Transforming food waste to gold, “Bokashi Food Waste Recycling System”
About 3,200 tonnes of food waste is disposed of at landfills every day in Hong Kong, resulting in 1.2 million amount of food wasted, which is equivalent to the amount of emergency food supply that could meet 17.52 million hungry’ need. The wastage problem is very serious. 70% of food waste comes from household. Although the Hong Kong government built an Organic Resource Recovery Centre (ORRC) in Siu Ho Wan, only 200 tonnes of food waste from industrial and commercial sectors is treated every day, far from the objective of treating that extra amount food waste from household. In view of this, the Greeners Action introduced from New Zealand, the Bokashi food waste system that suits operating in Hong Kong household environment, so to encourage people to properly handle food waste at their house. The size of food waste container are 25cm width x 42cm height x 25cm length, having capacity of 15L, small enough to be placed in kitchen for use. Since 2010 December, 170 sets of system have been sold.
Thinking the low cost of food waste container, the Greeners Action suggests the government learn from Australia and New Zealand, subsidizing household to buy food waste container for recycling food waste so as to complement the municipal solid waste charging measure in future. Although the government keep encouraging household to do recycling and separation work, substantial facilitation is missing. If the container is promoted to the society, it could ease landfill or incinerator burden. Also, the decomposition of food waste gives fertilizer which could be used in garden of estate or community, thereby enlarging green areas of the city.
The Greeners Action chairman Ho Hoi Wai expressed his view, saying the government should show more support to the Bokashi food waste recycling system able to ease the burden of landfill or incinerator, or else it would be just wasteful to incinerate still useable food waste.