Green zone

Green zone

A new eco-park is educating Hongkongers on what happens to things they throw away

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Green zone_L
Photo: May Tse
It's no secret what happens to uneaten food we throw into rubbish bins - it ends up in the city's landfills.

According to statistics provided on the Environmental Protection Department's website, 45 per cent of solid waste in Hong Kong's landfills is domestic, making domestic waste the main source of pollution.

But the EcoPark in Tuen Mun, an educational facility launched in March this year, hopes to do something about this by promoting recycling and educating the public about waste in Hong Kong.

The objective of the park is to encourage and promote the reuse, recovery and recycling of waste.

The park's visitor centre is the first public educational facility in Hong Kong to focus on solid-waste management. Its exhibits and activities are designed to teach the public the effects of waste.

Young Post was guided on a tour that took in various green features, including green roofs, a solar hot water system, eco paving and eco drainage covers.

Visitors are led by the tour guide and given a special pass that allows them to check in and out at different spots and receive useful recycling information at each checkpoint.

The problems of waste and pollution, and the recycling concept are introduced through interactive touch-screen presentations during the first section of the tour. Then visitors watch a short film in a small theatre about the causes and effects of waste pollution.

The purpose of the touch-screen presentations and the short film is to allow visitors to visualise the problem of waste pollution in Hong Kong, and to become aware of where their leftovers eventually end up.

A discussion is held after the film, and visitors are then led to one of the most interesting sections of the visitor centre - a life-size model of a landfill. It contains styrofoam lunch boxes, food leftovers, tyres, computer keyboards and everything else we consume and throw away every day. A guide gives a presentation about landfills in Hong Kong and shows a map of their locations.

Visitors continue their journey by going to a meditation area with a pond and interactive features where they can reflect on waste management.

The last part of the visit is interactive games that teach the importance of sorting waste and the 3R concept - reduce, reuse and recycle - which is also the park's motto and guiding principle.

The final stop is having a digital photo taken at the photo booth - the park will send it to you via e-mail as a souvenir.

The visitor centre accepts online bookings for groups of 15 to 40 people. For groups of fewer than 15, contact the EcoPark Management Office at 2496 7633. For online bookings, visit www.ecopark.com.hk

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