Second batch of Community Involvement Projects for Municipal Solid Waste charging launched (with photos)
Speaking at today's launch ceremony, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said that the implementation of quantity-based MSW charging can effectively reduce waste and enhance recycling. On equity ground and based on the "polluter-pays principle", the Government will implement MSW charging in all sectors in one go, so as to provide economic incentives to drive behavioural change, thereby reducing the overall waste disposal rate.
Mr Wong said, "The Community Involvement Projects allow different stakeholders to gain some early experience of different modes of quantity-based charging and their implementation arrangements in real settings, such that they can better prepare themselves for the implementation of waste charging. The projects also encourage the public to practise 'use less, waste less', and enable a low-carbon green living culture to further take root in the community."
"The successful experiences of our neighbouring cities show that the implementation of quantity-based MSW charging can effectively bring about behavioural change to achieve waste reduction. The Government plans to introduce the necessary legislation for MSW charging into the Legislative Council in the first half of 2017. A preparatory period of 12 to 18 months would be put in place after the passage of the legislation. It is expected that waste charging can be implemented in the second half of 2019 the earliest," he added.
On the proposed charging mechanism, two charging modes will be adopted according to the current waste collection methods, namely charging "by bags" and charging "by weight". The charging "by bags" arrangement will apply to premises using the refuse collection service provided by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD). Their waste is collected by the waste collection fleet of FEHD or directly disposed of at FEHD's refuse collection points. Charging will be based on the sizes of the pre-paid designated garbage bags following the "pay as you throw" principle. Most of the residential premises will adopt this charging mode. The "by weight" arrangement will apply to premises which hire private waste collectors to directly dispose of waste at landfills or refuse transfer stations. Charging will be based on the weight of waste disposed. Commercial and industrial premises and residential premises not using FEHD's waste collection service will adopt this charging mode.
Mr Wong said, "As evident in the successful experiences of other cities, publicity and public education hold the key to the successful implementation of MSW charging. We will publicise to different sectors and stakeholders details of the charging scheme through a wide range of public education and publicity activities at different stages, including during the scrutiny of the bill, the preparatory period after the passage of the bill, and after the actual implementation. We will also continue to engage different stakeholders through various platforms to enhance their awareness and understanding of MSW charging."
Since its launch in October 2015, the Community Involvement Projects have been receiving very positive responses. More than 30 projects have been approved so far, involving a total funding of $33 million. Thirteen projects approved under the first batch commenced from mid-2016 onwards. The second batch, with 20 approved projects, will cover a wider variety of residential as well as industrial and commercial buildings, such as institutions, community services units, commercial buildings, shopping malls, housing estates with property management companies, single-block buildings, as well as rural areas with low-density residential premises and shops. Participating organisations and bodies will conclude their experience gained upon the completion of their projects. They will also share their experience with other stakeholders through sharing sessions and best practice guides.
More details and application information on the Community Involvement Projects can be found on the ECF's website at www.ecf.gov.hk/en/home/index.html.
Other officiating guests at today's ceremony include the Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE), Mr Stanley Wong; the Deputy Chairman of the ACE, Professor Nora Tam; the Chairman of the ECF Waste Reduction Projects Vetting Subcommittee, Dr Chan Fuk-cheung; and the Chairman of the Waste Management Subcommittee of the ACE, Professor Irene Lo.
Ends/Sunday, March 5, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:43
Issued at HKT 16:43