Hong Kong faces ‘growing mountain of waste’ in wake of China’s trash ban

February 7, 2018 by  
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On January 1st, China banned imports of 24 kinds of trash – and the move is wrecking havoc on Hong Kong . Reuters describes a “growing mountain of waste” piling up in a city that recycles little of its garbage. Doug Woodring, founder of the Hong Kong-based Ocean Recovery Alliance, told Reuters, “Hong Kong is a rich city with third-world quality recycling. It has been too easy to send unprocessed waste to China.” Every year, Hong Kong sends 5.6 million metric tons – two thirds of its garbage – into landfills . They used to export more than 90 percent of recyclables over to China – up until the start of the year. Reuters reports that mountains of cardboard and newspapers are piling up on Hong Kong’s docks as plastic trash heads to landfills. Related: China bans ‘foreign waste,’ causing recycling chaos in America The government says it doesn’t have the space to create a productive recycling industry. Critics say the city hasn’t done enough to upgrade its waste management system. Woodring, for example, told Reuters the government has depended too much on expanding landfills, saying in regards to recycling, “Hong Kong has the capability to build processing plants. There is plenty of land. The land has just been misused and misallocated.” Deputy director for environmental protection Vicki Kwok told Reuters the government is planning to increase the size of three active landfills. The government also plans to begin charging people for the things they toss out – but it could be two years at least before they implement the move. They also hope to open a facility in 2018 to turn food waste into usable resources or energy – however it will only be able to recycle 200-300 metric tons daily. That’s just a fraction of the 3,600 metric tons of food waste Hong Kong generates in a single day. The government has announced measures to fight the waste dilemma like funding local recyclers, according to Kwok, but green groups say the local recycling industry isn’t able to process all the junk once shipped off to China. Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Hong Kong faces ‘growing mountain of waste’ in wake of China’s trash ban

Hong Kong votes to end its massive ivory trade by 2021

February 2, 2018 by  
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In an historic vote, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong voted 49-4 to ban the trade of ivory by 2021. The conclusion of a campaign waged by organizations such as Avaaz and WildAid Hong Kong , the ban could save tens of thousands of African elephants from poaching each year. The vote comes two years after Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying pledged to end the ivory trade and over a year since the government submitted its plan to end the world’s largest ivory trade. To force action in the Legislative Council, US-based global actvist group Avaaz gathered one million signatures in support of ending the Hong Kong ivory trade. “It was a huge boost to be able to deliver a million voices into the debate before we voted for the ivory ban,” Hong Kong legislator Hon Elizabeth Quat told Avaaz . “The world stood with us, and it made a difference.” After Avaaz activists applied additional pressure, including a social media campaign featuring Hong Kong superstar Li Bing Bing, a traditional media campaign, and in-person protests, the ban was called up for a vote and passed overwhelmingly. Related: Hippos could be threatened with extinction due to demand for their teeth While the vote is a positive step forward, it leaves much to be desired. “Every positive step to us concerning elephants is good news,” Philip Muruthi, vice president of species protection for the Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation, told National Geographic. “But the urgency of the issue as it pertains to elephants hasn’t been taken seriously here.” In the past decade, the African elephant population has dropped from 490,000 to 350,000, primarily due to poaching . Mainland China banned its legal ivory trade last year, but there are concerns that a black market may take hold. “With the later implementation of the Hong Kong ban, those with ivory in mainland China might perceive a potential back door for unloading their stock,” Richard Thomas, spokesman for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring organization, told National Geographic . “It will be critical to closely monitor and document ivory stockpiles and secure borders to ensure this door remains firmly shut.” Under the new Hong Kong law, smugglers could face up to 10 years in prison and a $1.3 million fine for illegal ivory trading. Via Avaaz and National Geographic Images via Avaaz (email)

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Hong Kong votes to end its massive ivory trade by 2021

Tiny homes made of concrete pipes could be the next big thing in micro housing

January 10, 2018 by  
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The micro-housing trend has really taken off over the last decade, and a new age of tiny urban homes is now upon us. Created by James Law Cybertecture , the Opod Tube House is made from a repurposed concrete pipe and designed as an affordable home for young people who struggle with housing costs in the world’s major cities. Unveiled recently in Hong Kong, the tiny tube houses are created out of repurposed concrete water pipes that measure a little over eight feet in diameter. The tubes are designed to accommodate one or two people and come with approximately 1000 square feet of living space. The interiors are equipped with the standard amenities, including a living room with a bench that converts into a bed, a mini-fridge, a bathroom, a shower and plenty of storage space for clothes and personal items. Related: Totally Tubular TubeHotel In Mexico Offers Up Accommodations In Recycled Concrete Pipes According to the architect behind the design, James Law, the inspiration behind the tiny tube homes is practical, both for young people looking for homes as well as city governments trying to provide affordable options. Although the structures are far from being lightweight at 22 tons apiece, they require little in terms of installation and can be easily secured to one another, which reduces installation costs. The tubes are easily stacked and can be installed in any small unused spaces commonly found in cities. The architect envisions entire tube communities installed in alleyways, under bridges, etc. Law explained in an interview with Curbed , that the concept is feasible for any urban environment , “Sometimes there’s some land left over between buildings which are rather narrow so it’s not easy to build a new building. We could put some OPods in there and utilize that land.” + Opod Tube Housing + James Law Cybertecture Via Apartment Therapy Images via Opod Tube Housing Facebook

