Hong Kong's greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector and its projected changes by integrated waste management facilities

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-700
Journal / PublicationJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017


Massive emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have been criticized as the cause of global warming, and the waste sector, serving as the end-of-life treatment of products, is inevitably one of the contributors to the anthropogenic GHG emissions. As landfill area is becoming scarce in Hong Kong, the government proposed the Integrated Waste Management Facilities (IWMF) plan which includes building incinerators for solid waste treatment. However, as incinerating solid waste can increase GHG emissions, controlling GHG emissions from the waste sector in Hong Kong is a thorny problem. This study evaluates GHG emissions from the waste sector in Hong Kong using a calculation tool under the 2006 IPCC inventory guidelines to estimate the projected GHGs emission according to the waste development plan of Hong Kong. The analysis results show that after implementing IWMF, GHG emissions from landfills decrease, while total GHG emissions from the entire waste sector increase, mainly due to the combustion of petroleum products in incinerators. Sensitivity analysis reveals that the increased emission can be offset when solid waste disposal is reduced by 40%. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to improve the recycling and reuse rate of waste in Hong Kong.

Research Area(s)

  • Carbon emission, Greenhouse gases, Landfill, Municipal solid waste

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