Recycling in Hong Kong

One thing that annoys me a little in Hong Kong is the limited focus on recycling and saving resources.

Generally I find utility costs lower in Hong Kong than what I used to pay in the UK and in Germany, and what surprises me is that on the monthly/quarterly bills it compares our household consumption to the average household in Hong Kong.

Let’s just say we are more than half way below the average spending of water and gas (not on electricity, but then we use lots of gadgets, dehumidifiers and air conditioning). Do people in Hong Kong just keep the water running when they brush their teeth or wash their dishes?

And while there are recycling boxes in most of the central areas of the city, they are not enough:

  • They only collect paper, plastic and metal. There are no options to recycle glass, despite the fact that so many bottles and jars are being sold in Hong Kong!
  • Plus some of the recycling boxes in highly frequented areas (such as in front of the Wan Chai MTR station) sometimes overflow in the morning – so I noticed that people just put there recycling items in the normal bin!

Recycling in Hong Kong

Most buildings don’t recycle materials, which is a shame. We only have one bin on our floor, so everything gets thrown in together – the only way around this is to collect recyclable material and then bring them away to the collection boxes dotted around the city…

… or alternatively subscribe to some clever services, such as HK Recycles – which is a local company with a social mission: to make Hong Kong into a greener and more sustainable city, one bottle at a time. Starting from 39 HKD/week for residential households they collect glass, paper, plastic and metal from your doorstep. They also offer commercial and corporate options!

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2 responses to “Recycling in Hong Kong

  1. I totally agree! Recycling in Hong Kong is so difficult to do. Luckily the estate I live on does have glass recycling, and also a food waste scheme which I plan to sign up to in the new year. But it randomly has stopped collecting plastic so we have to take it elsewhere! And what about all the tetrapaks that milk and juice come in?! We get through so many of them!

    • Yes, it really is weird that recycling is not much more wide-spread here in HK! It would be so easy given that there are so many estates and everything is close together. They should make it mandatory – and start with businesses! I can’t believe that our company does not recycle. We had to tell our cleaning lady that we put newspapers aside for a reason, so that she does NOT mix them back into the normal bin but instead puts them in the waste paper box outside the building…

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