4-steps to Set Up a Successful Waste Separation and Recovery Programme

Step 1 - Understand the Waste Recovery System in H.K.



Nearly 1.54 million tonnes of recyclables were recovered from the municipal waste stream in 1997. Waste recovery has been achieved mainly in the following ways :

  1. waste generators (mainly industrial) separate recyclables from their waste and sell the recovered materials directly to scrap traders/recyclers;
  2. "scavengers" and cleansing staff separate valuable materials from the mixed waste stream and sell the recovered materials to scrap traders for further processing;
  3. organisations such as schools, housing estates, government departments, community bodies, etc. organise, for environmental protection purpose, their own waste recovery schemes and sell/give the recovered materials to scavengers or scrap traders.

Step 2 - Identify Your Valuable Waste Components



As waste recovery in Hong Kong is market driven, the availability of market for any waste to be recovered in your programme would be an important factor affecting the successfulness of your programme. It is advisable for you to have a look at the waste stream first and identify the valuable waste components. You can make use of Appendix I to prepare a list of potentially marketable recyclables and record the estimated quantities. The common recyclables in our refuse include paper, plastic, ferrous metal, non-ferrous metal and glass bottle.

Step 3 - Acquire an Outlet for Your Recyclables



To confirm if there would be an outlet for the recyclables to be recovered in your programme and to finalise the list of recyclables to be recovered, you can contact the following potential "buyer" of your recyclables :

1.Scrap Trade and Recyclers (suitable for large scale programme)


List of scrap traders (recyclable collectors) and recyclers are available from EPD through the telephone hotline of 2838 3111. Collection service might be provided by these collectors depending on the quantity of recyclables and location. A procedural checklist is attached in Appendix II for you to record the requirements of and services provided by different collectors.

2.Cleansing Agent (suitable for smaller scale programme)


The profit obtained by selling the recyclables to scrap traders/recyclers sometimes creates an incentive for the cleansing staff to collect even a small quantity of recyclables. You can thus liaise with your janitor to see if he/she is interested in the recovering the recyclables. For larger scale programmes covering a whole building or estate, it is possible to involve the cleansing contractor of that building or estate.

Step 4 - Draw up Your Implementation Programme


After securing a recyclable outlet for your programme and finalising the list of recyclables to be recovered, you need to draw up an implementation programme for your waste recovery initiative. Sufficient and continuous commitment from both the organiser and the participants, clear instructions on waste separation procedures, continuous monitoring and review on the achievements of the programme are among the essential elements for a successful waste recovery programme. More detailed illustration of the essential elements of such an implementation programme can be found in "Appendix III. Please contact EPD's Hotline Service at 2838 3111 for enquiry or if you need further help.


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