Waste Managenment

Waste Management

Waste is one of Hong Kong’s most pressing environmental issues. Our approach to waste management is to reduce the absolute amount of waste generated and facilitate waste separation at source to promote recycling. We have set a target of reducing/recycling/recovering 50% of waste generated at HKIA by 2021. Our overall recycling rate in 2016/17 increased from 7.5% to 8.4%.

In April 2014, we established a Waste Management Taskforce, which is chaired by the Executive Director, Corporate Development and comprises the heads of key departments, to review existing waste management practices and identify solutions to improve HKIA’s waste management. To meet this target, the Taskforce commissioned a study to assist AAHK in developing a long-term strategy to achieve the 50% waste reduction/recycling/recovery target. The study proposed the following three-pronged strategy :

Waste reduction at source
  • Replace paper towels with hand dryers in washrooms. A pilot programme will be conducted in HKIA Tower.
  • Promote the use of reusable dining ware in food and beverage outlets and food courts.
Facilitation of recycling
  • Promote better separation of aircraft cabin waste. Engagement with airlines, especially home-based carriers, is conducted to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Enhance the collection and sorting of recyclables by, for example, installing glass bottle recycling bins in refuse rooms and requiring cleaning contractors to sort out misplaced plastic bottles and aluminium cans from general waste. We will continue to review our management of waste and cleaning contractors to enhance recyclables collection and sorting, for example, through the introduction of performance-based terms in future contracts.
  • Engage airport users, tenants and contractors to encourage behaviour change that leads to higher levels of waste reduction and separation. We have established a waste management working group comprising representatives from AAHK, tenants and contractors. We also carry out regular waste inspections and briefings for tenants. In addition, we have launched the third HKIA Environmental Management Recognition Scheme.
  • The HKSAR Government aims to introduce a quantity-based municipal solid waste (MSW) charging scheme in 2019. We commenced a 20-month MSW charging pilot scheme in Q1 2017/18 to prepare the airport community for this new charging. We also participated in a MSW charging trial organised by Business Environment Council.
Alternative disposal options
  • In view of the limited market for recyclables and the relatively small size of the local recycling industry, we have also explored other disposal options as an alternative to landfilling. In Q1 2017/18, we commenced a feasibility study on developing a small-scale waste-to-energy (WtE) facility at HKIA. The 1st phase of study will be completed in Q4 2017/18 with the proposed technology and associated costs of WtE facility.

HKIA Environmental Management Recognition Scheme

In April 2017, we launched the third HKIA Environmental Management Recognition Scheme. This year, over 100 retail shops, catering outlets, office tenants and cleaning contractors participated in the scheme. The aim is to prepare participants for the introduction of MSW charging and encourage wider implementation of effective waste reduction and recycling measures.

The scheme consists of two main parts. The Recognition Scheme aims to acknowledge outstanding environmental management efforts and performance by airport community participants. The new Environmental Awareness Scheme aims to raise awareness among business partners, tenants, passengers and the general public on waste management, waste reduction and recycling. We have also recruited “Green Ambassadors” from YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College in Tung Chung to engage passengers and promote waste management through interactive and educational activities.