INFO · Search
· Chinese version · Subscribe


Waste-charging Scheme delayed to August

The start date of the new waste-charging scheme based on the pay-as-you-throw principle was pushed back again by four months to Aug 1, announced Secretary for Environment and Ecology Tse Chin-wan on Friday.

The scheme was scheduled to start on April 1. The delay is to better explain the details and ease public confusion, Tse said in the press conference.

Justina Chan, a street vendor selling socks in her 40s, said the scheme was a disturbance to her normal life.

“When the day comes, I have no choice but to obey the rules. Though I would never say I support it from my heart,” said Chan.

Adorned by an assortment of socks and other amenities, Chan has been operating her stall since 2005.

The scheme, initially proposed over two decades ago, seeks to address public awareness of recycling and reduce waste through a requirement for dumping rubbish with government-approved bags.

Marcus Lo, 26, a government employee, said he agrees with measures for environmental protection, but is concerned over resistance.

The price of the new government rubbish bags is HK$0.11 per litre. For bulky waste and large furniture, a "fee label" with a standardised price of HK$11 is required to be purchased.

According to the Hong Kong Waste Reduction report, the disposal rate of Municipal Solid Waste was 1.51 kg per person per day in 2022.

A family using a 10 or 15 litre government bag every day is likely to spend about HK$30 to HK$50 a month on the bags, compared to under $10 at the current price.

Lo called for more attention being paid to the vulnerable groups. “If the government could put more effort into helping the low incomers, the enforcement process would be smoother as the new launch will drive up their living cost,” said Lo.

The Finance Committee Procedure last December passed a bill giving a monthly subsidy of HK$10 to people receiving OALA or CSSA low-income subsidies for government rubbish bags.

Designated bags can be purchased at supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and online, with thousands of authorised retail outlets throughout Hong Kong.

After the announcement of the delay, Tse said on Monday that the government will test the scheme at specific government sites alongside an intensified public education campaign.

Alex Wu, 28, working in the financial sector, said he thinks the postponement can be seen as a concession to the public by the government.

In 2022, the total quantity of solid waste disposed of at the strategic landfills saw a 1.2% increase compared to 2021, reaching 5.7 million tonnes, with the overall construction waste rising by 13%, according to the Environmental Protection Department.

Annual expenditure of the Environmental Protection Department peaked at HK$7.3 billion in 2021.

Meanwhile, the annual expenditure of the EPD has jumped since 2014, reaching a record high of HK$7.3 billion in 2021.

Many people dispose of garbage next to public bins on the streets, leaving street cleaners with an excessive workload. Mong Kok, Hong Kong.
A digital display in an MTR station still shows the scheme to be implemented on April 1st after the postponement to August.

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


Marathon organisers urge runners to monitor their conditions following a death

New ESG platform aims to benefit local firms