Sunday 12 July 2009

Environment: Glass Recycling

Hotels unite to recycle glass containers (2008/11/17)

A new recycling programme targeting glass containers was officially launched today (November 17), adding new momentum to the Green Hong Kong effort.

“This event is only an important start and we hope that glass recycling can be further extended to more hotels or other sectors in the near future,” the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, said when officiating at the launching ceremony at Piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

“The recycling of glass containers helps reduce waste and conserve natural resources” he said.

The Glass Container Recycling Programme for Hotel Sector is a trade-funded voluntary recycling programme. Eleven hotels - the Eaton, Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt, InterContinental, Langham Place Mongkok, Mandarin Oriental, JW Marriott, The Peninsula, Renaissance Harbour View, Renaissance Kowloon and Sheraton - have volunteered to jointly organise and fund the programme.

Administered by the Hong Kong Hotels Association, the programme aims to recover and recycle beverage glass containers generated by the participating hotels in the course of business. They are large in quantity and easier to handle.

The glass containers collected from the participating hotels will be delivered to a glass recycler in Tuen Mun where they will be crushed into glass sand to replace natural river sand in the production of paving blocks.

EPD's Press Release

Now is this enough? My parents returned to Hong Kong and have recently threw away more than10 glass bottles because they were red wine lovers. Mum also cleaned the kitched and threw away the bottles of
  1. soy sauce,
  2. chilli bean sauce,
  3. curry sauce,
  4. Japanese Ramune,
  5. eye cream,
  6. Italian tomato sauce, etc.
If one family as green as mine must throw away so many bottles, how many bottles do we need to throw away for 2 millions of families in Hong Kong?

Is it really so difficult to add another plastic collector bin next to the existing yellow, blue and brown ones?

I've found another website which lists out the collection points for glass and others, but the locations are so remote. If you have no car, you will have a hard time carrying the glass around.

I've also found an entry replied by the consultant of the company mentioned in the article printed above, reading it really gives me a feeling of how "helpful" the government is.

"Hi Ching,

Thank you for your compliments and words of encouragement.

We are taking the initiative to protect the environment by recycling waste glass and waste glass bottles. However, in doing so, our production cost will be higher than if we are to use river sand for the production of ourenvironmentally-friendly paving blocks. In using glass sands, we have to grind the waste glasses into very fine particles of less than 3 mm in diameter, at which dimension the glass sands would become non-abrasive and safe to handle. This is a much costly method to produce our paving blocks.

Despite of the higher cost, our company has decided to use recycled glass because our company, being a responsible corporate citizen of HK, should be contributing back to HK. We should take the lead to protect the environment and try to set an example that the private sector should not always put cost inthe first place but rather should join forces with the Government to clean upthe environment.

The companies and individuals who donate their waste glass bottles to us understand our constraints. Therefore they clean the glass bottles and deliver them to our factory, because if we are to provide the transportation the cost will become overly inhibitive. In taking an active role to assist us, they are able to encourage us to continue this ¡§money-losing¡¨ operation. We hope that in due course other companies can join us in the recycling of wastes that have no commercial values.

Our factory¡¦s address is DD. 134, Lung Kwu Sheung Tan, Tuen Mun . We would appreciate that donors are to call our company at tel: 26698166 before they come to give us the cleaned waste glass bottles.

Besides recycling waste glasses, we are exploring the possibility of recycling of construction and demolition wastes. If you should find this project of interest, we shall be pleased to keep you posted of our developments.

We are most pleased to note that you have made such a good effort to set up a blog and team up with a niche of eco-concern citizens. It is with the collaboration of environmentally-conscious people like yourselves that we can move forward for the betterment of the environment.

With warm regards,
Henry Chiu
Laputa Eco-construction Material Co. Ltd.


When will the goverment finally go and help these eco-friendly companies? My girlfriend keeps saying that the plastics we put into the recycle bins are actually thrown to the dump sites like all other trash, I don't want to believe that to be true.


grind -- to make sth into smaller pieces by pressing between hard surfaces
abrasive -- not sharp
constraint -- limits
in due course -- at a suitable time in the future
demolition waste -- waste from torn buildings
niche -- a place suitable for people of the same interests
eco-concern -- care about the the environment
betterment --improvement