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Enchanting Christmas tree nursery is made from 16,000 recycled drink cartons

December 22, 2017 by  
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A glowing Christmas wonderland has popped up in Hong Kong with an inspiring environmental story. Local studio AaaM Architects transformed 16,000 recycled drink cartons into a festive Christmas tree nursery aimed at raising environmental awareness and promoting recycling. Named ‘Jungle All the Way’, the collection of 36 festive trees was created with the help of over 1,600 primary school students and is located in the courtyard of a revitalized heritage building. The 16,000 recycled drink cartons were collected by local primary schools over the past few years. With the help of the students, AaaM Architects flattened and refolded the cartons and, after combining them with plastic and aluminum, used them to create three-dimensional Christmas trees . Eight different “species” of trees of varying heights were made. Public visitors are also encouraged to participate and add their own recycled products to the installation. “The reality and necessity for public participation in order to bring true changes and awareness laid the root for the concept of a nursery forest, where it was spatialized for social interactions and engaging experience to take place,” wrote the architects. “[We] rethought the temporary installations not as a decorative end product, but as a catalytic instrument in both material and ideological terms among the waste recycling process and its education to achieve true sustainability .” Related: Top 10 crazy christmas trees made from bottles, bikes, shopping carts and more! The 36 trees are laid out into the shape of a giant Christmas tree visible from above. An experiential path leads visitors through the forest and is punctuated by key messages, benches, and public engagement areas. The trees are lit from within for a glowing effect. All materials will go back into the recycling process after the exhibition ends. + AaaM Architects

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Enchanting Christmas tree nursery is made from 16,000 recycled drink cartons

Hong Kongs Skypark is an urban oasis for millennials

July 10, 2017 by  
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A gorgeous green oasis has surfaced in one of the world’s most densely populated areas in Mongkok, Hong Kong . New World Development’s Adrian Cheng teamed up with Dutch architecture studio concrete to craft Skypark, an innovative luxury development where like-minded millennials can connect in beautiful co-living spaces. The project’s crown jewel—and the inspiration behind the development’s name—is the unique rooftop park, as well as the rooftop solar and wind turbines. Partially powered by clean energy , Skypark paves the way for local developers to take a more eco-friendly approach in construction. “Inspired by the crowded and narrow streets of Mongkok, where space is limited and people bump into each other, concrete created a place for residents to escape the chaos and for people to truly connect,” wrote the architects, which designed the residential complex with young professionals in mind. “Almost literally, by ‘breaking down the walls’ of a generic clubhouse , an open and transformable public space was made.” Garden designer Adrian L Norman created the Skypark roof garden using principles from New World Development’s Artisanal Movement concept that combines creativity, craftsmanship, and community. The sky park is distinguished by its large lawned garden, called The Lawn, that offers residents the luxury of picnicking next to stunning panoramic views. A wealth of other social spaces are available, including private nooks and an outdoor kitchen with a grill. Below the rooftop garden is The Aurora, a modern clubhouse on the 28th floor with an indoor swimming pool, poolside bar, library, and a gym. The Sky Stairs, a set of oversized steps with colorful cushions that double as seating, connect The Lawn with The Aurora. Related: A Lush Living Wall Skirts Aedas’ New Composite Building in Hong Kong The rooftop wind turbines generate electricity for some of the lighting, while solar energy is used to heat the clubhouse showers. Recycled rainwater is used for rooftop irrigation. The Skypark was completed in March 2017 and comprises mostly studio and one-bedroom apartments. + New World Development + concrete Via Dezeen Images via concrete

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Tropical park with native species will add much-needed green space to Hong Kong

