news broke, Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035, Recycling Fund, waste blueprint, website, municipal solid waste charging scheme, re-establishing trust

Hong Kong’s recycling industry is not known for its efficiency. But when news broke last year that plastic collected for recycling was ending up in landfills instead, it was another much-needed reminder that the local recycling industry needs to be better supported.

An industry revamp is pertinent, especially if the government is to actualise its vision of “Waste Reduction, Resources Circulation, Zero Landfill”, outlined in the Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035.

From the dialogues that we at GREEN Hospitality have had with our hospitality and food and drink partners, we know that businesses and solution providers see the moral obligation and business case for a better recycling industry. The problem for some NGOs or social businesses is that they fail to expand the scale of their science-based, proven solutions due to insufficient funds.

But government funding exists in plenty. The Recycling Fund was launched in 2015 with a budget of HK$1 billion (US$129 million) and a mission to enhance operational efficiency and support the sustainable development of the recycling industry.

By the time this year’s waste blueprint went to print, about HK$600 million has been approved to support recycling projects and equipment procurement, benefiting 1,000 recycling enterprises, not to mention the additional subsidies for one-off Covid-19 relief.

So what is the problem here? While lists of funded projects are accessible on the Recycling Fund’s website, there is a lack of information regarding the fund recipients, for example, the company type, legal entity or business registration number.

Whereas project descriptions are provided, timelines for targets and goals are absent. For example, in the list of approved projects under the Industry Support Programme, a simple table was created with these categories: successful applicants, project summary, approximate approved amount, type of recyclables, and target quantity processed in tonnes. The last two categories are meaningless as goal-setting metrics for proposals on developing training materials for practitioners in the recycling industry, for instance.

Without clear key performance indicators, it is difficult to see what the Recycling Fund aims to achieve under its different funding programmes.

And while fund recipients are required to submit progress reports and annual audited accounts, such progress reports are not made publicly accessible to show project outcomes. Such transparency is crucial to improving the recycling industry. Innovators and entrepreneurs need to know the gaps that need to be filled to change the system for good.

For the lengthy scrutiny that applicants are put through to justify their funding needs, government funding bodies should at least have a methodical and meticulous measurement of project assessment and outcomes as well as funding effectiveness, which should then be made publicly accessible.

But really, the time to streamline and simplify funding application processes is long overdue. When we need solution-driven people to help us innovate for a better system, funding and other in-kind support needs to be compatible with their pace of development.

Case in point: Harold Yip Man-ki, founder of pulp mill Mil Mil, first had the idea of creating a circular economy for the waste paper industry in Hong Kong back in 2009, but he was only able to realise his vision 10 years later.

To be clear, there are good initiatives by the government such as the municipal solid waste charging scheme, based on the “polluter pays” principle, and the various producer responsibility schemes. And the Environmental and Conservation Fund is supporting waste separation projects to pave the way for the waste charging scheme. But here again, more transparency on the goals, details, effectiveness and outcomes, and potential scalability of these schemes and projects is critical in engaging the public and businesses.

Take the producer responsibility scheme on plastic drink containers, for example. If the government were to oversee the operation of the rebate system, would an external auditor be engaged to ensure proper enforcement? Who would be engaged as designated recyclers and what criteria would they need to fulfil? How can small retailers with limited space provide in-store take-back and rebate redemption services?

Transparency, accountability, and the communication of it all goes a long way towards re-establishing trust in the recycling system. Only by enabling stakeholders in society and the business sector to be well-informed on what works and what does not can the government drive change in the recycling industry.

Systemic change cannot happen when stakeholders in society are ill-informed. What struck us as unconscionable, when we were researching our reports on solid waste generation in East Asia, was the lack of recent and relevant data on waste generated by the hospitality and tourism industry in Hong Kong. Without a clear idea of the magnitude of the problem, well-intentioned efforts can be rendered futile.

There are non-governmental organisations and social businesses already doing the groundwork of measuring waste to create a baseline for further research on improving the waste management and recycling industries.

The government should take the lead in removing the hurdles for innovators and entrepreneurs, and invest its funds wisely in solution providers who are promoting knowledge exchange and developing viable solutions to accelerate sustainability efforts in Hong Kong.

