With the economic growth, the living standards of people in Hong Kong become higher and higher. Meanwhile, we are producing more and more waste, especially the domestic waste. According to the Environmental Protection Department (2013), the existing landfills would probably be exhausted one by one by 2020 if the waste level continue to increase at current level (¶13). Therefore, we should take action immediately to find a solution so as to deal with the domestic waste problem. To ameliorate the problem, the possible solutions could be building incinerators, enlarging the area for landfills and reducing the amount of domestic waste, with the last one being the best solution.
One of the possible solutions might be to build incinerators. Wastes from different sources could be collected together and sent to the incinerators which burn them into ashes to reduce the volume before sending to the landfills. The decrease in volume of waste might extend the life of existing landfills.
Yet, the environment around the incinerator could become worsen. The gas emitted during the operation of incinerators would contaminate the air around. Although the incinerators should be built with good filters, some tiny particles would not be filtered but go outside with the gas emitted. Besides, the building of incinerators is likely to lower the living standard of citizens in the neighborhood. Not only the gas emitted while burning the waste would affect their health, the noise produced by the trucks and the construction of incinerators would make them annoyed. Moreover, according to the ‘Not in My Back Yard’ phenomenon, this solution would probably be vigorously rejected by the citizens living around the site selected for building the incinerators. If the government insists on building the incinerators, the popularity rating will probably drop dramatically.
Another possible solution could be to increase the number of landfill sites or to expand the existing landfill sites. Having more area for landfilling, the landfill sites would be exhausted after a longer time. The waste we produced could still be sent to the landfill sites and the problem of having insufficient place for landfilling might be postponed.
However, the solution would only be a short-term method and probably relieve the problem, not solving the problem. First of all, there is insufficient land in Hong Kong that most of the area had been planned for some other special uses so that it would be very difficult to find an appropriate place to launch this plan. Besides, no matter how much we enlarged the landfill sites, the landfill sites would be full one day. It is impossible for us to enlarge the sites continuously and without an end. Again, according to the ‘Not in My Back Yard’ phenomenon, nobody would wish to have a landfill in his district and people living around the existing landfills would feel that is unfair to them if the existing landfills are expanded to work for more years. According to Tien...