GREEN@WAN CHAI: A Recycling Centre Out of the Ordinary

Infrastructure / 2nd Quarter 2024

GREEN@WAN CHAI: A Recycling Centre Out of the Ordinary

by Ian Tan, PhD

June 11, 2024

Recycling has become a transactional task. We would bring used glass bottles, cans and waste paper to the recycling depot, and sort them into the various coloured bins denoting the items each one accepts. It is precisely how convenient recycling has become that recycling centres have become mundane infrastructure—they are seen as uninspiring and no longer demonstrating the important role they play to conserve natural resources and reduce pollution.

To address such concerns, the Environment Protection Department (EPD) rebranded its recycling centres under the catchy moniker GREEN@ COMMUNITY and opened new recycling stations across Hong Kong. They are the largest outlets within EPD’s community-centric recycling network. Each of the 11 recycling stations serves as a district hub for environmental outreach and lends support to smaller recycling centres and mobile recycling collection booths located in neighbourhoods.

GREEN@WAN CHAI is the only recycling station designed by an architecture firm instead of the government’s Architectural Service Department. The winning entry of an architectural competition, BREADstudio’s design broke the mould of cookie-cutter government buildings by being more than a dumping site for used household appliances. Instead, it integrates recycling with educational functions; one end of the building contains offices and operational spaces for sorting donated items, the other end hosts public workshops offering hands-on recycling experiences.

Completed in 2021, the horseshoe-shaped building demonstrates the adage “form follows function” figuratively and literally. At a functional level, interior spaces are planned according to the dimensions of cargo containers. This allows builders to adapt recycled container frames, walls and doors for easy construction; create flexible configurations; and meet the logistics requirements of transporting recyclable goods for further processing. The shape also symbolises the circular system for reducing waste through a cradle-to-cradle approach.


Project Name

6 Wan Shing Street, Wan Chai

Completion Date
January 2017

Site Area
335 square metres

Gross Floor Area
167.5 square metres

Number of Rooms

Building Height
6 metres

Architectural Service Department (ArchSD), Environment Protection Department, HKSAR Government

Architecture Firms
BREADstudio Ltd; ArchSD

Principal Architects
BREADstudio Ltd; ArchSD

Main Contractor
Cheung Hin Construction Co Ltd

Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

Civil & Structural Engineer

Quantity Surveyor

Landscape Architect
Otherland Ltd

Environmental Consultant


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