November 20, 2023
HONG KONG – Hong Kong will charge residents for the disposal of their garbage starting April 1 next year, according to the Environmental Protection Department.
Under the principle of “polluter pays”, the EPD said residents would be charged for the disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) through charges for designated garbage bags and labels or through a “gate fee” based on the weight of the waste collected.
The first mode applies for garbage from most residential buildings, commercial and industrial buildings, village houses, and street-level shops.
EPD Environmental Protection Officer (Waste Reduction & Community Recycling) Lawrence Kan said a family of three to four will likely use one 10-liter or 15-liter bag every day, which means that their monthly MSW charge will be about HK$30 to HK$50
Residents will be required to purchase the designated bags for the disposal of their garbage while large items that are too big for the bags must be affixed with a designated label.
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The bags come in nine sizes, with capacity ranging from three to 100 liters, and are priced at between HK$0.3 and HK$11 ($1.41). The labels have a fixed price of HK$11 each.
EPD Environmental Protection Officer (Waste Reduction & Community Recycling) Lawrence Kan said a family of three to four will likely use one 10-liter or 15-liter bag every day, which means that their monthly MSW charge will be about HK$30 to HK$50.
However, if the garbage is collected by private waste collectors using refuse collection vehicles without rear compactors, and is then disposed of at waste disposal facilities, a “gate fee” will be applied.
Calculated according to weight, the “gate fee” will be mainly applicable to waste from commercial and industrial premises, and some garbage collected from residential buildings that is either oversized or irregular in shape, such as chairs and bed frames.
The Legislative Council in August 2021 passed a bill requiring residents to pay for their waste disposal, with a minimum 18-month grace period. Offenders face a fine of HK$1,500.
In 2021, the daily disposal of MSW at Hong Kong landfills reached 1.53 kg per person, which is is higher than those of other major cities, according to the government.
To support the implementation of MSW charging, the EPD’s Green Outreach team has been visiting housing estates, residential buildings and recycling collection points across the city since mid-August to provide more information about the new rules and encourage recycling.
EPD Assistant Environmental Protection Officer (Waste Collection & Charging) Kaman Wong said MSW charging is an effective policy tool to encourage enterprises and members of the public to adopt eco-friendly practices based on the “polluter pays” principle.
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She added that MSW charging is essential to facilitate the sustainable development of recycling and related industries in the city, and to create more green job opportunities.