Recovery systems in Guangzhou and Hong Kong

Shan-shan Chung, Chi-sun Poon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


At a time when the governments of the developed world are consciously raising their waste recovery rates through active official participation, it would be of considerable interest for these countries to know that in 1996 about 1.65 million t of material was recovered from the waste stream of Hong Kong for local or overseas recycling. This is equivalent to about 36% of the MSW generated in that year but was achieved with minimal involvement from the public sector. Another major city in south China, Guangzhou, has its own waste recovery system which is more complex than that of Hong Kong. As opposed to the positive non-intervention attitude of the Hong Kong government, the waste recovery sector in Guangzhou is managed and monitored by the Guangzhou Recyclable Management Office and the Public Security Bureau to ensure there is an adequate supply of secondary material for local industry and to prevent the use of junk shops as outlets for swag. Other differences in the structure of the waste recovery sectors of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, the problems that these two systems face, and the side-effects of the legislative control on the import of recyclables to mainland China are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Issue number1-2
Early online date7 Jul 1998
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Guangzhou
  • Hong Kong
  • China
  • Waste recovery systems
  • Recyclable contents
  • Economic incentives
  • Legislative control on import of recyclables


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