Q&A on the Proposed MSW Charging and Related Arrangements

A1: On the basis of majority support revealed in the public consultation related to MSW charging completed in 2012, the Government affirmed the direction of introducing a quantity-based MSW charging system. Based on the recommendations put forward by the Council for Sustainable Development subsequent to a public engagement process completed in 2014, the proposed implementation arrangements for MSW charging were formulated. We have invited opinions from the public and various sectors on this policy and relevant implementation arrangements in order to build a consensus.

A2: The applicable charging mode would depend on the waste collection arrangements of the premises. Waste collected by the refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) of FEHD or its contractors; or collected by private waste collectors using RCVs with rear compactors; or disposed of at the FEHD Refuse Collection Points (RCPs) would be charged through “designated garbage bags”. Waste collected by private waste collectors using RCVs without rear compactors would be charged through gate-fee at landfills or refuse transfer stations. For details, please refer to “How to charge?”.

The Government will step up publicity and education on MSW charging so that property management companies (PMCs) and stakeholders can better understand the charging arrangements and get prepared.

A3: “Designated garbage bags” and “designated labels” will only be sold at the authorized sales points. The Government will stipulate the specifications for “designated garbage bags” and “designated labels”, including their sizes, shapes, designs and materials for easy reference by the public on their authenticity. Each “designated garbage bag” and “designated label” comes with anti-counterfeit features, including a hologram. For details, please refer to “How to charge?”.

A4: If the oversized waste cannot be properly wrapped into a “designated garbage bag”, it should be affixed with a “designated label”. The price of “designated labels” is set at a uniform rate of $11 each. “Designated labels” can be purchased at authorized sales points.

The above “designated label” arrangement is not applicable to oversized waste collected by private waste collectors, which would be charged based on its weight (i.e. gate-fee). For details, please refer to “How to charge?”.

A5: For large litter containers placed at the building’s temporary waste collection areas, individual households should wrap their waste properly in “designated garbage bags” before disposal. Depending on the need of individual premises, PMCs may use transparent garbage bags for waste collection to ensure that all the waste inside is wrapped into “designated garbage bags”. For small litter containers placed in the public areas of buildings (such as the building lobbies), the use of “designated garbage bags” is not required. Nevertheless, cleansing workers should wrap the waste collected from these small litter containers in “designated garbage bags” before putting them onto RCVs.

A6: Waste should be wrapped into “designated garbage bags” in order to meet the proposed legal requirements, irrespective of the floors or locations at which the waste is disposed of. Enforcement officers will conduct inspections and take enforcement actions based on complaints received and at black spots identified.

A7: To reduce expenditures on MSW charging, the primary way is to reduce waste at source. We should practise recycling proactively in our daily lives and make good use of new community recycling network. Allowing resources to be reused through different recycling channels can reduce waste disposal effectively. For latest information on waste reduction and recycling, please visit Waste Reduction Website.

A8: Regarding recycling bins at public places such as pedestrian recycling bins, the Government provides collection service through contractors, and would, through contractual terms and other regular or surprise inspections, ensure the contractors handle the recyclables properly or pass them to appropriate recyclers for handling.

If recyclers dispose of recyclables collected at landfills, such recyclables will be subject to MSW charges. Therefore, there will be more incentives for recyclers to handle and recycle the recyclables collected properly.

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