Jets Technics demonstrates that it is possible for recycling to be a profitable
business. The company started with two employees, and now has over 300 working at
several plants. In recycling the tyres their motivation went beyond helping the
environment but also “to use the cheapest raw material”. Currently they are paid by
some companies to remove tyres, but they believe others are following their example
and project that within ten years they will have to pay for their tyres. Furthermore,
they mention difficulty in getting a steady supply of tyres in Hong Kong, with most of
the tyres being forced into landfills without being made available to the private sector.
Some new rubber products are planned for the future, including highway noise
barriers created from tyre rubber.
Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department (AFCD)
began several artificial reef projects in 1998. Eric Yau answered several of our
questions through email correspondence (See Appendix I). He told us that these reefs
aim to promote the growth of various organisms, providing a boost to the natural
environment and in turn increasing the fish population. The AFCD is testing several
materials, including “redundant steel and wooden vessels, pre-fabricated concrete
modules, redundant marine concrete structures, biofilters (pre-fabricated fibre-glass
sheets of high surface area ratio to volume) and natural quarry rocks”. The tyre reefs
are built off a steel-based frame and linked together with nylon straps which are inert
to ultraviolet light and sea water (See Figure 7).