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From Poop to Pool: New Sludge Plant Offers Free Spa Sessions

By Sophie Pettit 16 June 2016
Did you know that Hong Kongers produce 1,200 tonnes of "sludge" every day? Neither did we until we took a sneak peek at T PARK, the brand new sustainable state-of-the-art waste treatment facility which opens its door to the public this June 29. If you're looking for educational things to do with the kids this summer, this should definitely make your list. Located in the coastal hills near Tuen Mun, the $5 billion plant is the Government's answer to the city's growing waste issue, and offers much more than just sludge. Spread out across 7 hectares, the sleek low-rise facility features a T SPA with three heated pools (pictured below), a 9,800 metre Landscape Garden with bird sanctuary, rooftop garden, relaxing cafe, Sky Deck, and Environmental Education Centre. spa After four years of construction by French management giant Veolia, the park is finally ready to invite Hong Kongers to enjoy a free 90-minute spa session with interactive guided tour. Visitors will certainly learn a thing or two about poop along the way, as they browse the 300 square metre exhibition hall of interactive exhibits and take a peek through the glass windows to watch incinerators, steam turbines, and "sludge grabbers" (pictured below) transform waste into energy. It might sound a little absurd, but the concept behind T PARK is anything but laughable, given the Government's prediction that the volume of sludge generated every day will increase from 1,200 tonnes to date to 2,000 tonnes by 2030 due to the increasing population. Knowing that the disposal of such a vast quantity of sludge to Hong Kong's landfills is not sustainable, and identifying incineration technology as a means to reduce the volume of sludge by 90 percent, the Environmental Protection Department awarded the contract to Veolia to design and construct the self-sufficient facility. So how does it work? Each day, the plant treats 1,200 tonnes of sludge from the city's sewage treatment plants and incinerates it to generate enough renewable energy to power the whole facility plus surplus of 2 mega watts to be exported to the public power grid when running at full capacity. The plant is totally self-sufficient and by inviting the public to see how the process unfolds first-hand, the Government hopes to promote the “waste-to-energy” concept and educate the public about waste management. plant "T PARK is more than a plant, it's a place to learn and involve in Hong Kong's green drive through its educational, recreational and ecological facilities," says an Environmental Protection Department (EPD) spokesperson. "It signifies the continuous drive to shape Hong Kong's 'waste-to-energy' ambitions for the good of the community. It also reflects a vision to encourage positive change in people's attitudes and behaviours towards waste management and resource recovery and recycling." It certainly seems that the positive message is spreading - according to EPD, booking is nearly full for the next two months with curious Hong Kongers looking to enjoy a guided tour and dip in the pools. It might not sound like the most glamorous way to spend an afternoon, but it’s certainly a unique experience, and a great reminder that there's always a way to make the best of a sh*t situation!
Read more! Find the Coolest Outdoor Pools in Hong Kong.

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.