Landfill Sydney: Does HK Predict The Future Of Landfill In Australia?
Landfill Sydney: it is pretty clear that Australia is becoming more and more urbanised every year. Latest figures indicate that all the mainland states have an urbanisation rate of c.90%. You can see detailed numbers here. One of the issues this creates is that even though we have a growing population – we are living in very small pockets of our vast country. This creates serious issues for landfill availability such as landfill Sydney sites.
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Landfill Sydney – does the example of Hong Kong indicate the future of Australian landfill?
The BBC Future website recently covered the major problems facing waste services in Hong Kong. We quote from the article below:
“Hong Kong may be clean on the surface, but its public services are straining to keep a lid on its rubbish. Despite attempts to clean up its act, the region produced 3.7 million tonnes of municipal waste in 2015 – the highest figure for five years. It has already cycled through 13 landfill sites, which are now being repurposed as parks, golf courses, and sportsgrounds, with just three sites remaining open. At this rate, it will only be a matter of a few years before those too begin to overflow. “If Hong Kong continues in this way, we will reach breaking point by 2020,” says Chan – an estimate supported by Hong Kong’s own Environmental Protection Department.”
As Hong Kong is very densely populated – there is very little room available for new landfills. Due to restrictions on sending recycling commodities to mainland China – the City is dumping more in landfill (as new recycling facilities have not yet been built).
“One big step will be the introduction of a “waste charge”, which would force locals to pay around $0.11 Hong Kong dollars (around £0.01) for each litre of rubbish collected. The new legislation, announced earlier this year, should take effect by 2019, and the South China Morning Post estimates that it amounts to around $33-54 Hong Kong dollars (roughly £3-5) per household, per month.”
The city is gradually implementing policies that will decrease waste to landfill – but the clock is definitely ticking. The question to be asked by Australian cities is whether we are prepared for the growing populations in our metro areas.