Sludge Drudge

Sludge Drudge

31 May, 2016
It’s a spa, too!
Hong Kong innovates in waste management with new sludge treatment facility
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In a city as densely populated as Hong Kong, environmental problems of excess are inevitable… and sewage is no exception. Currently Hong Kong produces 1,200 tonnes of the stuff on a daily basis, most of which is disposed of in landfills. But this is no longer a viable option as the amount of sludge production is on a steady rise. Enter T.PARK. No, it’s not an amusement park – it’s a sewage plant.  The ‘T’ stands for transformation, which aligns with the facility’s aim of transforming people’s attitudes and behaviour towards waste management.

Hong Kong’s first dedicated sludge treatment facility, T.PARK opened in Tuen Mun late last month, as a self-sustaining waste treatment facility. To cope with large amounts of sludge, it uses an advanced incineration system to reduce the sludge volume by 90 per cent, converting it into ash and residues. This only leaves 10 per cent to be disposed of in landfills, offering a massive decrease that also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 260,000 tonnes per year. The plant can treat up to 2,000 tonnes of sludge daily, a figure that is likely to be reached by around 2030.

The heat generated from the incineration process can be recovered and used as electricity for the facility. Not only is the electricity generated enough to sustain the needs of T.PARK, but an additional 4,000 households can benefit from surplus electricity.

The stunning architecture of the facility is not only designed withaesthetics in mind but also hopes to achieve the BEAM platinum rating. It has already won a Structural Excellence Award from the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers, as well as interest and acclaim worldwide.

But here’s where it gets really innovative: to encourage people to learn more about sustainable development, T.PARK is welcoming visitors to peruse the site and enjoy its leisure and educational facilities. The idea is to provide appealing facilities with providing relaxing and enjoyable activities for the public, and in doing so create an opportunity to educate about environmental issues.

To this end, there’s a wetland habitat for wildlife –  T.HABITAT provides a sanctum for wildlife such as Little Grebe, kingfishers, and water hens. There’s also a tranquil roof garden with a panoramic view of Deep Bay, and a large, landscaped garden with five areas: a fountain garden, a leisure garden, a Zen garden, a wetland garden, and an outdoor footbath.

And, perhaps the piece de resistance for many: visitors can relax and enjoy the stunning view of Deep Bay from T.SPA, which includes hot, ambient, and cool temperature spa pools that can be booked in advance for a relaxing, sludge-powered spa day with spectacular views of the bay!

These facilities are open to public at no cost, though visitors do need to book in advance. T.PARK is open every day except Tuesday from 10am to 7pm. Visitor booking forms can be found on the official website. For more information, visit www.tpark.hk.

By: Sadia Lima
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