Sai Kung rolls out anti-wildlife rubbish bins

The new bins hope to reduce rubbish pollution across Sai Kung Country Park. Chris Alexander reports.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has recently unveiled a set of animal-proof rubbish bins to combat waste in Sai Kung Country park. 

A common nuisance around the country parks in recent years has been incidents of rubbish bins being turned over or rummaged in by wildlife. Rats, monkeys and even wild boars have been known to try their luck in the past, leading to pollution and potentially dangerous encounters with the public. 

In an attempt to combat this problem, the government has joined forces with the Public Design Lab of Hong Kong Polytechnic University to design three anti-wildlife rubbish bins to combat against different animals. After two years of trials, the bins are now in service across Hong Kong. 

The first is a large rubbish bin that blocks raids by wild pigs. The rubbish bin is housed in a fenced enclosure fixed to the ground with a smaller opening to prevent wild pigs from climbing into the bin.

The second is designed to prevent raids from monkeys and has a tightly closed lid that can only be opened by a foot pedal, to stop monkeys from obtaining rubbish by opening the lid. 

And last but not least is a roadside bin which features a foot pedal and slits on the sides and back of the bin to make it easier to secure to a nearby structure such as a railing or a lamppost, preventing upending by wild animals.

In certain locations, particularly those close to forest areas and wildlife habitats, the bins are reinforced with a fenced enclosure, to ensure that foraging boar can’t overturn them. In total there are three types of bins now operational on the streets of Sai Kung, each one designed to solve challenges posed by specific animals.

“The Government placed the three newly designed types of bins and containers at over 70 locations across 14 districts in Hong Kong where wild animal nuisance is commonly found,” explained an AFCD spokesman.

To ensure the rubbish bins’ success, the department conducted three separate field trials and refined the bins’ design accordingly. According to AFCD, these tweaks also took into account usage by cleaning workers and members of the public and resident survey findings. 

Officials remind all Sai Kung residents that the best way to avoid pollution caused by wildlife intrusion is to dispose of all waste properly and avoid feeding wild animals.

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