The World’s Most Wasteful City
The honor would go to China’s Hong Kong, whose growing wealth is leading to a rapidly increasing amount of waste.
In the last eight years, the amount of food waste in Hong Kong has tripled
In the last eight years, the amount of food waste in Hong Kong has tripled. On average, a resident of Hong Kong produces 921 kilograms of waste every year. This is twice the levels of Japan and South Korea, and also more than Norway, who was last year’s leader. A previous titleholder was the Americans, who throw away about 725 kilograms of waste each year.
Hong Kong also uses an enormous amount of water. 219 liters per person daily, compared to 170 liters used in Helsinki and 160 liters in Singapore.
The situation has gotten so out of hand, that the South East New Territories landfill is stacked to the brim. Legislators have proposed expanding the landfill into the neighboring Clear Water Bay park, but is receiving vigorous opposition to the proposal, with 3,000 residents signing a petitions to stop the expansion.
Not All Bad
Recycling programs have expanded in Hong Kong in recent years. With the expansion of New Territories landfill into the park stopped (for now). We can hope a new awareness has been raised and that reuse in Hong Kong will be promoted heavily in the years to come.