The Hong Kong Organic Waste Recycling Centre, backed by at least 10 green firms, wants a totally new approach to managing what we throw out of our homes every day.
Key needs, say the experts, include an all-in-one collection center for organic waste, subsidies and tax rebates for enterprises and licensed small-scale recycling.
There has never been sufficient support from authorities for their efforts "despite the fact that commercial recycling is a public service," center technical manager Shawn Cheng Yat-ho said. "What is needed is a systematic approach to treat all kinds of waste."
According to Cheng, there are only three organic waste-recycling firms in Hong Kong as it is viewed as an unprofitable business. So more than 99percent of organic waste goes straight to landfills.
The Environment Bureau says the SAR produces 3,200 tonnes of food waste daily - 30percent of the total amount of solid waste - with two thirds from households.
An important step to manage the mess would be to set up a centrally located recycling center that could recycle food waste to less than 10 percent of its original mass, said Eddie Chan Wing-lai, chairman of the organizing committee of the Hong Kong Environmental Professional Association, a coalition of green technology firms.
What would be left could then be shipped to a facility for conversion into fertilizer and other useful biodegradable materials.
But what could revolutionize the industry would be to license small- scale recyclers - "scavengers" - the association argues.
The ideas were advanced yesterday as a public consultation on a "polluter pays" scheme ended.