Challenges in food waste recycling in high-rise buildings and public design for sustainability: A case in Hong Kong

Jia Xin Xiao, Kin Wai Michael Siu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In recent decades, various studies on policy, management, behaviour, norms and economic incentives related to food waste issues have been conducted. Many of the studies are from a quantitative perspective which has given a wider but general coverage of study and analysis on the matters. However, the impacts of context, such as living environments and social culture, on recycling activities from a qualitative as well as in-depth perspective have seldom been discussed, especially in densely populated communities. Taking Hong Kong as an example, some food waste recycling (FWR) initiatives have been launched in housing estates. However, most projects have been suspended due to many practical problems. Only a few cases are still on-going. Physical setting quality has been identified as a significant factor affecting sustainable behaviour. Inefficient and low-quality public designs that do not consider living environments and specific lifestyles may fail to encourage community participation. This study aims to provide a more in-depth investigation into people's attitudes and actual behaviour towards and to shed light on public design for sustainability. Using the FWR programme in Amoy Gardens as a case, this study uses qualitative research methods to explore FWR experiences and improve its weaknesses. The findings show three potential challenges to FWR in densely populated high-rise buildings: (1) limited space, (2) hygiene issues and (3) implementation and management. This study also provides implications for public design to improve sustainability in communities and encourage public participation in FWR in high-density residential areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Food waste recycling
  • High-rise buildings
  • Public design
  • Recycling behaviour
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

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