Divided views on future of waste charging scheme - RTHK
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Divided views on future of waste charging scheme

2024-05-27 HKT 11:36
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  • Divided views on future of waste charging scheme
Opinion remained split on the best way forward for a citywide waste charging scheme, with some lawmakers urging authorities to shelve the plan and green groups calling for a timeline.

Sources said the government would shelve the pay-as-you-throw scheme scheduled to take effect from August 1, with lawmakers expected to discuss its fate during a Legco panel meeting on Monday.

Greenpeace campaigner Leanne Tam told an RTHK programme that it was "irresponsible" to put the plan on the back-burner.

"We believe this won't help solve the waste problem in Hong Kong. Government departments should take the lead in implementing the waste charging scheme," she said.

"Why not do it in phases first, instead of ignoring the issue and pretending that nothing's happened? This will waste a bill that's been on hold for 20 years, and Hong Kong will lose its chance to reduce waste."

But a legislator and industry representatives told an RTHK programme that they welcome the move because the city was simply not ready for the plan.

"It's more appropriate to shelve [the scheme] indefinitely. We should look at it practically. We've come up with a date before, but it didn't happen because the conditions were not met," said DAB lawmaker Lau Kwok-fan, who chairs Legco's panel on environmental affairs.

Lau added putting the plan on hold doesn't mean a stop in waste recycling and education work.

Meanwhile, Simon Wong who heads the Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, told the same programme that the catering industry was concerned about manpower shortages and rising operating costs if the scheme went as planned.

Five concern groups - including Civic Exchange, Green Power, Greenpeace, The Green Earth, and Greeners Action - wrote to the chief executive and asked for no more delay in the implementation.

Divided views on future of waste charging scheme