Recycle to restart job market: Lawmakers
Updated: 2009-11-26 07:36
HONG KONG: Lawmakers across the political spectrum have urged the government to help further develop the recycling industry in a bid to create more job opportunities at the grassroots level.
The appeal was made yesterday when legislators debated on the motion calling for better employment support to help the poor.
The non-binding motion, moved by Wong Kwok-kin and amended by Wong Sing-chi, Tommy Cheung, Leung Yiu-chung, Cyd Ho, Lee Cheuk-yan and Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, was passed.
Lawmaker Chan Hak-kan, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, suggested Hong Kong authorities learn from Taiwan, where residents are asked to divide their waste into three types - leftovers, recyclable items and non-recyclable materials.
Recyclers will then collect the recyclable items and hire thousands of workers to get the materials sorted, Chan said.
"(In Hong Kong,) many do not actively get involved in recycling. Some don't know how to sort the items, while some others simply don't care as they find it complicated," he said.
Patrick Lau Sau-shing, the lawmaker for the architectural, surveying and planning sector, called on the government to consider leasing not-yet-developed land to recyclers on a short-term basis to help them out.
Engineering-sector legislator Raymond Ho Chung-tai also said he believes that the recycling industry boom can help create more job opportunities.
Lawmaker Peter Cheung Kwok-che, of the Social Workers' General Union, said as the industry is labor-intensive, low-skilled workers will probably benefit if it is further developed.
Wong Kwok-kin, of the Federation of Trade Unions, called on authorities to provide more training opportunities to youngsters and newly-arrived immigrants while the government is beefing up six key areas identified as potential new economic pillars.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the Employees Retraining Board plans to provide 123,000 training places in 2009-10 and 20,000 more can be rolled out if needed.
(HK Edition 11/26/2009 page1)