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A congested city

There were more people, and more vehicles in the MSAR last year

The city’s population density increased to 21,400 persons per square kilometre in 2016, as compared to 21,100 persons per square kilometre in 2015, the latest Environmental Statistics report released by the Statistics and Census Services (DSEC) yesterday reveals.
Meanwhile, the lane length of public roads available in the SAR totalled 427.4 kilometres in 2016, with vehicle density increasing to 586 vehicles per kilometre in 2016 vis-a-vis 583 vehicles per kilometre recorded a year earlier.
Despite the slight increase in vehicle density, DSEC noted that all five stations monitoring air quality in Macau registered an increase in the number of days with ‘moderate’ air quality.
The worst air quality standards were found in the densely residential area of the Northern district of the Macau Peninsula, which recorded the highest number of days with ‘poor’ air quality, 19 days, followed by the densely residential area in Taipa and the Concordia Industrial Park in Coloane, which both recorded 17 days of ‘poor’ air quality in the year.
The Environmental Protection Bureau received 489 cases of air pollution complaints in 2016, down56 cases when compared to 2015, the survey shows.
Of these, complaints about the emission of exhaust gas and smell from local eateries accounted for 44.6 per cent of the total (or 218 cases) whilst those about the smell from commercial establishments accounted for 16.2 per cent (or 79 cases).

Water consumption
Water consumption was also on the rise throughout 2016, reaching 86.7 million cubic metres, a 2.1 per cent increase year-on-year as all sectors in the MSAR used more water during the year.
The greatest growth was evident in the business sector, which consumed 44.17 million cubic metres of water during the year, a 2.4 per cent increase. Local households, meanwhile, used 36.97 million cubic metres of water, up 1.8 per cent year-on-year, while water consumption of the MSAR Government rose by 1.5 per cent year-on-year to 5.55 million cubic metres.
According to the survey, the city’s five Waste Water Treatment Plants treated an average of 229,521 cubic metres of waste water per day, up by 18.9 per cent year-on-year. In particular, the average daily volume of waste water treated by the plant on the Macau Peninsula increased 21.3 per cent year-on-year to 161,145 cubic metres.
The increase in the population residing in Coloane also drove up the average daily volume of waste water treated by the Coloane sewage plant by 22.7 per cent year-on-year to 35,223 cubic metres, DSEC notes.
Likewise, the volume of domestic garbage collected during the whole year of 2016 rose 5 per cent year-on-year to 239,993 tonnes, of which that from the business sector increased by 10 per cent to 137,949 tonnes.
The volume of construction waste transported to landfills was, however, down to 3,269 tonnes, representing a significant decrease of 32.4 per cent year-on-year.