Living on an island and partaking of its beaches and hiking trails, can be both a pleasure and a frustration. The frustration in question for the purposes of this ‘Happenings’ being our 21st Century battle with pollution and waste.
Sadly, even though we live on a island where every village seems to be well provided for with refuse collection points, our beaches can all to often be awash with trash and likewise our hillsides and trails at times too.
It’s an uphill battle perhaps, but one we can all do our part to try and alleviate. Even ‘one piece at a time’ as one of the many organisations that take on these issues would say.
So, it’s good to see that a new opportunity for us all to help do our bit has appeared in Mui Wo, in the guise of the new Green Mui Wo recycling store.
The Mui Wo store is part of a city-wide Smart Recycling System, an initiative from the Environmental Protection Department (EPD).
The scheme which has been rolling out stores and stations since last November, aims to educate as well as recover and certainly its website is bursting with the enthusiasm needed to take on the task – https://www.wastereduction.gov.hk/en/community/crn_intro.htm
If you happen to be one of those people that sometimes worries if all that recycle potential from the often overflowing village bins, makes it to its intended destination, then Green Mui Wo is your chance to make sure it’s a done-deal.
The super helpful staff will be more than keen to assist you to off-load your recycled stuff and the store accepts a good few items, such as waste paper of all types, metals (other than pressurized cans), single use plastics and bottles, glass and even florescent tubes, small electrical appliances and rechargeable batteries.
Plus it’s a two-way street, as in return for your recycling endeavours the EPD has introduced GREEN$ – a reward point’s scheme.
Each time you bring in your recycle to the shop, it is weighed and so long as you have brought in 2kg or more, it is then converted into points. These are then held on your Green smart card, which Green Mui Wo provides.
The points can then be converted for a number of different things, mainly daily necessities and groceries, but also some environmentally friendly products, such as bamboo tissues, towels and recycling bags.
There are nine stores in operation under the EPD scheme and they have made a good start. Since November last year they have collected over 7,000 tonnes of recyclables and conducted a good number of environmental education events in the form of exhibitions, presentations and workshops.
Green Mui Wo is open 7 days a week from 9am to 7pm. There is also a night drop-off point at the entrance doorway, so you can recycle to your hearts content 24/7 really. Though be aware, night drop-off’s unfortunately won’t add any points to your GREEN$ card.
You will find that the Green website, makes no bones about recycling being the answer to it all stating, ‘Waste reduction is often associated with recycling, but there is much more to the issue than that. Avoiding the generation of waste in the first place and minimising waste are also central to any waste reduction’.
Green Mui Wo though is a good practical starting point and if it fires up your motivation, then take a surf on their site and see what more you can do within your sphere to help the environment.