Four country park hiking trails and a nature reserve have had bins removed this month, in a government drive to encourage hikers to take rubbish home.
Littering and overflowing rubbish bins have long been an eyesore in some country parks and authorities hope a new one-year education campaign - jointly organised with 17 green and hiking groups - can help protect the environment and cut waste.
A total of 40 bins have been removed along section three of Lantau Trail on Lantau Peak, Ma On Shan Country Trail, Tai Lam Chung Country Trail near Tuen Mun, the Dragon's Back above Shek O and the nature reserve at Tai Po Kau.
Angela Chan Ching-han, a country parks official with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department noted bins got so full in some parks rubbish was often left around them.
"This is never a good sight. ... Excess rubbish can attract wild animals such as monkeys and wild pigs scavenging for food," she said. "I have seen a monkey eating things like spicy potato chips, which is really not good for them."
The impact on the environment is another problem. On coastal trails such as the Dragon's Back, rubbish left lying near full bins could be swept over the mountainside or into the sea by the wind, making clean-up work extremely tedious, she added.
"Take your litter home" signs will replace bins, though some will remain at trail entrances, toilets and barbecue pits.
Environment secretary Wong Kam-sing, an avid hiker, suggested park users carry reusable bottles, containers and towels.
The department has been reducing the number of bins in country parks over the last five years - from 2,870 in 2010 down to 2,385 this year.
But workers are collecting more waste from country parks.
Some 3,800 tonnes was collected last year - up from 3,700 in each of the previous two years. A department spokesman said the figures reflected efforts to collect waste.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Bins gone in push to cut country park litter