George Jones | Y12.

2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

green design

waste investigation

greener “are RCHK familiesresidents? ” than other hong kong

George Jones | Y12.2

Technology SL

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

Contents
Introduction Strategies for Research Data Collection Data Analysis Research Evaluation

p2 p2-5 p5-12 p12-16 p16

Introduction
Waste production from households is an increasingly growing cause for concern around the world, as to the quantities which are simply landfilled (landfilling a growing cause of concern in Hong Kong as they [landfills] are filling up) when they needn’t be. Other methods of waste removal are available, such as recycling, reuse and composting of natural materials. This ‘waste investigation’ aims to identify the waste output of households (that of the writer, and classmates) in RCHK. Primary data collection will last four weeks, compiled and analysed against statistics to determine the ‘green-ness’ of students in RCHK.

Strategies for Research
Introduction
In order to proceed in data collection, both primary and secondary collection methods need to be planned out in order to ensure a smooth research process.

Brainstorm
The following brainstorm created identifies areas of research revolving around the topic of waste, its disposal (methods) and strategies.

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

Research Strategies
In order stage out the research process, the following tables have been made to outline the stages or steps of research, what sets of data are required (and if any calculations are needed done to them). The first table below outlines the data required and to be collected by myself as primary research, while the second outlines the data to be collected from other sources, such as statistics, facts, definitions (from the internet for example).

Primary Research Where
Collect the following pieces of data 1 - trash/waste 2 - recyclable material 3 - reused material 4 - overall totals Average the data out according to daily and annually for the household Obtain a per capita set of data for daily and annual averages Calculate percentages in terms of totals, landfilled, recycled, reused, composted Compile aforementioned data into respective tables Collect data within my household

How
Weigh all materials in categories 1, 2 and 3 every day when removing trash, using kitchen scales 4 - add all figures of the day together The average daily sets of data can be calculated by adding figures Divide all average totals by four (the number of people in my household) Divide each type of treatment method (recycle, landfill, etc) by total, then multiply by 100 By compiling the following tables: 1 - data collection table 2 - my averages table (daily and annual averages for family; daily and annual averages per capita) By enquiring, and sharing like data

Why
This data will form the basis of the investigation - of how my family (and eventually others when compiled with theirs) compares with the rest of HK, in terms of how waste is managed Averaging the data collected from the investigation allows for a uniform, single set of data for use. Having a per capita set of data allows for easier comparison with others (as in families of different sizes, HK) The set of percentages are important for use in comparisons with the rest of Hong Kong - the purpose of this investigation The compilation process is necessary for the presentation of data in the aforementioned report

From the data obtained above From the averages compiled above From the averages mentioned above From all data above

Obtain 3 more sets of the data needed/outlined above

From classmates in Tech

To be able to better discern whether ‘RCHK’ individuals make better dispose of waste

The following table outlines the strategies/steps of the secondary research process - through other sources, such as that on the internet.

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

Secondary Research
Forms of waste disposal/treatment (definitions, etc) Hong Kong’s statistics - Total municipal waste output

Where
The internet

How
By using my web browser and searching for the specified data

Why
To get and outline a general understanding of the methods that will be used in the Primary Research, as well as in Hong Kong

The internet

By searching Government data

By identifying HK’s total municipal waste output per annum, the whole investigation can be put into a broader perspective - how we fit in, how HK fares By calculating or finding per capita data, direct comparisons can be made between HK and ourselves Percentage data is useful in providing a simpler view on the nature of the data, with comparisons easily drawable

- Municipal waste, per Capita, per annum - % Landfill/ % Recycled/ % Reused/ % Composted Compile above statistics

The internet

By searching Government data By searching Government data

The internet

Spreadsheet programs

Tabling all the data in a like manner to primary research, and calculating any missing cells

