Quantifying externalities in solid waste management in Hong Kong

Shan Shan Chung, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The solid waste management plan of 1989 stipulates that landfilling is the chief waste disposal method in Hong Kong. Although currently no charge is involved in solid waste disposal, a landfill charge, covering the capital, operation, and maintenance costs but not the external environmental costs, will soon be introduced. This paper aims to identify the minimum size of the external costs involved with landfilling and incineration in Hong Kong with respect to global and local air pollution, water pollution, noise, and pollution from waste transport. It is found that landfilling results in a slightly lower external cost than incineration. However, factors not included in this paper, such as road casualties that arise from hauling waste and disamenities (a term coined to embrace negative impacts such as eyesores and loss of amenity values) may affect the preference of landfilling over incineration. The present study also shows that the external costs of landfilling are much greater than its capital, operation, and maintenance costs. The considerable size of the estimated external costs of traditional waste management methods demonstrates the need for in-depth and comprehensive research to develop local data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9894
Pages (from-to)282-289
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Environmental Science


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