EPD and HKGBC jointly hold seminar on MSW charging
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Environmental Protection Department and the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) jointly held a seminar today (December 4) to assist the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector in getting prepared for the future implementation of municipal solid waste (MSW) charging. In addition to providing an update on the latest implementation arrangements for MSW charging provided by the Government, the seminar also included sharing sessions on the results and experiences of some trial projects conducted in commercial and retail settings. About 300 members from the commercial and retail sectors and relevant stakeholders attended the seminar.
The Government announced earlier the modified implementation arrangements for MSW charging, which on the one hand responds to stakeholders' comments while on the other enables the charging regime to achieve the polluter-pays principle to a greater extent.
Under the modified implementation arrangements, the use of pre-paid designated garbage bags as a charging tool will be expanded to cover not only those waste producers who are using the waste collection service provided by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, but also residential and C&I buildings whose MSW is collected by private waste collectors (PWCs) using refuse collection vehicles with rear compactors.
Speaking at the seminar, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said, "Expanding the scope of application of designated garbage bags would enable the charging regime to achieve the 'polluter-pays' principle to a greater extent. Under the new arrangements, around 80 per cent of the MSW will be subject to the charging mode of the designated garbage bag, while the remaining 20 per cent will be subject to a gate fee. I am pleased to note that the C&I sectors and the community as a whole have responded positively to the modified arrangements.
"We hope that the Legislative Council can pass the relevant bill next year.
To be followed by one year of preparatory period, we expect that MSW charging could be implemented towards the end of 2019 at the earliest."
Also speaking at the seminar, the Executive Director of the HKGBC, Mr Cary Chan, reiterated the support of the HKGBC and the Hong Kong Green Shop Alliance (the Alliance) for the introduction of MSW charging. "The Alliance provides a platform to bring together various stakeholders from the business sector. The synergy among our Alliance members will help the promotion of various green initiatives.
The Alliance encourages different players in the business sector, including those in the retail trade, to actively practise waste reduction and recycling, and get prepared for the future implementation of MSW charging," he said.
Today's seminar was attended mainly by members from the Alliance, which was established by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the HKGBC to create a sustainable shopping environment by forming a collaborative platform which engages mall operators and shop tenants. At present, 18 developers, 113 malls and 427 shops have joined the Alliance. Other speakers at the seminar included representatives from Swire Properties, the Hong Kong Airport Authority, the Hong Kong Association of Property Management Companies, the Federal Restaurants Group, the Hong Kong Productivity Council and the World Green Organisation.
Published on: 2017-12-04
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