Solid waste management in Hong Kong


Lai, Wai-hing.; 黎慧卿


Issue Date





The author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.

Page List of Abbreviations List of Figures Abstract Chapter 1 Introduction 1.1 Objectives 1.2 Methodology 1.3 Organization of the Study Literatures Review 2.1 Policy Instruments 2.2 Waste Problem 2.3 Integrated Solid Waste Management 2.4 Private Sector Involvement Background on Hong Kong’s Municipal Solid Waste Management Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste Management Policy 4.1 Municipal Solid Waste Management Strategy 4.2 Policy on the Use of Plastic Shopping Bags 4.3 Municipal Solid Waste Charging Scheme 4.4 Sorting and Recycling Programmes 4.5 Incentives provided to the Private Sector – Recycling Park 4.6 Programmes for Encouraging the Use of Recycled Products 4.7 Education Programmes for Enhancing Public Awareness 4.8 Summary of Policy Instruments Institutional Analysis of Policy Instruments 5.1 Agenda Setting 5.2 Redistribution of Wealth 5.3 Cost-benefit Analysis

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Chapter 2


Chapter 3 Chapter 4

31 38

Chapter 5


Chapter 6

Conclusion Appendix I – Milestone for Solid Waste Management in Hong Kong Appendix II – Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme People’s Expectation for the Third Policy Address of Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen References

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Hong Kong Integrated Solid Waste Management Ministry of the Environmental and Water Resources. Accounting and Statistics.List of Abbreviations EPD ISWM MEWR Environmental Protection Department. Singapore Municipal Solid Waste National Environmental Agency. Singapore Public Waste Collector Department of Environmental Protection. Taipei MSW NEA PWC TDEP TDBAS iii . Taipei Department of Budget.

3 Classification of Solid Waste Policy Instruments and their Major Assumptions Waste Management Hierarchy of Victoria Government.3 4.1 3.6 4.1 2.7 4.List of Figures Page 1.3 3.1 2.2006 Facts on Hong Kong.5 39 41 43 50 52 4.2 4.2 3. Australia Disposal and Recycling in the Product Life Cycle Solid Waste Disposal in 2001-2006 Hong Kong’s Municipal Solid Waste by Waste Types in 2006 Per Capita Disposal Rates of Municipal Solid Waste and Domestic Waste in 2001 .2 2. the Taipei city and Singapore Overview of Municipal Solid Waste Management Strategies Process Flow Diagram of an Incineration System Amount of Garbage Clearance and Recycled in Taipei Refuse Disposed of at Authorized Disposal Sites in Singapore (1998 -2007) Domestic Waste Recovery Rate in Hong Kong Recovery of Municipal Solid Waste in Hong Kong (2006) Number of Students Participating in the Student Environmental Protection Ambassador Scheme 2 11 24 27 32 33 34 4.1 4.8 54 62 69 iv .4 4.

9 5.1 Policy Instruments in Municipal Solid Waste Management Number of News Clip 70 80 v .4.

The frameworks of agenda setting. redistribution of wealth and the cost-benefit analysis are used to explain why the Hong Kong Government is reluctant or slow in adopting a mandatory policy (being more effective) to solve the waste problem. Although each policy instrument has its own merits and limitations. vi . by making reference to the experience of Hong Kong.Abstract This study aims at analyzing various policy instruments in solving the municipal solid waste problem in Hong Kong and the reasons of reluctance by the Hong Kong Government in adopting a more effective instrument. This study will use comparative method. Taipei and Singapore. mandate will bring an immediate effect in waste reduction although it may face with stiff resistance from various stakeholders. to find out which policy instrument is more effective in tackling the waste problem.

Chapter 1 Introduction The management of solid waste is a major challenge in urban areas throughout the world. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China with limited amount of natural resources and limited space available for waste disposal. commercial 1 . construction waste. Hong Kong is faced with serious environmental and administrative challenges in the future with respect to solid waste management. Solid waste is classified into five main types by making reference to the sources of waste and the institutional arrangements for waste collection and disposal. chemical waste. These main types of solid waste are municipal solid waste (MSW). the identification of appropriate methods of waste management becomes increasingly important.1. Being a small and densely populated city with insufficient land for landfill. special waste and other solid waste as shown on Figure 1. In a society that is producing an ever-increasing amount of solid waste. particularly in the rapidly growing cities and towns. Municipal solid waste further comprises domestic. The amount of solid waste generated and its disposal has been increasing in recent decades.

