Date
23 March 2017
'Small mouth' rubbish bins are unlikely to lead to reduced trash on the streets, says former health secretary Yeoh Eng-kiong. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook
'Small mouth' rubbish bins are unlikely to lead to reduced trash on the streets, says former health secretary Yeoh Eng-kiong. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook

Govt faces questions after trash bin replacement program

The government is facing criticism after it began replacing hundreds of trash bins on Hong Kong streets with new ones that have smaller openings.

The new bins, which are aimed at preventing people from dumping large amounts of trash, don’t seem to be serving the intended purpose, citizens say. 

When people can’t put something inside a bin, they are merely leaving the trash beside the bin or on top of it, they say, arguing that the littering problem has worsened.  

Meanwhile, questions are being raised as to how the old trash bins will be disposed off.

There are fears that the containers will end up in landfills, worsening the environmental problem in the city.

The government last week replaced 800 trash bins with new “small mouth” ones, in the first phase of a campaign aimed at reducing the rubbish dumped on streets. 

Following the replacement program, old rubbish bins have piled up in some locations, awaiting disposal. 

According to pictures uploaded by netizens, hundreds of old trash cans were found piled up in collection points in Kowloon Bay, Shatin and Kwun Tong, Apple Daily reported late last week.

If the old bins cannot be recycled, they could be dumped at landfill sites, causing new problems.

Yeoh Eng-kiong, former secretary for health, welfare and food, said the bin replacement program is unlikely to lead to reduced trash in the streets.

Rather than deploying bins with smaller openings, authorities should have launched an educational campaign to prompt people into changing their waste disposal habits, he said.

As for the trash bins, efforts should be made to ensure that the containers can be recycled, Yeoh said.

Translation by Chloe Chow 

New trash cans with smaller openings on the way

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