Landfill Mercury

I took this photograph on the street, a pile of waste sitting outside one of the many skyscrapers in Central (Hong Kong) waiting collection.  These exhausted fluorescent lighting tubes pictured will soon contribute mercury, mercury compounds, and waste glass into Hong Kong’s already burgeoning landfill.

Whilst there is a system in Hong Kong for safe disposal in bulk, it is only available for the largest buildings and or occupiers, and not the SME’s which make up 98% of Hong Kong employers. They have no option except to dispose of defunct lighting tubes through the municipal waste collection system.

It is a sad indictment of the waste management system to note that part of Hong Kong’s green country park in Clearwater bay had to be excised to provide more landfill space, without any plan, or strategy to encourage waste separation at source and maximising recycling. Landfill is simply not sustainable.

– John A. Herbert, Consultant, Kelcroft E&M Limited