Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article news.gov.hk
Council for Sustainable Development launches public engagement process on municipal solid waste charging (with video)
***********************************************************

The following is issued on behalf of the Council for Sustainable Development:

     The Council for Sustainable Development (the Council) today (September 25) launched a public engagement process titled "Waste Reduction by Waste ChargingĦDHow to Implement?". This process aims to encourage stakeholders and the general public to participate in the development of feasible mechanisms to implement municipal solid waste (MSW) charging, and to consider the difficulties involved and the related recycling facilities, with a view to reducing community waste at source and promoting the sustainable development of Hong Kong.

     The Chairman of the Council, Mr Bernard Chan, said that around 13,400 tonnes of waste is sent to the landfills each day, of which nearly 67 per cent is MSW, which includes waste from the domestic sector as well as the commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors. In the past 30 years, MSW in Hong Kong has increased by nearly 80 per cent while our population has only increased by 36 per cent.

     "The key to achieving sustainable waste management is waste producers, meaning you and me. Each of us needs to make some lifestyle and behavioural changes to reduce waste," said Mr Chan.

     He also stressed that the ultimate goal of waste charging is not cost recovery, but to establish behavioural changes in people's daily lives through economic incentives. The experience of other jurisdictions shows that MSW charging has been effective in inducing the necessary behavioural changes and encouraging active participation in waste prevention, reuse and recycling to achieve the ultimate objective of waste reduction at source.

     The Invitation for Response (IR) Document issued today provides background information on waste and related issues in Hong Kong, which forms the basis for discussion in the public engagement process. The issues for deliberation focus on four major areas:

* Charging mechanism - to explore different mechanisms in implementing quantity-based waste charging in Hong Kong;
* Coverage of charging scheme - to consider the implementation of charging scheme to all sectors in one go or to different sectors by phases;
* Charging level - to determine a charging level which can be widely accepted by the public and also be able to induce behavioural changes in achieving waste reduction; and
* Waste recycling - to seek views on how to support local waste recycling activities to meet community demand.

     Given that MSW charging covers a wide range of issues, the Council will organise a series of activities, including regional fora and roving exhibitions in the 18 districts, to allow the public and stakeholders to access the relevant information. In addition, more than 90 supporting organisations, including tertiary institutes, public authorities, research institutions, think tanks, green groups, non-governmental organisations, chambers of commerce and professional organisations, etc, have been engaged to help disseminate information about this public engagement process, as well as to create synergy and social cohesion to enhance publicity and participation.

     The IR Document can be downloaded from the Council's dedicated website (www.susdev.org.hk). Members of the public are encouraged to send views to the Council Secretariat (email: [email protected]; mail: Sustainable Development Division, Environment Bureau, 46/F, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong). The public engagement process will run for four months until January 24, 2014.

     MSW charging is an important measure in the Government's overall waste reduction initiatives. In addition, through the implementation of policies and legislation (e.g. various producer responsibility schemes); social mobilisation (e.g. Food Wise Hong Kong), support for the recycling industry and provision of recycling facilities, etc, the Government is contributing large resources to tackle the waste issue. Details are available in the "Hong Kong: Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022" (www.enb.gov.hk/en/files/WastePlan-E.pdf).

Ends/Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:31

NNNN

Print this page