Classification of Solid Waste (Source: EPD. (Hong Kong SAR Government.. km. around half of solid waste disposed of is consisted of MSW. Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. Figure 1.and industrial waste. 2 .1 . As the majority source of solid waste is MSW. 2007d) The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) is situated on the mouth of the Pearl River Delta located at the southeast coast of China. comprising Hong Kong Island. 2007d) In Hong Kong. The total area of Hong Kong is about 1 104 sq. this study will focus on the policies on MSW. (EPD.

some 17 000 tonnes of MSW were generated each day in 2006. solid waste incineration once in use was closed down in the mid 1980s. which are more than 30% when compared with 10 years ago. Hong Kong currently relies solely on landfilling for the disposal of municipal solid waste.9% annual growth rate of population over the past nine years. Since the actual solid waste disposal at the landfills has been much higher than projected and should this trend continue. 2008) Rapid economic growth and development has resulted in a large increase in refuse output over recent decades in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has a population of 6 925 900 in 2007 with an average population density of 6 410 inhabitants per sq. (Panel on Environmental Affairs.. At the time of commissioning the three strategic landfills in Hong Kong. 2008b) Due to health and environmental considerations. (Panel on Environmental Affairs.2007) According to the latest census. (Census and Statistics Department. much higher than that of 0. For instance. In the last decade. 2008a) The average annual growth rate of MSW is about 3%. the three existing landfills 3 . the total solid waste produced has increased steadily over the years. km. they were expected to be able to meet the waste disposal need until 2020 or beyond.

1 Objectives Policies are made for a variety of reasons. the Government has formulated a policy framework for municipal solid waste management. Various policy instruments are adopted to make the waste management sustainable. To solve the waste problem. 1. The “Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014)” (the Policy Framework) was published in December 2005 which set out a comprehensive strategy consisting of a series of tried and proven policy tools and measures to tackle the waste problem ahead. (Environmental Protection Department. (EPD. 2005a) The Policy Framework aimed at creating a sustainable system of solving the waste problem. 4 .will start approach their capacity in the next few years. With the increasing in the amount of waste produced and the need for waste disposal. Policy analysis is concerned with predicting cause-and-effect relationships implicit in policies. the management of solid waste is high on the agenda of the Government. 2005a) Current practice of relying on landfills as the sole mean dealing with the solid waste problem is unsustainable.

By making reference to the overseas’ experiences, it is observed that mandate (command and control) is the most effective policy instrument to tackle the waste problem by achieving the desirable targets of waste reduction and recycling. If mandate is the most effective policy instrument, why does the Hong Kong Government not implement such mandatory policies in combating the waste problem? This study aims at finding out the reasons for the reluctance of the Hong Kong Government in adopting mandatory policies in solving the waste problem. Therefore the study aims at addressing the following questions:-

(a) which policy instrument is more effective in solving the waste problem; and (b) why the Hong Kong Government is reluctant or slow in adopting mandatory policies in waste reduction and recycling.

1.2 Methodology

To analyze the Hong Kong municipal solid waste policy, this study will make reference to two overseas experiences in MSW management, namely, the Taipei City and Singapore. These two regions are selected because they have similar geographical and demographical features to Hong Kong and are faced

with the same kind of waste problem. Comparing with the experiences in the three places, we will try to find out which policy instrument is more effective in combating the waste problem. Then the paper will analyze why the Hong Kong Government is reluctant or slow in adopting a more effective policy instrument in combating the waste problem.

The data of this study is collected from secondary sources. Secondary sources include statistics and reports on the volume of solid waste, problem of municipal waste management, newspaper cuttings and various websites. The theoretical framework of the study relates to policy instrument and policy analysis.


