Guest Post: Hong Kong is looking to add another superlative to its awards cabinet, as the government plans to construct the world’s largest, most expensive waste incinerator of its kind in the territory. Our guest writer, Rachel Chan, of The Naked Island Project & Living Islands Movement, debunks 11 myths, claims and untruths ahead of a protest tomorrow in Central at 2:30pm.
#1 Untruth: Burning waste is the only solution.
Hong Kong must have an Incinerator to dispose of our Municipal Solid Waste, says the Environmental Protection Department (EPD). However, plasma arc technology and localised efforts that generate power are amongst the many alternatives. What is needed is sustainable management of rubbish, by reducing waste with proper sorting and recycling. (More details on Plan B here.)
#2 Untruth: There is no danger to public health.
The outdated technology will spew toxic air into the atmosphere, adding to Hong Kong’s already abysmal air pollution. An estimated 3,100 deaths in 2013 were related to air pollution in the city. Heart disease and lung disease are the most common pollution linked causes of death. There has been no full health impact assessment for the incinerator and the risks are largely unknown. According to medical experts the two main dangers to health from incinerators are dioxins and airborne particulate matter. These have been linked to cancer, heart disease and asthma. Proximity to incinerators has also been linked to birth defects.