Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, September 2016
Written by Kevin Owen (Partner) and Andrew MacGeoch
The Waste Disposal (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2003
("Bill") was presented to the
Legislative Council for its first reading on 17 December 2003. The
Bill proposed (i) to introduce a charging scheme for the disposal
of construction waste at landfills, sorting facilities and public
fill reception facilities, and (ii) to strengthen the control
against illegal disposal of waste.
Our landfills are filling up much faster than expected. Given
Hong Kong's current level of creating waste volume, these
landfills are likely to be full between 2008-2011 (instead of 2020
One solution to slow down the depletion of limited landfill
capacity is to control the waste disposal volume. As construction
waste is the major source of waste disposed of at landfills and a
large portion of the waste is reusable or recyclable, the Bill has
proposed a charging system for construction waste disposal in the
hope of providing an economic incentive for construction waste
producers to reduce waste and to carry out waste sorting.
Charging Scheme For Construction Waste
The key features of the proposed charging scheme are:
(i) to charge for construction waste disposed of at
landfills, sorting facilities and public fill reception
(ii) to set the disposal charge at $125 per tonne at
landfills, around $100 per tonne at sorting facilities and $27 per
tonne at public fill reception facilities;
(iii) to establish a direct settlement system requiring
major waste producers (mainly construction contractors) to open
accounts and pay waste disposal charges direct to the
(iv) to levy the charge on minor renovation works through
waste haulers that deliver the waste to the facilities; and
(v) to exempt all construction contracts that are awarded
before the commencement of the charging scheme.
Strengthening Of Control Against Illegal Disposal Of
The existing Waste Disposal Ordinance already provides sanctions
against illegal disposal of waste. However, the problem is expected
to be aggravated after the introduction of the charging scheme. The
Bill therefore has proposed to strengthen controls against such
acts to minimize an adverse impact on the environment. The proposed
(i) empowering the court to order the person
convicted of illegal disposal of waste to remove the waste on
government land, and if the government has already carried out the
removal work, to pay all or part of the removal cost incurred by
(ii) empowering the Director of Environmental
Protection to enter without warrant any place (except domestic
premises and/or dwelling places on private land) to remove the
waste deposited illegally if there is an imminent risk of serious
environmental impact and immediate remedial actions are required;
(iii) making it an offence for the driver of a
vehicle (not being a public transport carrier) and his employer to
deposit waste from the vehicle.
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