Organization of the Study
This paper comprises six chapters. Chapter 1 is the introduction which

outlines the scope and focus on of the study. Chapter 2 reviews the literatures on policy instruments, solid waste problem and management. Chapter 3 will generally describe the municipal solid waste management policies in Hong Kong. Chapter 4 will compare the municipal solid waste management practices in the three places i.e. Hong Kong, the Taipei City and Singapore so as to find out which


policy instrument is more effective in combating the municipal solid waste problem. Chapter 5 will analyze why the Government is reluctant or slow in

adopting mandates (the most effective measure) in combating the waste problem. Chapter 6 will conclude the study.


Chapter 2 Literatures Review The purpose of the Literatures Review is to provide background information on the topics of policy instruments. which will allow for assessment of the information pertaining to the municipal solid waste management policies in Hong Kong. and private sector involvement. The second part will cover the issues of solid waste problem. demonstrating influence by elected officials over 8 . solid waste problem and management. These reasons include signalling concern about emerging political problems to key constituencies. as decision making process. or as problem solving. The first part of literature reviews will focus on the literatures on policy instruments. Policy is made for a variety of reasons. This information provides a foundation on which a full critical analysis of Hong Kong’s municipal solid waste management is conducted. 2. integrated solid waste management.1 Policy Instruments The term “policy” has different interpretations in which it can be regarded as choice behaviour that whatever governments choose to do or not to do.

(Elmore. Certain instrument fits with certain problems and objectives better than other instruments do. 1987) Elmore argues that certain types of problems predictably bring into play certain responses from policymakers. and frequently the logic by which these elements are stuck together has more to do with coalition politics than with their operating characteristics. causing changes in behaviour of agencies and individuals. In all its manifestations. policy analysis is instrumental. or their basic understanding of expected effects. It focuses mainly on the prediction and creation of strong causal links between the instruments that policy makers have available to them and the effects they are trying. 2003) While there is an argument that policy analysis is not separable from politics (Stone. policy analysis is concerned with predicting cause-and-effect relationships implicit in policies. entail certain operating characteristics. and producing socially desirable outcomes. (Howlett and Ramesh. 1997). certain distinctive design and implementation problems. and on finding workable solutions. which are called instruments. (Salamon.government agencies. or are assumed to be trying to create. 1997) The tools / instruments of public actions are used to address public problems. 2002) Policy 9 . Policies are typically composed of a variety of instruments (also called tools). These responses. (Stone.

These are the actual means of devices the government has at their disposal for implementing policies. System-changing is the transfer of authority among individuals and agencies in order to alter the system by which public goods and services are delivered. capacity-building and system-changing. Mandates are rules governing the behaviour of individuals and agencies. inducements. and among which they must select in formulating policy. we will apply these four types of policy instruments so as to compare and analyze the solid waste management policies in Hong Kong. 2003) Elmore in his 1987 paper classified policy instruments into four main types. Taipei and Singapore and try to find out which policy instrument fits with the solid waste problem better. and are intended to produce compliance. Capacity-building is the conditional transfer of money to individuals or agencies for the purpose of investment in future material. intellectual. (Elmore 1987) Figure 2.instruments are that the government uses to put policies into effect. mandates. In Chapter 4. or human resources.1 lists out the policy instruments and their major assumptions. namely. 10 . (Howlett and Ramesh. Inducements are conditional transfers of money to individuals and agencies in return for the short-term performance of certain actions.

Oversight . diffuse benefits to society System -changing 11 .Environmental regulation Targets .Grants-in-aid to budget authority governments .Non-discrimination requirements .Preservation to receiving agency .Increased .Avoidance .Speed limits Inducements Money .Compliance .1 .Diffuse benefits to society .Policy Instruments and their Major Assumptions Primary Elements Mandates Rules Expected Effects Compliances Costs Benefits Examples Initiators .Production of (Procurement) value .Avoidance Initiators /Producers .Specific benefits to individuals .Production .Short-term . long-term returns .Enhancement of skills.Figure 2.In-kind grants to Clients individuals .Enforcement .Short-term returns Initiators .Overhead .Long-term.Displacement Producers . competence.Matching .Basic research specific benefits .Value received Capacity -building Money (Investment) .Short-term costs to initiating government .

