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LCQ4: Pilot scheme on municipal solid waste charging

     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Hak-kan and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, in the Legislative Council today (June 4):


     On April 7, the Environment Bureau announced the implementation of a pilot scheme in seven housing estates for a period of six months to accumulate practical experience in respect of the three quantity-based charging modes (i.e. Weight-based by buildings, Volume-based by buildings and Volume-based by households), which will be used as reference for the implementation of municipal solid waste charging in future.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) how the authorities determined the types of housing estates participating in the pilot scheme and the scale of the pilot scheme;

(2) how the authorities recruited and selected the participating housing estates;

(3) how the authorities publicise and promote the pilot scheme to the residents of the relevant housing estates at present;

(4) of the operational details of the pilot scheme, including the respective dates on which the pilot scheme will start and cease to be implemented in various housing estates;

(5) given that the pilot scheme adopts only a mock waste charge for the trial run, and the residents concerned are not required to pay any charge based on the volume of waste they dispose of, whether the authorities have assessed how the results of the pilot scheme can reflect residents' behavioural pattern when the municipal solid waste charging is implemented in future; and

(6) given that the pilot scheme covers only multi-storey residential buildings, whether the authorities will implement pilot schemes on municipal solid waste charging in other types of buildings (e.g. commercial/residential buildings, commercial buildings, industrial buildings and village houses); if they will, of the details?



     The Environment Bureau announced on April 7, 2014 that seven housing estates will participate in a pilot scheme on municipal solid waste (MSW) charging (the Pilot Scheme) organised by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD).  The Pilot Scheme will collect further public opinions and accumulate experience for the future implementation of MSW charging.

     My reply to the question by Hon Chan is as follows:

(1) and (2) Over 90 per cent of the Hong Kong people reside in housing estates that are managed by property management companies (PMCs).  The targeted housing type under the Pilot Scheme will be housing estates (public or private) that are managed by PMCs.  It aims to test out the situation in mainstream residential buildings after how MSW charging is implemented.  Through the liaison with the property management sector and other means, the EPD has secured the participation in the Pilot Scheme by seven housing estates of different types, namely Amoy Gardens, Chai Wan Estate, Chun Seen Mei Chuen, Island Resort, Kwong Tin Estate, Tak Tin Estate and The Orchards.  We will maintain the Pilot Scheme at its current scale, mainly to ensure that we have the capability to provide the necessary support to each participating estate.

(3) The EPD is maintaining close liaison (including meetings) with the relevant PMCs and owner/resident organisations so as to introduce to them the latest developments on MSW charging and details of the Pilot Scheme.  We have also appointed contractors to provide the participating estates with the necessary support, including analysis and compilation of waste disposal statistics, enhanced provision of resource recycling facilities, and provision of relevant publicity and public education on environmental protection.  Through press release and other means, we have also provided members of the public with updates on latest developments of the Pilot Scheme.

(4) The Pilot Scheme will last for six months during which waste disposal statistics of the participating estates will be collected for analysis.  A baseline survey will be conducted in the first month.  Thereafter, each participating estate will test out the quantity-based charging options of their choice, i.e. "Weight-based by Buildings", "Volume-based by Buildings" and "Volume-based by Households".  During the Pilot Scheme, the EPD will provide assistance and necessary support services.  Operational details of the Pilot Scheme are set out at Annex.

(5) The mock waste charge in the Pilot Scheme is determined on the basis of the amount of waste being disposed of, at the rate of $1 per ten litre.  Although technically there are constraints to impose a mandatory charge at the trial phase, the waste disposal statistics collected and the estated mock charge will also provide indications on the behavioural change of the households and the operation of the Pilot Scheme.  

(6) At this stage, our trial will focus on housing estates that are managed by PMCs.  The experiences accumulated will be applicable to the majority of Hong Kong people.  Whether to conduct trial for other housing types in future will depend on need and practical circumstances.

Ends/Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:16


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