It's Official: Hong Kong Is Now 'The Most Wasteful Place On Earth'

Hong Kong now leads the world in per capita production of trash.

A dubious honour indeed, and that's according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report released earlier this week.* 

To celebrate the fact, I visited the Tseung Kwan O landfill. I gained access by finding a hole in the fence that runs alongside the adjacent Clear Water Bay Country Park.

Apparently, last year each Hong Kong resident produced, on average, 921 kilos of trash. That makes up a grand total of 6.45 million tonnes of trash for Hong Kong as a whole.

The OECD report said that this makes Hong Kong the most wasteful city in the world.

Compared to other industrialized nations, the city has very limited recycling options, and Hong Kong's last incinerator was shut down in 1997.

During my visit I saw a constant stream of trucks arriving one after the other to dump what looked like contrsuction waste, which I think is illegal. I would have loved to have got a bit closer, but since I didn't have permission from the EPD to be there, I had to stay at a distance - close to my bolt hole back into the Country Park!

Not wanting to go all the way round, I think the hole must be used by landfill workers as a short cut to the scenic Tai O Mun Road in Clearwater Bay.

* Unfortunately I couldn't actually link to the OECD report, as it seems the OECD website is down, at least for now.

ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA PHOTOGRAPHER

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