According to information, over 100,000 tonnes of glass waste are produced in Hong Kong each year. However, due to the low recycling rate, a large amount of recyclable resources are wasted. In view of this, four Lingnan students including Wilson Chan Wai-ho (Finance, Year 4), Roy Chan Sung-nok (Finance, Year 3), Harry Fok Cheuk-kwong (Finance, Year 4) and Edmond Shing Long-kit (Accounting, Year 3) formed a team and proposed an “Elite Recycling Enterprise” plan to set up a social enterprise to process glass waste with innovative technology, and at the same time employ people with disabilities in the hope of enhancing environmental protection and helping the disadvantaged to get a job.
The "Elite Recycling Enterprise" plan is a green social enterprise project, which hopes to employ people with disabilities who are being neglected in the society to process recycled glass waste, according to team member Wilson Chan. The social enterprise will introduce an innovative technology from Japan in which recycled glass waste is ground into flour-like powder. An additive similar to baking powder will then be added. The powder is then heated and expands, and becomes a flagstone after cooling. The flagstone then becomes artificial pumice after being broken up and polished.
The artificial pumice produced is strong, light, and water permeable, suitable as a filling material in infrastructure projects, and can be used in road paving as well as cover and bridge construction. Wilson and his teammates expect that such artificial pumice can be exported to Belt and Road countries where there will be an abundance of infrastructure construction projects in the future.
Wilson pointed out that the project is meaningful as it can achieve the dual objectives of reducing resource wastage while assisting the employment of people with disabilities. Their plan was awarded Second Class Award in the “Social Enterprise” division of the “Entrepreneurship Category” in the “Challenge Cup” National Competition – Hong Kong Regional Final, Hong Kong University Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition 2016, and was selected as one of the projects to represent Hong Kong in the “Challenge Cup” National Competition.
The team hope that there is opportunity to put the plan into practice and the business can be sustained in order to raise public awareness on glass waste recycling and care for the underprivileged.