APPENDIX D: Interview with Simon Lee, officer of Environmental Protection Department in Hong Kong
Interview at the Environmental Protection Department
Environmental Infrastructure Division Waste Reduction Group Representatives: Simon LEE Environmental Protection Officer
Q: How many tyres are in the landfills? A: Due to the number of landfills and the fact that there is no charge for dumping waste tyres it is difficult to gain an accurate figure. Also they keep track of tyres by weight measuring the amount in metric tons. Through sampling the EPD estimates that in 2003 approximately 15,000 tons. In 2004 approximately 14,000 tons and in 2005 18,000 tons.
Q: How many tyres are stockpiled? A: The land space in Hong Kong is so limited and there are no fees for dumping so not only is there no space for stockpiling there is no reason to.
Q: How many tons of tyres are disposed of on a daily basis? A: Fifty tons per day.
Q: How many tyres are exported? A: No tyres are exported while whole, but there is one company that is trying to export crumb rubber to the mainland.
Q: How many private vehicles are there? A: Approximately 370,000 cars of which 18,000 are taxis.
Q: How many heavy vehicles are there? A: Approximately 120,000.
Q: What is the EPD currently doing to regulate the disposal of waste tyres? A: The EPD is not specifically imposing any regulations, however the landfills require that all tyres be cut atleast in half before being dumped and thosewho dump tyres must get a permit. This creates a lot of illegal dumping, approximately 4,000 tons a year, because people do not want to pay to cut tyres in half.
Q: Are there any options that you have explored that were too impractical? A: Companies have looked into pyrolosis, but found that there is not a large enough supply of tyres for it to be feasible. The EPD however performs studies prior to implementing any regulations that would affect the disposal of waste tyres, so as to avoid costly mistakes.