Community Green Station

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In his 2014 Policy Address, the Chief Executive mentioned setting up community green stations in each of Hong Kong’s 18 districts and providing funding to non-profit-making organisations for their operation. How much do you know about this new initiative?

I know that the purpose of developing Community Green Stations is to make green living a part of everyday life, promoting environmental protection through education, while helping the communities in collecting recyclables. By this, we will nurture a “Use Less, Waste Less” culture in Hong Kong. We’ll introduce this new initiative of Community Green Stations in detail through this video.

We must cherish the limited resources on Planet Earth. Therefore, we shall try our best to reuse and recycle any waste we generate or even turn it into energy so as to minimise disposal and landfilling. And this is what “Use Less, Waste Less” is about. Focusing on sustainable development is now the international trend. Sustainable development planning will assure that we can continue to enjoy life without compromising the rights of our future generations in using natural resources.

Some of our developed neighbouring cities, such as Taipei and Seoul, have been taking the lead in their environmental protection works. They’ve succeeded in establishing green communities and made environmental protection part of their citizens’ everyday lives. Hong Kong can do the same. As a matter of fact, we need to do the same.

We always talk about the four steps of recycling. They are source separation, effective collection, proper treatment and proper recycling. They’re all interconnected and formed a complete cycle in achieving a sustainable economy whereby waste can be turned into resources. Effective collection has always come with difficulty. As the logistics costs are high, local recyclers tend to focus on collecting materials with higher economic values.

True. We mainly collect materials that are of higher value, such as paper, metals and plastics. While computers, electrical appliances, compact fluorescent lamps and glass can be recycled too. In Hong Kong, this is currently only possible through the recycling programme supported by the Government. We recyclers won’t be able to collect by ourselves.

This is why the government is developing the Community Green Stations. By providing funding for their operations, the Green Stations will have the resources to arrange designated collection vehicles to collect the less valuable materials from the local community. More citizens can then participate in recycling and they can be assured that all collected materials are sent to appropriate facilities for proper treatment and recycling without having to worry about where they might end up.

I don’t think logistical support alone will be enough. We have also arranged our own recycling programmes here.

But not all residents are joining the activities. I know they have many questions, like what kinds of materials are recyclable, and where they need to be taken.

How to recycle clean? What is recycling? Will the collected materials end up in the landfills? We want to help protecting the environment, but don’t know where to start.

All these doubts are valid. As such, the Community Green Station’s priority task is to address to these questions and to educate the community on waste reduction, recycling and green living through organizing educational activities, exhibitions and seminars to citizens, school and community organisations. With more information and public education, all can participate in reducing waste and recycling and play a vital part in saving the planet by real practice. With more people practising recycling the demand for logistics support for proper collection of recyclables will increase. The collection vehicles will be there to assist.

I am still concerned about having a refuse collection point so close to my home. Would that cause hygiene problems?

Let me clarify, the Community Green Station is, in no way whatsoever, a refuse collection point. All materials collected must be clean and are only stored temporarily if needed. The collected materials will be dispatched for treatment and recycling at proper facilities once a sufficient volume is reached, and won’t be kept for a prolonged period, and certainly there won’t be any on site dismantling. As long as it’s managed effectively and that everyone supports clean recycling, there won’t be any hygiene problems.

All Community Green Stations will be a green building and each will have its own design and with green features. The designs would be like this – unique, clean and green. There is no way that it is a refuse collection point at all!

Now, let’s hear what others are saying.

I support it fully! In order to protect the environment, we need both the knowledge and real action. Community Green Stations are helpful in both aspects. They can assist us with recycling, as well as teach residents in adopting a green lifestyle. They’ll definitely complement the government’s other waste reduction policies. It is of utmost importance to explain everything to the citizens clearly, so as to dispel any worries they may have.

It would be great if someone can teach me and my family on how to live greener. It also relieves my worry that the recyclables I collected won’t end up in the landfill. With such a green and pleasant environment, I am sure that my family will likely spend many of our weekends here. What’s not to like?

I’m in full support! Although the Community Green Stations would not overlap with what we are doing if they can help create a green society where everyone knows how to practice source separation and clean recycling, it’ll definitely benefit the development of the recycling industry as well.

We hope that this introduction has given you a better understanding on the Community Green Station initiative.

With your support, the Community Green Stations can be established in each district sooner. When the time comes, everyone will be able to help creating a greener society, starting from practicing source separation and turn waste into resources. With environmental protection being part of our daily lives and values, we can create a greener Hong Kong!