Data Collection

Secondary Research
Methods of Waste Management (and Definitions)
Municipal waste is the waste that comes from “households, commerce and trade, small businesses, office buildings and institutions” (Municipal Waste Treatment, 2007). This excludes sewage waste. One prime method used of disposing waste at present is to place waste into ‘landfills’. Landfills, like the one shown in Figure 1, are locations where in simple terms, the waste is ‘dumped’. Landfills are common-place in Hong Kong. An alternative to get rid of waste would be to ‘incinerate’ it, which is the combustion of waste to reduce/remove the mass of it. That said however, it isn’t a much better solution as “when burning waste, a large amount of energy, carbon dioxide and other potentially hazardous air

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

Figure 1: A landfill site, SE New Territories

pollutants is given off” (Waste Disposal, n.d.). A plus side is the ability to generate electricity from the burning process, preventing wasted energy (Waste Disposal, n.d.). There are greener alternatives however. Recycling is one such example, defined Figure 2: An Incineration Plant as “reprocessing of waste material in a production process that diverts it from the waste stream” (Municipal Waste Treatment, 2007). Waste material in essence goes through a process that allows for it to be used again anew, lessening the need of virgin resources. Composting is a “biological process that submits biodegradable waste to anaerobic or aerobic decomposition, and that results in a product that is recovered and can be used to increase soil fertility” (Municipal Waste Treatment, 2007). This matter easily integrates within the environment, leaving no damage, and can also be used in compost for crop growing. Reuse lastly is the “extending the ‘life’ or repurposing an item rather than discarding or throwing it away” (Recycle - Reduce Reuse, n.d.). Reusing products, while not in the waste treatment process (occuring before it), can prolong product use and prevent premature disposal, for example, reusing scrap paper or giving away computers for new use extends their life, slowing the rate of disposal into landfills.

Hong Kong’s Municipal Waste Output
Hong Kong has topped the list of “most Figure 3: Per Capita Disposal Rates of Municipal Solid Waste and Domestic Waste in 1991-2009 Line Graph waste-producing countries in the world” (Bryskine, 2010), with its population of almost 7 million generating “6.5 million tonnes” (Municipal Solid Waste, 2010). in 2009 alone. As shown in Figure 3, disposal rates

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

into landfills have shown decrease over the past few years, particularly domestic waste from 2004 to 2009.

Hong Kong’s Waste Disposal Divided
Hong Kong’s waste treatment process only undergoes two methods - landfilling and recycling. There is no incineration in the city, with it “halted 13 years ago” (MAHR, 2010). There is also no data or record of composting on a city-wide scale (Municipal Waste Treatment, 2007), and reuse data varies due to its nature (its hard to track, it can happen on any level - e.g. I reuse a sheet of scrap paper).

% Landfill

% Composted
n/a

% Recycled
49

% Reused
n/a

%

51

Of the aforementioned 6.5m tonnes of municipal waste generated, “49% was recycled and the rest went to landfills” (Municipal Solid Waste, 2010).

Hong Kong’s Waste Issue
Hong Kong is facing a large issue with regards to its treatment of waste. As it doesn’t incinerate, landfills are filling up, “with most expected to be at full capacity by 2015, according to Friends of the Earth data” (Bryskine, 2010). Existing sites include those at “Tuen Mun, Tseung Kwan O and Ta Kwu Ling” (Bryskine, 2010). The government is yet to decide whether to build new ones, or create two new incinerators, which many may oppose due to the pollution incinerators caused (MAHR, 2010). Fortunately, Hong Kong has a recycling program, with as mentioned 49% of municipal waste recycled. Introduced in 1993, the programs recycles “plastic, metal and paper” (Bryskine, 2010). Filled landfills are being closed up and repurposed for other uses, like for a driving range (Municipal Solid Waste, 2010).

