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Waste Check Charter to promote waste reduction in commercial and industrial sector and organisations (with photos)

     To promote the "use less, waste less" message within the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector and other organisations, the Environmental Protection Department has launched an 18-month Waste Check Charter and invited local shopping malls, hotels, universities and colleges, government departments and other related organisations to participate. So far, nearly 70 signatory organisations have pledged to regularly measure the quantity of waste disposed of and recyclables collected and formulate concrete plans to assist in achieving their waste reduction goals. By joining the Waste Check Charter, these organisations can also gain useful experience and get prepared in advance for the future implementation of quantity-based municipal solid waste (MSW) charging.

     Officiating at the launch ceremony of the Waste Check Charter today (September 9), the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said that the programme aims to promote waste reduction through measuring the amount of waste disposed of and recyclables collected, coupling with waste reduction plans and goals. The participating organisations can improve their waste management by regularly measuring the amount of waste generated and formulating appropriate and feasible waste reduction strategies accordingly, while the implementation experience can also help them to make timely preparations for the future quantity-based waste charging, Mr Wong explained.

     Having their own buildings with independent management services, the signatory organisations comprise four sectors, namely shopping malls, hotels, universities or colleges, and government and related institutions. In addition to regularly measuring the quantity of waste disposed of and recyclables collected, and formulating strategic plans to achieve their waste reduction goals, the Charter signees will also share their waste reduction plans and progress with their staff, clients or teachers and students via their websites and other effective channels to help spread the message of waste reduction to the wider community. The newly launched Charter has attracted nearly 70 participating organisations and it is expected that more organisations will be joining the programme in the future.

     Mr Wong noted that according to the 2013 waste statistics listed in the report of "Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong", the amount of C&I waste, which made up of 25 per cent of all MSW in 2004 and 33 per cent in 2013, increased substantially by 40 per cent since 2004. Earlier, some local universities and major organisations estimated that they may have to pay sums ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to tens of millions of dollars every year for waste charges, based on the assumption of a rate of $500 per tonne. Waste reduction can not only help the environment, but also save money.

     "Our preliminary estimation shows that the total amount of waste disposed of by the nearly 70 signatory organisations every day is about 130 tonnes, representing about 4 per cent of the total C&I waste disposal (about 3,000 tonnes per day) in Hong Kong. Today is just the beginning of this meaningful programme. We expect the waste management strategy of 'use less, waste less' will be expanded with more organisations joining us. The practices of waste measurement and data collection can be extended to other offices, schools and even private households to cultivate in the community an understanding of waste reduction, and enable the public to prepare for future MSW charging by adopting the concept of 'waste less, pay less'," Mr Wong said.

     Also attending the launch ceremony today were the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Productivity Council, Mrs Agnes Mak, and more than 100 representatives of the signatory organisations. The Hong Kong Productivity Council will be serving as the executive agent of the programme. Further information about the Waste Check Charter is available at its thematic website:

Ends/Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:00


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