TC Li is the head of thought leadership at GREEN Hospitality and communications manager at Foundation for Shared Impact


Japan travel news, japan travel guides, japan holiday destinations and japan reviews

LATEST NEWS

NEWS RELATED

Creditors can’t sue AirAsia X for another 9 months, says Malaysia court

Macau Photo Agency / Unsplash The Malaysian high court has granted AirAsia X Bhd a nine-month extension on a restraining order which prevents creditors from filing any legal proceedings against it, the airline said in a stock exchange filing. The filing on Thursday said the extension runs nine months from…

Read more: Creditors can’t sue AirAsia X for another 9 months, says Malaysia court

IBM finalises Turbonomic acquisition

IBM has closed its acquisition of Turbonomic, a developer of application resource management and network performance management software, and is preparing to combine it with other IBM technologies to provide clients with application-centric AIOps, or artificial intelligence for IT operations, offerings. IBM did not disclose the cost of the acquisition.…

Read more: IBM finalises Turbonomic acquisition

Macquarie Telecom opens new high security Canberra data centre

Macquarie Telecom has officially opened its new high security data centre in Canberra, Intellicentre 5 Bunker (IC5). The facility aims to support Australia’s data sovereignty and national cybersecurity, as well as digital skills development. It has a number of physical, virtual security and compliance credentials to manage highly classified government…

Read more: Macquarie Telecom opens new high security Canberra data centre

Sydney MSSP Nueva Solutions scores international deal with Anytime Fitness Asia

Sydney-based MSSP Nueva Solutions has landed a deal with Anytime Fitness Asia to provide email and endpoint security as a managed service. Nueva co-founders and directors Ferdinand Tadiaman and Cameron Cumming told CRN in an interview that Inspire Brands Asia found its newly acquired Anytime Fitness premises across nine countries…

Read more: Sydney MSSP Nueva Solutions scores international deal with Anytime Fitness Asia

Hong Kong market rises as tech stocks rally, after White House signals Biden-Xi talks

Hong Kong stocks rose on Friday for the second day this week buoyed by technology shares tracking rallies on Wall Street, after the White House signalled direct talks between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping were on the cards. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.6 per cent…

Read more: Hong Kong market rises as tech stocks rally, after White House signals Biden-Xi talks

Perth telco Pentanet raises $20 million to expand 5G network, cloud gaming infrastructure

Perth-based telco Pentanet has announced it has completed a placement for $20 million to fund its expansions of its cloud gaming and telecommunications infrastructure rollouts. The placement comes following the company’s acquisition of 5G spectrum for its fixed wireless network and a partnership with Nvidia to bring its GeForce Now…

Read more: Perth telco Pentanet raises $20 million to expand 5G network, cloud gaming infrastructure

BHP signs agreements with AWS, Azure

Mining giant BHP has signed long-term agreements with cloud leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. The company said the cloud technology would help improve safety, productivity, and reliability across its globally operated assets. AWS will power BHP’s digital transformation efforts by providing capabilities in data analytics and machine learning…

Read more: BHP signs agreements with AWS, Azure

Chinese pork giant WH Group fires chairman’s son from board over aggressive behaviour

WH Group, the world’s biggest pork producer, has removed the chairman’s son from the board and terminated his employment, citing his aggressive behaviour against the company. Wan Hongjian, 52, son of the chairman and CEO Wan Long, 80, was stripped on Thursday of his roles as executive director, deputy chairman…

Read more: Chinese pork giant WH Group fires chairman’s son from board over aggressive behaviour

How One Artist Turned Food Packaging To Art: An Endeavour By Bita Mokhtar Masoumi

Benefits That Cryptocurrencies Can Offer Sports Fans

Chinese retail investors reminded about embracing value investing by ‘Millionaire Yang,’ ex-factory worker lionised by Beijing

Goldman Sachs Report Labels Bitcoin as an Investable Asset – Can It Spur Confidence?

Hong Kong’s overly cautious coronavirus policymakers must seek to drown out the ‘noise’

Dell Apex can be 50 percent ‘less expensive’ vs. AWS, public clouds

Microsoft Teams unleashes new hybrid work features

Virgin, Westpac, ANZ, CommBank hit by widespread net outages

OTHER NEWS