With the existing landfills expected to be filled up soon, the need for waste reduction is becoming more imminent and acute in Hong Kong. To address this, the Environment Bureau had proposed Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) charging in 2017 and introduced the Amendment Bill on MSW charging into the Legislative Council in November 2018, having it finally approved in August 2021.
Based on the “polluter-pays” principle, this quantity-based waste charging scheme aims to create financial incentives to drive behavioural changes in waste generation and hence reduce overall waste disposal. To be carried out in both residential and commercial areas simultaneously, the scheme is currently in its 18-month preparatory period as a basic arrangement, creating awareness around it to shape behavioural change in the community.
To pave the way for MSW charging implementation, the Environment and Conservation Fund* (ECF) set up a funding scheme for not-for-profit organizations to conduct waste separation projects with a view to get the entire community prepared for the implementation of quantity-based MSW charging in Hong Kong; to promote the culture of “use less, waste less and recycle”; to practice proper waste separation at source and clean recycling.
About MSW 313
GREEN Hospitality recently received funding from ECF to simulate and rehearse the implementation of the waste charging scheme under the project, “ECF Zero-waste to Landfill for the F&B Industry: Creating Circular Systems Through Education, Practice & Partnerships”. Our team is currently onboarding F&Bs in Hong Kong’s Central SOHO area and preparing for training sessions.
During the trial period, each outlet will receive dummy designated garbage bags from the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), free recyclables and food waste collection (arranged by GREEN Hospitality), training on waste segregation, and monthly engagements with external speakers or partners.
The trial scheduled to kick-off in May with an event providing clear guidelines on recyclable items and timelines, will ask each participating F&B outlet to record their waste on a daily basis, leading to a monthly analysis and review, culminating in a Zero Waste Festival to showcase the results with the general public.
Under this project we aim to provide data to F&Bs on their waste generation, assess ways to reduce waste production and ultimately help them to reduce the cost of handling waste through proper segregation.
Additionally, we will also analyse the recycling capacities around the SOHO area - researching existing data and updating the EPD areas that need more infrastructure for F&Bs to recycle easily.
Data collected from this project will be shared with EPD, including the difficulties, concerns and suggestions for a better implementation of the MSW charging.
Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material/event do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Environment and Conservation Fund