Reuse, recycle ... and reduce the number of rubbish bins on Hong Kong’s streets

Reuse, recycle ... and reduce the number of rubbish bins on Hong Kong’s streets

Smaller and fewer bins on the city streets are designed to deter people from disposing of waste improperly


The newly designed 130-litre bin with smaller openings

A first batch of newly designed rubbish bins with smaller openings – but bigger warning notices – will hit the streets next Monday in a bid to spur appropriate waste disposal.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) hopes the move will help tackle widespread cases of oversized rubbish being chucked into bins, or bagged refuse being placed around or on top of them. They are also considering a further reduction of the huge number of rubbish bins on Hong Kong’s streets.

“The [aim is] to educate the public not to discard refuse at the side or on top of litter containers and to dispose of bagged refuse properly at refuse collection points,” the department said.

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From current dimensions of 370 x 190mm, openings for standard 130-litre bins will be reduced to 230 x 150mm. Later this year the department will also introduce 70-litre bins with openings reduced from 290 x 190mm to 205 x 130mm. A new 100-litre bin will also be trialled in some districts.

“In addition ... the warning messages affixed to the new litter containers will be more prominent and clearer to enhance the publicity, education and warning impacts,” a spokesman said.

The department cut the number of bins on streets by 15 per cent in 2015 and 2016 and said it would consider further reductions. “The hygiene conditions on streets have generally been maintained at a satisfactory level after the reduction,” the spokesman said.

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Gabrielle Ho Ka-po, project manager of Green Sense, told Young Post yesterday that some people would continue to discard waste at the side or on top of rubbish bins despite the larger warning signs. “The introduction of the newly designed litter containers will not immediately change the habits of those who indiscriminately dispose of waste. The most important thing the FEHD should do is to step up monitoring and law enforcement,” Ho said.

There were at least 42,820 receptacles across the city as of 2014 with most managed by the FEHD and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department made moves last year to reduce the number of bins in country parks and hiking trails.

Ho said cutting down the number of bins was not enough. “It is necessary to introduce more three-coloured recycling bins and educate Hongkongers in how to separate waste at source.”


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