Hong Kongers generate about 15,000 tons of waste daily. If this mountain of
waste is disposed of properly, then we have little to worry about.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Litter is strewn all over the country -- in
car parks, empty lots, back lanes, drains, rivers -- practically everywhere. the
sights are all so familiar, the stench is overpowering, yet we display our
indifference. The crux of the problem is
In response to this, the government has begun a recycling campaign
as a long-term measure to ensure the efficient management of waste. Recycling
involves the separating of rubbish -- metal, glass, plastic and paper. the waste
is then taken to collection centers which turn the waste materials into reusable
products. Recycling is an efficient method of reducing waste without polluting
the environment. It also cuts down the use of raw materials and energy required
to produce new products.
Other waste disposal methods come with
attendant risks to health and the
environment. One of the most common methods of waste disposal is landfills where
waste is dumped and left to decompose. While landfills are convenient and cheap,
they release toxic gases. Landfill gas can kill vegetation. Methane, a
greenhouse gas, is released when landfill waste decomposes and this also
contributes to global warming. Besides, decaying waste also attracts pests such
as rats and carrion-eating birds.
materials can be burned in incinerators. When waste in burned, carbon dioxide
and other hazardous air pollutants are released into the atmosphere. Thus,
although this method is a convenient and quick way of getting rid of waste, it
has its disadvantages as well.
Now that we all realize the environmental
degradation that ensues from the country's waste, let us be more responsible
citizens. The more waste we generate, the more we have to dispose of and the
more waste we dispose of, the more money we will have to pay. We have no choice
but to heed the government's call to reduce, reuse and recycle.