Is Hong Kong’s recycling effort just lip service?

The children’s book “Michael Recycle” is about a town full of trash and a superhero who changed their perceptions and encouraged them to think about the planet… ultimately where the process of recycling saved the day.

The book Michael Recycle about recycling for a better world

Encouraged and inspired by Michael Recycle, we decided to put some papers and wine bottles in the recycling bin. However the one in the basement of our building only has paper, plastic and metal recycling bins. None for glass. Hmm. I ended up hoarding the glass bottles for half a year and have only disposed of it last week when I finally found a glass recycling bin. Note that if you buy glass bottled Kowloon dairy milk, you can get a dollar back for each bottle returned at 7-11. Here’s a site discussing it.

A search online for recycling bin locations  in Wanchai is confounding. I almost gave up.
I also discovered that I had some old DVDs and CDs but where would those go? It certainly doesn’t belong in the metals bin. I checked online and found a blogger who also has an interest in the subject and listed out recycling bins in Hong Kong. She sent me this link. Ok fair enough. I’ve checked them out and also included ones that I’ve found which are unlisted on the site. Here they are for your reference.

Here’s what I found:

Recycling Bin on Wan Chai Road & Queens Road East

On the corner of Wan Chai Road & Queens Road East, the bin takes metals, plastic and paper. General trash goes on the orange bin.

Recycling bin at Wanchai Convention Center

These bins found along the corridor of Wan Chai Convention  Center opposite the main gift shop allow you to drop batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, metals, plastic and paper.

Recycling bin, corridor of immigration building
Tucked away in the corner of the corridor in immigration building (walking towards the Wan Chai Convention Center) are these bins for batteries, metals, plastic and paper.

Recycling bins on the corner of Luard & Hennessy outside the HSBC

These bins on Luard and Hennessy look like they need a good clean and clearing out. Only metals, plastic bottles, paper are accepted. Everything else goes into the leftmost trash bin. You can see the plastic bottles overflowing… not surprising after a weekend.

Recycling bins outside Wan Chai Post office, Queens Road East

Here’s the recycling bin outside the old Wanchai post office on Queens Road East. Only metals, plastic bottles and waste paper accepted. It looks like the bin man needs to clear the bottle compartment and shut the doors properly.

Recycling bins at Spring Garden Lane Park

These look like newly installed recycling bins. Same deal but with a new graphic sticker overlay. Metals, plastic, paper and general trash on the left reminding you it goes to landfill.

Recycling bins outside Southorn Playground, Johnston Road

These are the recycling bins outside Southorn playground, Johnston Road exit. Accepts only metal, plastic, paper and general trash.

Recycling bin, Hennessy Road exit

This bin on the other side of Southorn playground takes the metal, plastic bottles and paper. Note that there are two  boxes for the plastic bottles, presumably because sports elicits thirst and reasoned that an extra bin for bottles would be warranted.
Recycling bins, Tai Wong East Street Sitting Out Area
Clothes recycling bin, Tai Wong East Street

At the Tai Wong Street East Sitting out area, the recycling bins accept metals, plastic bottles and paper. There’s an additional used clothes bin opposite it too.

Recycling bin for metal, plastic, paper

Outside Lockhart Road Market Building, this recycling bin accepts metals, plastic bottles and paper.

Last but not least…. (drum roll)….
By far the cleanest and most comprehensive recycling bin is found in the lobby of Central Building. It’s on the left of the corridor as you’re walking towards the Convention Center. This recycling bin takes batteries, compact discs and DVDs, metal, plastic, paper, glass and copier toner. 

It wasn’t easy to seek these bins out. I had to be on the alert to spot them and I’m so glad I’ve found a bin which takes more that the usual metal, plastic and paper. I wonder why there aren’t more glass recycling bins? 

I also noticed that most of the bins filled up quickly with the plastic bottles as no one bothers to crush them before throwing them in. These machines by reversevending should be installed instead. The machines would compact the bottles and are very neat. I bet that it’d be super popular in Hong Kong.

How can recycling get more attention? Is it just about leaving bins everywhere and decorating them with stickers? 

It really is a state of despair in Hong Kong.  We can sort out our trash and make an effort to take it to these bins but what happens after that?….. check out this article.

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