve the general situation in the future:-

(i) AFCD to consider a review of the areas proposed to be designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and if appropriate to speed up their designation.
(ii) Plan D to speed up the gazetting of Development Permission Area (DPA) Plans to cover the other proposed areas in order to afford some control over the future intended use of the filled areas. Such DPA Plans should cover all SSSIs and other areas of environmental and ecological importance.

j) Other Matters

Other matters discussed/actioned in 1999/2000 include:-

(i) Recirculation of EPD guidelines relating to clearance of dumping of chemical wastes;
(ii) Prosecution action/evidence gathering;
(iii) Distinction of responsibility between FEHD and Lands D regarding clearance of waste on Government Land; and
(iv) Specific Dumping Cases.

III.The Future/Feed-back

The work of the IWG is ongoing and it continues to look for new subjects which it can consider with a view to making improvements.

The IWG welcomes ideas, feed-back and suggestions from all sources.

Task Force (Black Spots)
Lands Department
March 2000



An Outline of Progress with the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme

The Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme was conceived in the 1980's as a means of replacing the present unacceptable discharges of sewage from the main urban area into the central harbour after receiving preliminary treatment by:

  • Collection of all discharges from the main urban areas
  • Centralized treatment
  • Discharge of the treated effluent through an outfall in oceanic waters south of Hong Kong

2.As originally projected, the scheme was to consist of two treatment plants, providing primary treatment supplemented with lime dosing.Several means for conveying the sewage from the catchment areas to the treatment plants and to the outfall were considered.Deep tunnels were selected because the greater geotechnical problems in construction were considered to be offset by reduced engineering complexity, reduced operational risks and reduced interference with other urban infrastructure.

3.The scheme was divided into four stages:

  • Stage I collecting sewage from the urban areas of Kowloon, Tsuen Wan, Tseung Kwan O and the northeastern part of Hong Kong Island for primary treatment at Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works (SCISTW).
  • Stage II comprising an effluent transfer system to an outfall south of Hong Kong.
  • Stage III/IV collecting sewage from the north and south-western parts of Hong Kong for treatment at Mount Davies before adding to the oceanic outfall.

4.Following review in 1995, the scheme was revised:

  • The treatment system at SCISTW to be upgraded to a chemical process using ferric chloride
  • Stages III/IV to be diverted to convey the sewage to SCISTW
  • Stage II to undergo further EIA assessment of the outfall location and treatment level

Present Position

5.Stage I of SSDS comprises a treatment plant at Stonecutter's Island, pumping and screening stations and seven deep tunnels with a total length of 25.3 km.One tunnel, the interim outfall tunnel, 1.7 km in length, has already been completed and is now in operation.The SCISTW is also in operation and is currently treating about 320,000 cubic metres of sewage daily. This represents 25% of the total design flow from the whole SSDS Stage I catchment. Since the SCISTW was put into operation in May 1997, the performance of the chemical treatment process using ferric chloride is satisfactory. Over 80% suspended solids and 70% biochemical oxygen demand on average are removed from the raw sewage against the respective target removal rate of 75% and 35%.

6.To date, 19.4 km (82%) of the six sewage collection tunnels have been excavated. Two tunnels have been bored through and are being lined.We expect to complete excavation of the remaining 4.2 km during this year and to commission the whole sewage collection system in 2001.The progress of the tunnelling works as at 19 March 2000 is as follows:

Tunnel Length of Tunnel(m) Excavation completed up to end 12/1999 Excavation completed in this quarter Total Excavation completed to 19.3.2000
Western Tunnels
Tunnel from Kwai Chung to Tsing Yi 779 779 (100%) N/A 779 (100 %)
Tunnel from Tsing Yi to Stonecutters Island 3580 2669 (75%) 82 (2%) 2751 (77%)
Eastern Tunnels
Tunnel from Tseung Kwan O to Kwun Tong 5332 5332 (100%) N/A 5332 (100%)
Tunnel from Chai Wan to Kwun Tong 4830 2662 (55%) 745 (16%) 3407 (71%)
Tunnel from Kwun Tong to To Kwa Wan 3572 2536 (71%) 763 (21%) 3299 (92%)
Tunnel from To Kwa Wan to Stonecutters Island 5495 2857 (52%) 939 (17%) 3796 (69%)

The tunneling progress as at 19 March 2000 is shown on the attached drawing No.DSS/99/001R.

7.The EIA study for Stage II has been completed. It has recommended that the outfall be located in the southeast of Lamma Island, and that the treatment process should be further upgraded.A disinfection process should be added at the time of constructing the Stage II tunnels and land reserved should biological nutrient removal processes need to be added in future.





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Friday, 28 April, 2006