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Transcript of SEN's stand-up session on municipal solid waste charging consultation

     Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, at a media stand-up session at the Central Government Offices, Tamar, today (January 10):

Reporter: Can you elaborate on the pros and cons of the quantity-based system (of waste charging)?

Secretary for the Environment: We have set out in the consultation document various approaches through which we ask our community a question: whether waste charging is a policy that we need to implement to reduce waste generation in Hong Kong. Of course we have taken into account various international cities' experiences in this regard. Different options would certainly have different pros and cons. The question is whether we can find a model, an approach or a strategy which suits the circumstances of Hong Kong. So, that's why this consultation is about various models being set out for consideration. It has also taken into account various experiences we have seen in other cities, both in this region and also worldwide.

Reporter: What is the Government's stance on the four options? Obviously some of the options are easier to be implemented. So what is your stance?

Secretary for the Environment: We have set out in the consultation document the four major models that we have seen being practised, and some being successful in other jurisdictions. I think the essence of this exercise is to present these various models and approaches and also quoting experiences in other international cities, to demonstrate whether this will be applicable to Hong Kong. I think this is the gist of our consultation. I think we need to engage the community to focus on whether this should be the way to go about it, and if so, in what way we can find a model which suits Hong Kong's circumstances.

Reporter: Could you explain why you don't give a (charge) level at this stage for public consultation?

Secretary for the Environment: As I have said, the current focus of the consultation is on whether a charging scheme is the right policy to help us reduce waste, and we have set out various options and practical experiences in other cities. I think we very much want the community to focus on whether this is the right way to go about it, and if so, whether there is an applicable model to be applied in Hong Kong. Other things, such as details, implementation, logistics, there would need to be further consultation. But at this stage, I think it is important for the community to reach a major consensus on the way forward, and I think that's what the consultation is about.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:41


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