Landfill situation in Hong Kong
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Landfill is a main way of waste management in Hong Kong, but it may not be a sustainable way to solve or relieve the garbage problem. Moreover, landfill also will eventually saturate. It’s an urgent problem to stakeholders. In fact, an annual average of more than one million tons of wastes are produced in Hong Kong. Landfill is not the only way the government can plan for waste disposal. Building an incinerator to relieve the refuse pressure is also viable. In fact, a lot of waste is dumped without being classified, recovered and recycled. How is the situation affecting people? Actually, people’s environmental awareness is not high enough. Even the general public know that the landfill is going to reach saturation, community pollution problems and odor problems are existing, and they are still not doing enough to help to solve the problem. The life of landfills is limited. They may last for 10 years. Hong Kong’s all landfills will be saturated soon (Environmental Protection Department, 2013). Recently the government has planned to expand the landfills in Tuen Mun and Ta Ku Ling. But when the government expand a landfill, it means that the local citizens need to endure the refuse collection vehicles and unpleasant smell.
The region’s fresh air will be deprived. If residents need to stop the unpleasant smell from entering into the house, they may need to close all the windows and switch on air conditioning round the clock. This will not only affect the quality of life of residents, the situation may lead to the more expensive electricity bills for them and produce more greenhouse gases. In fact, the original landfill site should be far away from populated areas. We face an endless supply of producing garbage every day, all Hong Kong landfills gradually saturated. And Hong Kong is densely populated region. Eventually, Landfills will be get closer to residents. However, the public generally resist waste treatment facilities, wherever the construction of these facilities are proposed, the inhabitants also will oppose the management. In fact that, there were a system approach to deal with the landfill aroused gas problems in a foreign country, such as maintaining the temperature of landfills, controlled decomposition of organic waste and the ways of chemical reduction. (Michael Pugh, p24). However, this reflected that the government did not address the aspirations of Tseung Kwan O residents and hasn’t solve the local air problems. At the government level, the landfill’s complexity is far below of the general public’s estimation. In view of the significant investments in land, labor, skills and resources. Which are likely to be required to develop and operate a better managed landfill.
The landfill of the target lifetime, where possible, it should be ten years or more (Michael Pugh, p50). But Hong Kong’s all landfill will saturate in 10 years. This is far below the proportion of times than foreign. On the other hand many people ignore a problem is that most garbage in landfills may never decompose. First, wrap of the garbage will be used the two centimeter thick layer of vinyl. To avoid the black plastic bag was punctured; the garbage must have a protective cushion above, the following need to have twice as thick white “GCL”. And then “Garbage juice” after the first layer of filter, it will vented in the gravel layer. An additional Infiltrate down’s “Garbage juice”, it will rely on Vinyl to obstruction. If the “Garbage juice” has contaminated the groundwater, it also can rely on the lowest layer of gravel to collect it. Black plastic bag from the ground and connected to the surrounding, and finally capped. After this process, it will cover the soil, planting trees and raising grass. There were biogas in the garbage, it will explode at any time. The water seepage down and the gas to rise, landfill need to lay a lot of air hose and gas extraction plug wells.
When after the construction of landfills, garbage collection and in the three years after closing, EPA had to ensure smooth operation like water, air, noise, etc. That’s all need to in line with international standards. The money has constantly spilled in the dirty garbage mountain. To make matters worse, the money is not everything. Rehabilitation of landfills may be very hard. Since there is no comprehensive protection at the bottom, and it has a depreciation. How is it refresher the landfill, it also cannot meet the international standards.
The land of the after landfill’s used, it will never be able to use. It is because the land will have a biogas, garbage juice and settlement problems, and it also can’t pile for building use. What’s more these landfills are built near residential areas.
In conclusion, if the government can’t in before the landfill saturated or still cannot meet and deal with residents in the vicinity of the landfill demands for various problems, this social problem will be more difficult to solve.