Date
19 October 2017
There is a clear and urgent need to reduce the city's solid waste output, but how to impose a waste disposal charge remains an issue. Photo: HKEJ
There is a clear and urgent need to reduce the city's solid waste output, but how to impose a waste disposal charge remains an issue. Photo: HKEJ

Green groups slam govt on waste disposal fee

Environmental groups have rejected a proposal by the government-backed Council for Sustainable Development on the solid waste disposal fee, saying the views of the public on the issue have been ignored, Ming Pao Daily reported on Thursday.

The council ended its public consultation on the plan in late January and released an initial report by an independent institution at a meeting on June 27. A council spokesman said it has not yet adopted any specific plan on the issue. 

But council chairman Bernard Chan said it has been suggested that the charge be collected on a per building basis rather than per household, and that the administrators of each building can decide how much the households should pay to cover the fee.

Several green groups, including the Conservancy Association, Friends of the Earth and Greeners Action, are against the proposal. Angus Ho, executive director of Greeners Action, said the groups had conducted public consultations for years to come to a consensus that the waste charge should be on a per household basis, but Chan’s suggestion has rendered all their efforts for naught.

Chan acknowledged that more than half of the 5,000 people who participated in the public consultation support the plan to charge per household, but he said he personally believes it is not feasible under the current environment. Hong Kong people have different degrees of appreciation of the need for waste reduction, while collecting the fees on a per household basis may lead to illegal disposal of waste. 

The council is scheduled to submit its plan to the government as soon as September. The Legislative Council will take up the proposal next year before implementation starts in 2016.

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TL/AC/CG

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