Professor Rob proposes community clean up of Maclehose Trail

Professor Rob Hayes has a crazy idea. He plans to clear the rubbish off the MacLehose Trail, all 100kms of it, in one day then have a party.

Rob, the barmy boffin, lives in O Tau, Sai Kung, when he is not in Guangzhou. There he is Professor of Advanced Optoelectronics at South China University. He leads an innovation team that is creating future green technology. Rob and his students make electronic displays: In layman’s terms they can make you an outdoor TV that will roll up like a newspaper. He says cleaning the MacLehose Trail in a day is not as mad as it seems. Twenty people could do it.  Teams of two walk a single stage with garbage bags picking up rubbish along the way and depositing it in the bins at the stage end.   “Yesterday I collected about five kilos of rubbish, 200 items, off Stage 3 (Pak Tam Au to Kei Ling Ha). The cleaning time was 15 minutes per kilometre.” Rob looks like he doesn’t have an ounce of fat on his body.

The date of the first clean-up has not been set yet, but he is thinking October, so the Trail will be looking at its best for the following Trailwalker. Rob is developing a website, seeking volunteers, and hoping to find an institution such as a school that will jointly take on the project.  Sponsors for t-shirts and sun hats, transport and food and drink for the party are being sought. “The idea is to get everyone who has taken part in the clean-up to gather for a celebration somewhere picturesque mid-way on the trail, perhaps at Ma On Shan.” It will be an outdoor party with lots of food, drink and back-slapping. “Look what we accomplished.” Rob said,”Hong Kong has thousands of trails. Think what we might be able to do if this takes off.”

To find out more about Rob’s project and progress visit , and if you’re interested in putting some trainers on and your back into some rewarding work email

Click here for the latest article on the Maclehose Trail clean up!

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