or would occur with less than the desired frequency. 1987: p. (Elmore. and that the action would not occur. in the absence of explicit prescription.Loss of authority of public by established delivery system. 1987) Command and control regulation under the category of mandate tends 12 .New providers 2. such that compliance is problematical in the absence of enforcement. and benefits accrue to objects of mandates who can avoid compliance.Authority . otherwise it would be difficult for the objects of mandates to know what to do. 1987) Mandates typically are assumed to contain all the information necessary for compliance. regardless of their differing capacities.176) . Mandates assume that the action required is something all individuals or agencies should do. the implementation of mandates is nearly always characterized by incomplete compliance and enforcement.1 Mandates Salamon (2002) argues that command and control (mandate) are emphasized by traditional public management as the tools of public programmes.Gain in authority by new deliverers . Since enforcement is costly.1.De-institutionalization . Mandates also typically create an adversarial relationship between the enforcer and the object.Composition . (Elmore. deliverers incentives (Source: Elmore.Vouchers .

and enforcement that delivers an acceptable level of compliance. in the absence of additional resources. especially if compliance costs are high relative to avoidance costs. 2. (Howlett and Ramesh. or to be produced with 13 . (Howlett and Ramesh. (Elmore. Salamon (2002) argues that mandate is not the appropriate administrative approach in the world of network relationships that increasingly exists. 2003) Inducements assume that. one would not expect certain valued outcomes to be produced. 1987) Setting standards high relative to the median level of performance communicates high expectations. penalties. In addition.to be quite restrictive in focus where it is a prescription by the government that must be complied with by the intended targets.2 Inducements Inducements. rely not so much on government personnel or governmental authority for its effectiveness. but it also means a potentially large number of cases of non-compliance. 2003) For mandates. Failure to do so usually involves a penalty. the central problem is the choice of a package of standards.1. unlike mandates. but rather on government financial resources and the government’s ability to raise and disburse funds.

Inducements are voluntary and involve an exchange relationship. Inducements also create problems of variability. (Salamon. tax incentives and loans. The upside is that they can cater for unique characteristics of individuals. Inducements are a form of procurement-conditional transfers of money in return for the production of goods and services. marketing the new opportunities and encouraging the potential partners to step forward and play their roles. 2002) Recipients vary in their capacity in producing desired results and in their own preferences and objectives.the desired frequency or consistency required by policy. and that money is an effective way to elicit performance. Inducements assume some commonality of interests between the source of money and the recipients. (Elmore. The government therefore must perform a mobilization and activation role. but the downside is that it does not have direct control over the behaviour of individuals. (Elmore. 1987) Activation skills are required to activate the networks of actors increasingly required to address public problem. how much variation can the source tolerate among recipients in the production of valued outcomes and how much should the source invest in narrowing the range of 14 . but the commonality is far from complete. that is. 1987) Common forms of inducements include government grants.

but not so much that it produces windfall profits for doing what the parties would have done anyway. minimizes variability. but it also means delivering a potentially large surplus to the most efficient or highest quality producers.3 Capacity-building Elmore (1987) argues that capacity-building is the transfer of money to 15 . Salamon (2002) echoes that it is difficult to decide the provision of just enough subsidy to get private parties to make investments in that particular policy area they might originally avoid.variation.1. increasing variability in goods and services. Elmore argues that the central strategic problem of inducements is the choice of a package of money and conditions sufficient to produce the desired goods or services. The challenge is to decide what combination of incentives and penalties to bring to bear to achieve the outcomes desired. 2. who presumably can produce what the grantor wants using a fraction of the grant and divert the surplus to their own purposes. maximizing quality. Setting money and conditions based on the most efficient or highest quality producers penalizes those at the low end of the distribution. Setting money and conditions based on the least efficient or lowest quality producers. while minimizing variability.

