From syringes and television sets strewn on its beaches to brimming landfills, Hong Kong is struggling to keep pace with a growing waste problem in one of the world’s most densely populated cities.
Landfills in the global financial hub of 7 million people are nearly full as the volume of waste rises for a fifth straight year and recycling lags behind other Asian cities.
Tokyo, Seoul, and Taipei each generate about half of Hong Kong’s waste on a per capita basis, thanks to clean policies that encourage recycling, according to Hong Kong government data.
During British colonial rule which ended in 1997, landfills were the primary method for disposing of the city’s waste, which has increased nearly 80 percent in the past 30 years.
As a result, the city’s three landfills are expected to reach capacity in two years.