The report of Colonial Surgeon Dr Ayres in 1875 referred in strong terms to the insanitary state of the town areas, including the keeping of pigs indiscriminately in dwelling houses. This report was apparently suppressed until 1881 when it was published as a reprint of parliamentary papers. Thereupon Mr Chadwick was appointed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to come out and report on the sanitary state of Hongkong. These suggestions were published in 1883.
The first Sanitary Board "for the supervision and control of the practical sanitation of Hongkong" was composed of: The Surveyor General (Dr F Stewart), the Colonial Surgeon, (Dr P.B.C. Ayres) and a newly appointed Sanitary Inspector (Mr Hugh McCallum) who officiated as honorary secretary.
In an issue of the Telegraph dated August 30, 1883, reference is made to steps taken by the Sanitary Board to implement the terms issued by the Secretary General calling on the people to cleanse and purify their houses. It had been arranged that the people of Hong Kong be given eight days to throw out into the streets between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. the filth and rubbish collected in the cleansing of their houses. This was done and on the evening of the first day immense heaps of rubbish were to be seen at almost every street corner in the Taiping-Shan and Saiyingpup districts. Unfortunately the people did not stick to the prescribed hours, with the result that the Nuisance Inspectors could not cope with the enormous quantities of filth in the streets. During the eight days 2,415 tons of rubbish were removed.
(The above is adapted from Jarrett's account)
The board was renamed the Urban Council in 1936 when the government passed the Urban Council Ordinance. (Wikipedia)