hence capacity building creates the problem of how to reconcile short-term results of investments with longer-term expectations. To the degree that short-term results are important to policymakers. intellectual. and human resources. material. the central strategic problem is how to reckon the present value of future uncertain returns on investment in material. 2003) For example. (Howlett and Ramesh. these returns are often uncertain. and immeasurable. It recognizes the inadequacies of existing capacity. they will tend to value capacity less than compliance or short-term production. 16 . However there is no obligation on the public to respond in a particular manner. such as. and as with all investment decisions. intangible. It carries the expectation of future returns. Capacity serves as a cushion for the authority’s non-decision making. Capacity-building is a passive instrument whereby the government puts out resources with the expectation that individuals and firms will change their behaviour in a desired manner. For capacity-building instruments. the government may launch public information campaign so as to make the population more knowledgeable so that they can make informed choices. Yet the effect of future mandates and inducements may depend on capacity that does not presently exist.individuals or agencies for the purpose of investment in future benefits.

Setting a low ‘discount rate’ on future returns means attaching a relatively high present value to future returns on investments in capacity and being willing to forego short-term results in the interest of longer-term capacity. and often a change in the incentives which determine the nature and effects of those goods and services. System-changing policies typically alter the distribution of authority and money among competing providers of public goods and services. or attaching a relatively low present value of investment in future capacity. means that future capacity to comply and future production of valued goods and services may be compromised for shorter-term results on these dimensions. The expected effect of system broadening or narrowing is a change in the institutional structure by which public goods and services are delivered. they will chronically under invest in future capacity. or a strong preference for immediate results over longer-time. less certain ones.1. If policymakers have a short time preference. Setting a high ‘discount rate’ on future returns. 17 . 1987) 2. These calculations of present value also depend on how distant the expected returns are and how uncertain their achievement is. (Elmore. and human resources.intellectual.4 System-changing System-changing is the transfer of authority among individuals and agencies.

the problem is how to assure that the termination of an existing institution does not simply result in its reappearance in another setting with the same institutional interests. If existing institutions have strong political influence on policymakers. levels of government. (Elmore. 1987) 18 . In the case of system broadening. 1987) System-changing policies create the problem of how to create new institutional arrangements. the question is how to keep existing institutions from driving newly-formed ones out of existence before they have an opportunity to demonstrate their capacity. 1987) For system-changing instruments. (Elmore. and vice versa. the central strategic problem is how to keep existing institutional interests and incentives from driving new ones out of existence until the new ones have a chance to form. how to prevent existing institutions from using their competitive advantage to limit or undermine new institutions. and how to prevent the recipients of new authority from using it in ways that are inconsistent with the expected outcomes of policymakers. (Elmore. public and private providers.for example. the system-broadening or system–narrowing policies will tend to reflect existing institutional interests. In the case of system-narrowing. agencies at the same level.

(Meyers. 2006) One of the greatest problems associates with developing an effective response to the growing difficulties associated with waste management is how to define “waste”.2. He suggests that if problems are thought of as opportunities for improvement. we will identify why waste is a problem. The same goals were reiterated 10 years later at the World Summit on Sustainability Development. McLeod and Anbarci. the international community adopted the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21. (Agamuthu and Hansen. 2007) At the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. 2005) Although many 19 . creation. Dery (1984) defines problems as bridgeable discrepancies and opportunities for improvement. an action plan designed to guide the earth’s development in a sustainable manner. (Drackner.2 Waste Problem In this section. the process of problem definition will be one of search. economic and social implications of a rapidly increasing waste problem have gained recognition over recent decades and the need for a response to the waste management problem on an international scale has long been accepted. The environmental. given it is a subjective notion. and initial examination of ideas for solution.

the issue remains a source of constant debate. Philippines. The European Union definition of “waste” is that waste is any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard. (Cyranoski. (Productivity Commission Australia. Economic growth represents challenges for sustainable resources management and development because continued economic growth implies continued growth in waste outputs. a broad approach to defining “waste” can include products that are recoverable by others. Solid waste is classified into five main types by making reference to the sources of waste and the institutional arrangements for waste collection and 20 . like those in Bangkok. and Nigeria. (Bringezu and Vilby. 2006) But what is discarded by one party may have value for another. 2006) Examples are available for supporting this broad approach of “waste” definition. 2007) Solid waste is a by-product of economic growth. 2007) Such depletion is unsustainable. McLeod and Anbarci. health and the economy. (Wilson. (Meyers. Poor management of waste results in the inappropriate depletion of natural resources and potentially adverse effects on the environment. Thus. there is a trash trade by adopting plasma technology which is turning waste into energy. In Japan.attempts have been made. 2006) The ability to make a living by recovering saleable materials from waste is a key driver for the urban poor.

