Who is eligible to apply for the “Food Waste Recycling Projects in Housing Estates”?  Is residential hall in university or shopping mall eligible as well?


Owners’ Corporations registered under the Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344), owners’ organisations or residents’ organisations of residential buildings are eligible to apply.  Property management companies acting on behalf of the residents’ organisations of private residential buildings are also eligible if consent from the residential organisations is obtained before making applications.  Applications from public housing estates owned by Housing Authority, Housing Society and Government quarters will be not be accepted because other Government subsidy may be given.

This project aims to provide funding support for housing estates to install on-site composting machine.  Other places such as residential halls in universities or shopping malls are not eligible.

If the housing estate has already installed food waste food waste composting machines, can they still apply for the funding support?

Yes, they can still apply for the funding.  However, they must state clearly the information related to the existing food waste composting machines in the application form for the Vetting Sub-committee ‘s consideration.  (The application form should include daily capacity of the existing food waste composting machines, form of fertilizer produced, year of commencement of operation, brand name, name of supplier, and indicate whether the food waste composting machines is purchased or being rented.)

Which types of food waste food waste composting machines machine are included in this project?

The food waste composting machines system approved in this project should be able to produce compost in solid powder form.  Discharge of wastewater or dumping of the product to landfill site is prohibited. 

What is the funding limits?

The actual subsidised amount depends on various factors such as the capacity of the food waste composting machines rented, the number of participating households and the types or frequencies of educational activities, etc.  Applicants should refer to “Level of Funding Support” in Appendix A of the Guide to Application.  For application exceeded HK$2,000,000, it will be considered by the Environment and Conservation Fund Committee.

What services is provided by the Government for implementing the Project?

EPD will organise briefing sessions for housing estates.  Besides, EPD had also commissioned a consultant to conduct site visits in order to assist housing estate to identify suitable location for installation of the food waste composting machine.  For the details of briefing sessions and site visits, please contact EPD. 

Will housing estate receive funding support for engagement of green groups, non-governmental organisations or other suitable organisations for organising educational or promotional activities?

Funding support for engaging suitable group for organizing the education activities is available.  The services to be provided by the organisation can include questionnaire surveys (required as a condition of granting ECF under para.  2.5 in this guide to application) for gauging the behavioural change and environmental awareness of participating residents. 

Can the applicant housing estate continue to use the food waste composting machines after the funding project?

After the 24-month lease period of the food waste food waste composting machines, the housing estate may consider to apply further funding from the ECF to buy off the food waste composting machines.


Is housing estate eligible for the funding if only food waste collection is carried out inside the estate, while putting the food waste composting equipment at the contractor’s place?

Housing estate must set up on-site food waste composting equipment to be eligible for the funding. Hence, the composting equipment must be located inside the estate. Hiring staffs, purchasing other necessary equipment such as food waste collection bins, and organising educational activities to encourage residents’ participation and raise residents’ awareness on waste reduction are also supported by the project funding.


If excessive amount of compost is produced by composting equipment, can the surplus compost be donated to other organisations or sold in market?

Surplus compost can be donated but housing estate should prove no transaction of interest is involved. If the surplus compost is sold, the money obtained from the transaction should be returned to ECF for offset the subsidy.


Different brands and models of composting machine have different power consumptions. Will ECF subsidize the entire electricity fee?

ECF will provide funding support for electricity fee, but the applicant housing estates should estimate the required expenses in the project budget. Funding will be commenced from the installation date of the composting equipment, and electricity fee will be reimbursed based on the actual electricity usage and readings on the electricity meter will be checked.


Can the food waste collection be outsourced by the housing estates?

Housing estate can outsource the food waste collection to other companies, but it should be listed clearly in the project budget.


Should full-time staffs or part-time staffs be hired for food waste collection and operation of composting equipment?

Housing estates can decide to hire full-time or part-time staffs. However, salary payment records, MPF contribution records and employee’s compensation insurance record should be submitted to ECF for reference.


When will the application result be announced after submitting the application form?

It depends on whether the information on application form is sufficient and the schedule of Vetting-Sub committee meetings


When will be the phase 2 of the project open for application?

