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22 Feb 2011

Swire Properties’ Glass Bottles Recycling Scheme Promotes Sustainability

In keeping with its commitment to promoting a sustainable environment, Swire Properties recently launched a pilot glass recycling scheme across the 12 residential developments[1] under its management. Under the scheme, used glass bottles are converted into eco-bricks, thereby reducing the amount of solid waste disposed of in landfills.

Working with Hong Chi Association (“Hong Chi”) and Hong Kong Dumper Truck Drivers Association (“HKDTA”), Swire Properties started the glass recycling programme in September 2010. The scheme already covers the residential developments, including Taikoo Shing and Pacific Place Apartments, and involves a total of 20,300 households.

As preparations for the programme, Swire Properties has provided households with recycling bins for collecting used glass bottles, assigned centralised recycling points at each development and agreed a logistics plan with Hong Chi and HKDTA. The two organisations are responsible for transporting the used glass bottles to the construction plants for producing eco-bricks.

In just three months’ time, over 35,000 kg of glass has been recycled under the scheme, which equates to about 160,000 beer bottles (355ml). These used glass bottles are converted into eco-bricks and provided to local developers for construction, including Swire Properties, which uses them in its various portfolios.

“In 2009, Hong Kong generates nearly 9,000 tonnes of waste per day[2], which is a high level of waste by international standards and is creating enormous pressure on our landfills. We are pleased to join hands with local NGOs Hong Chi and HKDTA to help alleviate that pressure through recycling glass into useful building materials.” said Amie Lai, Environmental Affairs Manager.

“We hope this scheme will promote greater environmental awareness among our stakeholders, including our residents, customers and contractors, and provide a platform for collective action on effective waste management.” Lai added.

As part of its efforts to encourage sustainable environmental practices, Swire Properties has developed a long-term action plan to reduce waste across its Hong Kong properties. In 2010, about 8,700 tonnes of solid waste originating from within its portfolio were recycled. In addition to recycling paper, plastic and metal, the Company has collaborated with its tenants to launch a range of pioneering initiatives to recycle food waste, cooking oil and electronic waste. Waste management is also incorporated into the earliest stages of the design and planning of its new developments. The Company is among the first companies in Hong Kong to make extensive use of Building Information Modelling, a software which detects and mitigates design clashes in order to minimise construction waste.

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[1] The Orchards, Taikoo Shing, Pacific Place Apartments, Island Place, Lei King Wan, Les Saisons, Harbour Heights, Island Lodge, Parkvale, Robinson Place, StarCrest, and The Floridian

[2] Data from the website of the Environmental Protection Department: https://www.wastereduction.gov.hk/en/materials/info/msw2009.pdf