Cynics might find it ironic that the prestigious World Recycling Convention would be held in a city with such a poor record on the matter. Yet more than 900 recycling industry professionals from around the world – from traders, processors and brokers, to technology suppliers and consultants – gathered at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai for the event last month.
“This is the business end of recycling, and there is so much happening in this region,” says Ranjit S. Baxi, president of the convention’s organiser, the Bureau of International Recycling. Whether his observation applies specifically to Hong Kong, however, is another matter.
About 98 per cent of the city’s recycling is carried out outside Hong Kong, and despite record levels of municipal solid waste (currently 1.39kg a day per resident) being dumped in landfills that are brimming to capacity, recycling rates are dropping like a stone.