The phase 2 of the project has been opened for application since October 2012


Where can a list of green groups, NGOs or other suitable organizations be obtained if applicant housing estate wish to engage such groups for promotional or educational activivites?

Applicants housing estate can refer to the EPD webpage below. Please note that not all the green groups are listed and the webpage is for reference purpose only.

Green groups/NGOs listed on EPD webpage:

What kinds of food waste can be recycled?

*In general, the size of food waste should not be larger than 50mm

What should be checked when using the food composting machine?

The following should be checked when using the food composting machine:

  • Are the power supply and food waste composting machines properly connected?
  • Is the operating temperature of the food waste composting machines normal?
  • Is source separation properly done? (such as separation of bones or other large volume of food waste from food waste to be treated)
  • Does the food waste contain too much liquid?
How to handle the abnormal situations or problems when using the food waste composting machine?

The table below listed some of the possible causes and solutions.  If problem persists, suppliers should be contacted for technical support.

Possible Situations
Possible Causes
Possible Solutions
Poor compost quality
Excessive foreign objects
  • Pick up the foreign objects manually or add a filtering equipment
  • Strengthen the promotion on source separation
Size of food waste is too big
  • Cut the food waste into smaller sizes
  • Strengthen the promotion on source separation
Slow Decomposition of Food Waste
Vent being blocked
  • Clean the blocked vent
Too much food waste input
  • Reduce the input amount of food waste to the composting machine
Insufficient air
  • Reduce the input amount of food waste to the composting machine
High humidity
  • Add dry bulking agent(2)
Products closely packed
  • Add dry and large bulking agent(2)
Ammonia Smell
Low carbon and nitrogen ratio
  • Increase the proportion of carbon, such as straw, saw dust, wood chips or dried leaves
Poor environmental hygiene
  • Remove discharged liquid from food waste composting machine
  • Keep clean of the environment

(2)Different machines may require bulking agents, such as leaves, carbon granules, straws, saw dust or wood chips

How should housing estate handle food waste of larger size
(such as bones)?

Housing estate should educate participating households to separate food waste of larger sizes (such as bones) from other food waste for treatment because larger food waste will affect the quality of compost recycled or damage the composting equipment such larger waste can be discarded as usual municipal solid waste.

Where can I find information for suitable food waste composting machines?

You can refer to this website for the information of food waste composting machines:

In general, a food waste composting machines of capacity 50 kg per day is estimated to be able to treat food waste generated from approximately 60 households while that of 100 kg per day should cater for approximately 120 households.

How should the housing estate choose an appropriate supplier for food waste composting machine?

The housing estate should first refer to the technical requirements stated in Session 5 of this Guideline and to ensure the supplier’s equipment meets all the requirements.  The food waste composting machine capacity varies with different models.  Housing estate should consider the food waste composting machine model based on number of residents.  Moreover, the supplier must be able to prove the compost produced from their machine meets the standards stated in Hong Kong Organic Resource Centre’s Compost and Soil Conditioner Quality Standards 2005.  If the standards cannot be met, the Environment and Conservation Fund may not allow the reimbursement of the expenditures for renting the food waste composting machine.

How to find a suitable location for installation of the food waste composting machine?

When looking for a place to locate the composting machine, the housing estate may consider the central garbage room or other common outdoor areas with sufficient spaces.  The three factors listed in Session 6 of this Guideline should be considered.  Housing estate should spare enough space for the food waste composting machines well as space for storage of compost or other equipment.

Will odour be produced during the operation of the food waste composting machine? Does it have any impacts to the residents?

When the food waste composting machine is operating, odour may be generated. Though food waste composting machine is equipped with deodourisation system, odour is still likely to be generated occasionally.  Therefore, choosing a suitable place for installing the food waste composting machine is very important.  A place with good ventilation and appropriate location of exhaust outlet can help to minimise impact on residents.

What is the requirement of this project on the odour generated by food waste composting machine?

Suppliers should verify whether the odour removal equipment can remove odour effectively.


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Last revision date: December 2011