Published: Monday 15 January 1996

Golfers and green activists have struck upon the novel idea of turning rubbish dumps into golf courses. In land-starved Hong Kong, concerned authorities are eager to redevelop four of its 13 old landfills. About us $219.8 million is to be spent in the restoration of all the landfills, and the construction of golf courses, a sports complex and a theatre on the four sites selected for redevelopment.

The garbage-to-golf transformation begins with capping of the landfill with a layer of clay, sealing in the garbage and sealing out water, which makes the garbage to decay faster. Hong Kong's old landfills are potential environmental hazards. Their restoration will put an end to landfill-related problems like dirty water, unstable slopes and emittance of gases. However, there are certain pitfalls too. The methane gas produced by the decomposing trash could slowly choke grass and trees.

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