Bibliography
Waste Disposal. (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2011, from MMU: http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/sustainability/older/Waste_Disposal.html Bryskine, S. (2010, October 30). Hong Kong Largest Garbage Producer in the World. Retrieved January 1, 2011, from The Epoch Times: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/45099/ Municipal Solid Waste. (2010, September). Retrieved January 1, 2011, from GovHK: http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/environment/waste/msw.htm Municipal Waste Treatment. (2007). Retrieved January 1, 2011, from UN Stats: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/wastetreatment.htm MAHR, K. (2010, October 26). Trash Talk: Hong Kongers Produce the Most Garbage in the World. Retrieved January 1, 2011, from Time:

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2010/10/26/trash-talk-hong-kongers-produce-the-mostgarbage-in-the-world/#ixzz1Ak3PcZu1 Recycle - Reduce - Reuse . (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2011, from 42 Explore: http://42explore.com/recycle.htm

Image Appendix
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 South_East_New_Territories_Landfill_2.jpg. (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2011, from Wikimedia: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/ South_East_New_Territories_Landfill_2.jpg incineration.jpg. (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2011, from Treehugger: http://i.treehugger.com/files/th_images/incineration.jpg e08.03.04.gif. (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2011, from EPD: http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/data/images/ e08.03.04.gif

Primary Research
The data collected for myself and family is attached at the end in appendix one. All measurements are in grams, and the displayed values are a daily average taken from the mean of the month’s recordings. That is multiplied to give an annual average. As different families have different numbers of people, the values have been given two extra columns for per capita values, whereby the family data is divided by the number of people in the family. This thus makes it easier to compare households fairly, as well as with government statistics.

Me (George)
The following table displays the average sets of data for different methods of waste removal/ treatment, in terms of a daily and annual average, for both the family of four and a per capita average.

Family (of 4) Waste Types avg. daily (g)
Waste for Landfill Composted Waste Recycled Waste Reused Waste Total Waste
174.15 0.00 507.60 40.00 1244.20

Per Capita
avg. daily (g) avg. annual (g)
174.15 0.00 126.90 10.00 311.05 63,564.75 0.00 46,318.50 3650.00 111,533.25

avg. annual (g)
63564.75 0.00 185,274.00 14,600.00 454,133.00

The table below shows the respective percentages calculated from the set of data in the table above.

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

% Landfill

% Composted
0.00

% Recycled
40.80

% Reused
3.21

%

55.99

Sally (Li)
The following table displays the average sets of data for different methods of waste removal/ treatment, in terms of a daily and annual average, for both Sally’s family of six and a per capita average.

Family (of 6) Waste Types avg. daily (g)
Waste for Landfill Composted Waste Recycled Waste Reused Waste Total Waste
593.00 169.00 301.00 161.00 1224.00

Per Capita
avg. daily (g) avg. annual (g)
148.25 42.25 75.25 40.25 306.00 63564.75 15,421.25 27,466.25 14,691.25 111,690.00

avg. annual (g)
216,445.00 61,685.00 109,865.00 58,765.00 446,760.00

The table below shows the respective percentages calculated from the set of data in the table above.

% Landfill

% Composted
13.81

% Recycled
24.59

% Reused
13.15

%

48.45

Nathan
The following table displays the average sets of data for different methods of waste removal/ treatment, in terms of a daily and annual average, for both Nathan’s family of six and a per capita average.

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

Family (of 6) Waste Types avg. daily (g)
Waste for Landfill Composted Waste Recycled Waste Reused Waste Total Waste
1136.00 0.00 1132.00 400.58 2,668.58

Per Capita
avg. daily (g) avg. annual (g)
189.33 0.00 188.67 66.76 444.76 69,106..67 0.00 68,863.33 24,368.62 162,339.62

avg. annual (g)
414,640.00 0.00 413,180.00 146,211.70 974,031.70

The table below shows the respective percentages calculated from the set of data in the table above.

% Landfill

% Composted
0

% Recycled
42.42

% Reused
15.01

%

42.57

Eva
The following table displays the average sets of data for different methods of waste removal/ treatment, in terms of a daily and annual average, for both Eva’s family of four and a per capita average.

Family (of 4) Waste Types avg. daily (g)
Waste for Landfill Composted Waste Recycled Waste Reused Waste Total Waste
81.00 462.00 645.00 238.00 1244.20

Per Capita
avg. daily (g) avg. annual (g)
20.25 115.50 161.25 59.50 311.05 7,391.25 42,157.50 58,856.25 21,717.50 111,533.25

avg. annual (g)
29,565.00 168,630.00 235,425.00 86,870.00 454,133.00

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

The table below shows the respective percentages calculated from the set of data in the table above.