etc. waste generated from daily activities in institutional premises and refuse collected from public cleansing services. 2007d) It is generally observed that almost half of the non-hazardous municipal solid waste consists of food waste and other green and organic materials. McLeod and Anbarci. offices. and will even fluctuate with seasonal variations. we will concentrate on examining this type of solid waste. (Meyers. 2007d) Since municipal solid waste is the major sources of solid waste problem in Hong Kong. Public waste cleansing includes dirt. Both commercial waste and industrial waste are mainly collected by private waste collectors in Hong Kong. hotels. markets in private housing estates. special waste and other solid waste.disposal. (EPD. litter and waste collected by the government departments. construction and demolition waste. restaurants. Industrial waste is waste arising from industrial activities and does not include construction and demolition waste and chemical waste. 21 . Domestic waste refers to household waste. Commercial waste is waste arising from commercial activities taken place in shops. chemical waste. 2006) It is important to note that the composition of waste will differ from one country to another. commercial waste and industrial waste. and a further 35% consists of non-separated recyclables. Municipal solid waste (MSW) includes domestic waste. These five types of solid waste are municipal solid waste. (EPD.

generating a total of 222 million tonnes in 2005. climate and according to collection systems in place in an area. (Cyranoski. The question of sustainability then arises. 2000) Another study shows that every year Japan produces about 50 million tonnes (about 1 kilogram per person per day) of MSW while the United States is almost twice as wasteful per capita. economic development challenges the environment's ability to absorb waste without serious degradation. Germany. degree of industrialization.3 Integrated Solid Waste Management Integrated solid waste management (ISWM) is the selection and 22 . (Matthews. 2006) At this growth rate.Waste generation rates are affected by demographics. Growth in waste generation appears to be positively correlated with growth in household incomes and corporate earnings. A study in 2000 reported that one-half to three-quarters of the annual resource inputs used in developed countries such as Austria. 2. Japan and USA are returned to the environment as waste within one year. A study of five developed countries reveals that material outputs to the environment from economic activities range from 11 tonnes per person per year in Japan to 25 tonnes per person in the United States.

economic optimization and societal acceptability. incineration or other disposal method. It calls for a move away from disposal towards the more sustainable options of reduction. Other benefits are that standardized techniques create uniformity and levels of waste production and recycling rates can be measured more accurately. (Productivity Commission Australia. integration results in efficient use of resources and economies of scale. The United Nations Environment Program states that it is important to approach solid waste management in an integrated manner because: problems are generally solved more efficiently by group-work. 2006) Waste hierarchy was first introduced in 1977 in the European Union’s Second Environment Action Programme.application of appropriate techniques. 23 . A typical waste management hierarchy is comprised of reduce. recycling and energy recovery. reuse. adjustments to waste management strategies are coordinated. biological or chemical processes. and landfilling. technology and management programmes to achieve specific waste management objectives and goals. recycle. 2007) Waste hierarchies are generally used to develop ISWM plans. recover waste by physical. reuse. with the objective of achieving environmental benefits. government and community sectors can participate in waste management plans. and industrial. (Wilson.

