52 Stink Boats – used in the removal of nightsoil from Hong Kong island in the 1960s and 70s

In a recent email IDJ brought up the subject of stink boats following the recent posting on the website of an article about night soil collection in Hong Kong, linked below.

If you can add further information about these boats or an image of one please send it into the site.

IDJ: From recollections of transportation to my workplaces via walla-wallas the 1960s-70s , the night-soil was moved from the bulk collection points on the waterfront in anonymous black barges pulled by small tugboats. They left the Kennedy Town waterfront for a marine dumping ground between Tsing Yi and Lantau Islands. The barge’s aromatic contents were obvious to passing vessels, hence the name “stink boats” comes to mind.

Once at the dumping grounds the barge’s bottom emptying doors were opened and the contents dropped into the sea to be dispersed by fast-flowing currents passing though the MA WAN Channel. The barges then returned to Kennedy Town. How many times a day they made the journey I’ve no idea.

Courtesy: Apple Daily 2013

This Q+A was first posted on 8th September 2020.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Night soil collection in Hong Kong – updated – four current locations, July 2016
  2. New nightsoil collection removal methods in Hongkong, newspaper article 1940
  3. Night soil collection in Hong Kong – honey buckets…information needed

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