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How Recycling Works in Discovery Bay

Posted on September 15th, 2008 in DB as a city,Recycling by Michele Felder

In Discovery Bay each building has its own cleaning person who collects rubbish and recycling from the rubbish room every day and sometimes twice a day.  The cleaners go from floor to floor, or house to house, bagging rubbish.  These cleaners all work for Winson Cleaning Services who have the contract with Discovery Bay City Management.  Cleaners, as is customary in much of Hong Kong, are able to earn a small amount of money by selling the plastics, metals and clothes to recycling companies. Certain recycling goods are worth more than others. Aluminium cans and plastic bottles are particularly valuable.

There is one recycling company that comes to Discovery Bay on Friday afternoons at 4:30 pm opposite the Mui Wo ferry pier. They weigh and pay the cleaning staff for clothes and metals, dividing metals into particular categories. This company also takes all the paper recycling (quite a substantial amount) to their plant where it is weighed and paid directly to Winson. The company also takes plastic recycling. While they don’t pay cleaners for this plastic, it is still recycled.

In some buildings, recycling chutes, buns or storage areas are being utilised to aid recycling and collection efforts. The cleaners manage these areas and bag items for pick-up. Typically the cleaners will put the recycling items and the general rubbish into separate bags.  Recyclables may be co-mingled during collection and then separated later.

The paper and cardboard recycling is collected from the storage/resting areas on Monday and Thursday afternoons by truck; plastics and metals on Fridays. Rubbish is collected in the mornings.  By collecting rubbish in the morning and recycling in the afternoon, the two are easily kept separate. Rubbish and recycling trucks are NEVER mixed. Occasionally rubbish trucks will go to a village more than once in a day if renovation works at a building mean a larger amount of rubbish is being produced. But you should never see rubbish and recycling going in to the same truck.

On Fridays you may see metal objects along the side of the road. When larger recyclable objects are found – old water heaters, cast iron baths, construction rods, old curtain rails, etc. – that are too bulky for the cleaners to take down themselves, the recycling truck driver is informed of their locations for pick-up on Fridays en route from the tunnel to Nim Shue Wan.

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