% Landfill

% Composted
32.40

% Recycled
45.23

% Reused
16.69

%

5.68

Chiman
The following table displays the average sets of data for different methods of waste removal/ treatment, in terms of a daily and annual average, for both Chiman’s family of four and a per capita average.

Family (of 4) Waste Types avg. daily (g)
Waste for Landfill Composted Waste Recycled Waste Reused Waste Total Waste
188.00 694.00 197.00 58.38 1,137.38

Per Capita
avg. daily (g) avg. annual (g)
47.00 173.50 49.25 14.60 284.35 17,155.00 63,327.50 17,976.25 5,327.18 103,785.93

avg. annual (g)
68,620.00 253,310.00 71,905.00 21,308.7 415,143.70

The table below shows the respective percentages calculated from the set of data in the table above.

% Landfill

% Composted
61.02

% Recycled
17.32

% Reused
5.13

%

16.53

JoJo
The following table displays the average sets of data for different methods of waste removal/ treatment, in terms of a daily and annual average, for both JoJo’s family of four and a per capita average.

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

Family (of 4) Waste Types avg. daily (g)
Waste for Landfill Composted Waste Recycled Waste Reused Waste Total Waste
777.00 257.00 94.00 7.00 1,135.00

Per Capita
avg. daily (g) avg. annual (g)
194.25 64.25 23.50 1.75 283.75 70,901.25 23,451.25 8,577.50 638.75 103,568.75

avg. annual (g)
283,605.00 93,805.00 34,310.00 2,555.00 414,275.00

The table below shows the respective percentages calculated from the set of data in the table above.

% Landfill

% Composted
22.64

% Recycled
8.28

% Reused
0.62

%

68.46

Data Analysis
Analysis of Data
Of the data collected, the essential can be composed into the following table can be compiled - showing my family’s (or mine, per capita) distribution of waste against an average of RCHK students (five plus myself, per capita) as well as Hong Kong’s average (per capita). 6.5m tonnes can’t be used in the form that it is. It is divided the estimated population of HK, 7 million, and multiplied by 1,000,000 to give it in the form of grams like every other set of primary data.

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

Me (per capita)
Waste Types
Waste for Landfill Composted Waste Recycled Waste Reused Waste Total Waste
avg. daily (g) avg. annual (g)

RCHK (per capita)
avg. daily (g) avg. annual (g)

HK Average (per capita)
avg. daily (g) avg. annual (g)

174.15 0.00 126.90 10.00

63,564.75 0.00 46,318.50 3,650.00

578.60 263.67 479.43 150.83

211189.00 1399.22 96,239.33 0.00

47351.43 0.00 455,000.00 0.00

174,993.17 1246.58 55,051.73 0.00

311.05

113,533.25 1472.53

537,472.23 2544.03

928,571.43

This information can be transformed into the following chart (for daily averages, as annual averages is identical, except only all figures have been multiplied for an average for 365 days of the year). Landfilled Composted Recycled Reused

Bar Graph comparing daily (avg) waste disposed (g) and proportionate allocation
3000

2250 mass in grams (g)

1500

750

0

Me (p.c.), daily avg.

RCHK (p.c.), daily avg. Source of waste

HK avg. (p.c.), daily avg.

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

The graph above shows a comparison of waste produced on a daily basis, on average. As clearly shown, the Hong Kong average for produced municipal waste is significantly higher than that of students and their families in RCHK and myself (all done per capita of course for fair comparison). There is all a significant contribution to recycling, reuse and compost amongst those in RCHK, though I have demonstrated no capacity of composting, while Hong Kong on a public level, no reuse (due to nature of difficulty for data recording) or composting. There is significant recycling however on a grand scale. The graph does suggest that we in RCHK produce less waste on a daily basis and as such create less of an impact on the environment - particularly Hong Kong’s landfills. The table below compares all of the percentages against one another, myself (per capita), RCHK students (per capita), and Hong Kong on average (per capita).