January 30, 2017 by  
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The concrete jungle of Hong Kong will soon become a bit greener. Landscape architecture firm Gustafson Porter + Bowman revealed landscape designs for Taikoo Place to create a new public space that will inject much-needed green space to the dense urban environment. The 69,000-square-foot project will promote biodiversity and public awareness of Hong Kong’s local landscapes with the planting of 53 native trees grown specifically for the park. Taikoo Place’s landscape design will offer a sequence of active and passive spaces, from open areas suitable for jazz concerts and markets to more intimate meeting areas. The park spaces will be tied together by large bands of brown and white granite that run through the site, surrounding streetscape, and lobby of one of the development’s planned towers. Taikoo Square, the largest space in the design, comprises water features designed using 3D modeling to introduce dynamic movement and sounds that reference the former Quays that had existed on the site. Densely planted tropical plants and over 70 trees that provide shade and a cooling microclimate will be neatly framed by sculpted stonework. “To promote biodiversity and raise public awareness of Hong Kong’s heritage of Fung Shui woodlands, 53 of the trees are native species , grown specifically for the project,” writes the firm. “Fung Shui woodlands are remnants of native woodlands which are protected from agricultural clearances due to their spiritual significance. At Taikoo Place, these remnant species have found a new home and bring additional natural elements to an otherwise dense urban space.” Related: Glowing bamboo pavilion promotes ecological design in Hong Kong The lush public park is designed as part of the HK$15 billion redevelopment for Taikoo Place spearheaded by Swire Properties. The development’s planned pair of Grade-A office towers, designed by Wong Ouyang, will target LEED Platinum ratings. The towers will be connected by a new elevated walkway designed by Hugh Dutton Associés. The project is slated for completion in 2021. + Gustafson Porter + Bowman Via ArchDaily Images via Gustafson Porter + Bowman

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Tropical park with native species will add much-needed green space to Hong Kong

Plastic ‘tsunami’ trashes Hong Kong beaches

July 11, 2016 by  
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A deluge of garbage is overwhelming Hong Kong beaches. In what some refer to as a trash ‘ tsunami ,’ Hong Kong beaches have seen an estimated six to 10 times the usual amount of trash recently. And most of that garbage is plastic that won’t easily decompose. Trash washing up on beaches isn’t unheard of for Hong Kong, but this amount of trash is abnormal. Lantau Island’s Cheung Sha Beach and Hong Kong Island’s Stanley Beach have seen ” tens of thousands of tons ” of garbage washed ashore in areas where children typically play. Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department blames June flooding in China and monsoon winds. Councilor Paul Zimmerman said the trash washed in from illegal and legal dumps in Hong Kong and China. Related: How two amazing teenage girls convinced Bali to ban plastic bags Many think the trash is coming from China as well as Hong Kong because of the trash packaging and labels. Sea Shepherd Hong Kong , a conservation group, points to a dump on the island of Wai Ling Ding. Just south of Hong Kong, the island is administrated by China and home to a dump which Sea Shepherd director Gary Stokes described as a “glacier of trash” that could be flowing downhill into the ocean . An Environmental Protection Department April 2015 report claims Hong Kong ocean trash ” does not constitute a serious problem .” But Coastal Watch , a World Wildlife Fund project, said up to 15,000 metric tons of ocean trash are gathered yearly in Hong Kong. One local described the current issue as ” effectively a solidified ‘oil spill’ of trash/plastic .” One Green Planet writes, “8.8 million tons of plastic” end up in our oceans every year. That trash poses a threat to marine creatures and pollutes the environment, and likely won’t break down for about 1,000 years. Via One Green Planet and CNN Images via Ocean Recovery Alliance Facebook

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World’s oldest panda celebrates with cake and bamboo. Happy Birthday Jia Jia!

July 28, 2015 by  
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Celebrations took place Tuesday, July 28 at Ocean Park in Hong Kong as Jia Jia took her place the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living panda in captivity. Jia Jia was presented with a colorful cake of ice and fruit juice, as well as a handful of fresh bamboo shoots to mark the occasion, as her caretakers at Ocean Park noted that she is remarkably active and healthy for a panda of her highly advanced years. Read the rest of World’s oldest panda celebrates with cake and bamboo. Happy Birthday Jia Jia!

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Hong Kong’s Community Green Station blends bamboo screens and shipping containers

May 20, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Hong Kong’s Community Green Station blends bamboo screens and shipping containers Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architectural Services Department , bamboo screens , Community Green Station , contemporary Chinese-style , Hong Kong , modular architecture , open courtyards , prefab architecture , recycled shipping containers , Sha Tin

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Hong Kong’s Community Green Station blends bamboo screens and shipping containers

WING multi-use loft transforms a derelict warehouse into a cultural hub in Hong Kong

April 28, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of WING multi-use loft transforms a derelict warehouse into a cultural hub in Hong Kong Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: derelict warehouse , event space , green renovation , Hong Kong , industrial warehouse , lead , natural light , performance space , Wing loft

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