% Landfill

% Composted % Recycled % Reused
0.00 17.91 n/a 40.80 32.56 49.00 3.21 10.24 n/a

My % RCHK % HK Average %

55.99 39.29 51.00

As mentioned, Hong Kong has no public composting system in place, and reuse data is hard to discern, as identified in the ‘Secondary Research’ section. As such, the graph for HK’s average below only shows recycling and landfill percentages. % Landfill % Composted % Recycled % Reused

A Pie Chart to show how waste is treated - me, per capita

3% 41%

56%

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

A Pie Chart to show how waste is treated - RCHK students, per capita

10% 39% 33% 18%

A Pie Chart to show how waste is treated - Hong Kong Average, per capita

49%

51%

These sets of percentages provide the basis for more accurate comparisons between all groups given. As the table and pie charts show, there is a very balanced proportion for all groups: myself, RCHK and HK. HK demonstrates nearly 1:1 landfill to recycling, though as noticed no capacity for reuse or composting. I, on average, fell slightly short - 40.80% recycled and 55.99% landfilled against Hong Kong’s 49% and 51% respectively. This would suggest, that I and my family are not as green as we could be, and could do more recycling, reusing or composting to reduce the overall landfilled percentage. RCHK students as a whole are more diverse in waste treatment methods - with reuse taking a significant portion, 10.24%, and compost even more so with 17.91%. While recycling makes up only 32.56%, it does mean however, that as a whole, we are greener, with only

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

39.29% being sent straight to the landfills, making us as a group on average, greener than the average Hong Kong resident (myself and family included).

Conclusions
To sum up the analyses of the data collected from both primary and secondary sources, Hong Kong has a progressively worsening situation with regards to waste disposal. Though disposal into landfills has decreased over the past five or so years, many landfills will be full be 2015 and the government needs to create more to accommodate the influx of waste. Recycling has been a mainstay of Hong Kong - its people in general, since a program was introduced in 1998. The Hong Kong average is 49% recycled, while my family and I fall short with 40.80%, implying that we aren’t as ‘green’ as we could be. RCHK students (from DP Tech class) on average are much ‘greener’ than typical HK residents, with only 39.29% going to the landfills, with the rest recycled, reused and composted (32.56%, 10.24% and 17.91% respectively). Furthermore, compared with the average HK resident, we contribute much less waste, especially to landfills - I, per capita, with 174.15g; RCHK average, per capita, 578.60g; compared with 1399.22g of HK residents. As such, it can be said that we in RCHK - our families and ourselves, based upon the findings of the investigation data - are ‘greener’ families on average for contributing less to landfills in both percentage and overall average figures. Much of the landfill-destined waste is compostable and as such a composting facility is a necessary introduction, so as to reduce the landfill waste even further, and potentially turn that composted material into useful matter, say for farming - selling it to farmers in China and Hong Kong for example, being one possibility (how feasible it would be is questionable).

Research Evaluation

As a whole, this was an awkward research investigation to carry out, and though I did very well in my opinion to be as accurate as possible - using kitchen scales to weight all waste material - I did not do as well as I’d have hoped for in terms of accuracy, consistency. Firstly, I was in the UK for a significant portion of December, and so had to carry the data recording into January while also having to do only twenty-five days rather than the required thirty-one. Worse though, I didn’t compost at all (had no facility to) and I had dilemma in trying to to create a ‘reused’ figure set. We only reuse paper, having a box full of it. I recorded the mass of it each day but it amounted to 1000g every time, so I divided by the total days (25) to get an average of 40g per day, which is what I stuck with. It isn’t particularly representative or accurate, and is a major flaw. For the next investigative process, I will need to ensure that data is fully recorded within the timeframe, and as accurately done as possible - this a key improvement needed performance-wise.

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George Jones | Y12.2 Technology SL | Waste Investigation Research Project | Due 13th January 2011

Appendix One: Data Tables

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