2007) An example of waste management hierarchy set by the Victoria Government of Australia is shown as below: Figure 2. Effective waste minimization benefits industry. re-use and recycling.2 - Waste Management Hierarchy of Victoria Government. Waste minimization can simply involve changing the operation processes of factory that is good housekeeping. or it can mean complex modifications to manufacturing processes. Minimizing waste at its source can make production more efficient. improve environmental health. 2006: p. Australia (Source: Productivity Commission Australia.(Bortoleto and Hanaki. enhance business profits. improve safety 24 . 32) Waste minimization includes the reduction of use. communities and the environment.

et. (Nie. al. (Finnveden. filtering. None can fulfill independently the overall objectives of solid waste resource. including landfill. to dispose of solid waste comprehensively so as to avoid or lessen the disadvantages and difficulties of utilization of a single technique or solution. stabilization. et. 2006) Each of the solutions and techniques however has some shortcomings when compared with the other methods. policy makers are increasingly embracing product stewardship approaches that place greater responsibilities for end-of-life product disposal on producers in their approach to waste management. Thus integrated management is the use of various techniques and solutions. 2007) Waste treatment techniques include physical. Other methods of waste management include pyrolysis. distillation. composting. and other processes that reduce volume or toxicity before final disposal. gasification. absorption. neutralization. al.. boost public relations and develop waste services and technology with export potential. incinerating. biological and chemical processes such as coagulation.conditions for employees and the public. (Nicol and 25 . combined pyrolysis-gasification. or recycling. composting and anaerobic digestion (Tan and Khoo. 2004) In addition.. reduction and harmlessness.

2007) Such awareness is emerging not only in communities. 2.4 Private Sector Involvement The private sector has influenced the establishment of legally non-binding norms through the development of codes of conduct. such that industry has now emerged not only as a prominent contributor to environmental problems. not just in the post-consumer phase. Waste can be generated at all points in the life cycle. but also a resource for solving them. but at the corporate and government level. It can be either disposed or recovered in some ways.3. The disposal and recycling processes in the product life cycle is shown on Figure 2. Waste policies are changing to the focus on lifecycle impacts of products from the cradle to the grave by extending the responsibilities of stakeholders to post-consumer management. private industry self-regulation using codes of conduct and trade association-sponsored industry standards has proliferated. 26 . In recent years.Thompson.

which contribute to the expanding the ozone hole. North America has enacted product stewardship policies but it fails to require producers to take physical or financial responsibility for recycling or for environmentally sound disposal. so that releases of ozone depleting substances routinely occur. product stewardship and extended producer responsibility (EPR) are two policies in use.18) To extend the responsibility of stakeholders.Figure 2. 2007) 27 .3 – Disposal and Recycling in the Product Life Cycle (Source: Productivity Commission Australia. 2006: p. (Nicol and Thompson.

WEEE has resulted in high recycling rates of greater than 85%. such as replacing greenhouses gas refrigerants with environmentally friendly hydrocarbons and more reuse of refrigerators in the European Union in comparison with North American. reduced emissions of ozone-depleting substances and other toxins.Conversely. ISO 14000 developed by the International Organization for Standardization is a series of international standards for environmental management. 2007) Comparing the outcomes of the North America’s product stewardship with Europe’s extended producer responsibility. European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive requires extended producer responsibility. whereby producers collect and manage their own post-consumer waste products. greener production methods. An international standard for management of environmental policy is also available. (Nicol and Thompson. A central element of the ISO 14001 standard is that the 'Environmental Policy' should be defined by an organization's top management. it is obvious that the extended producer responsibility (a mandatory policy) is more effective in reducing the waste volume and increasing the recycling rate. A system is defined that ensures that the 'Environmental Policy' is carried out by the 28 .

implementation and operations. A committee with delegations of business and government experts from 55 countries continues to actively participate in maintaining the ISO 14001 standards. 2006) ISO 14001 resulted from ISO's involvement in an intensive consultation process. (Meyers. (Meyers. 11 international organizations and more than 100 environmental experts participated in defining the basic requirements of a new approach to environmental standards. and Anabarci. operations and services. 20 countries. management review and audit. checking and corrective action. 2006) Since 2000. This process involves planning. McLeod. and Anabarci. carried out within the framework of a Strategic Advisory Group on Environment. set up in 1991. the Environmental Infrastructure Division of the Environmental Protection Department of the Hong Kong Government has had its Environmental Management System (EMS) certified under ISO 14001. The scope of the EMS covered all of the division activities.organization. The division also urges contractors of new waste management facilities to implement an EMS compliant with ISO 14001 and obtain EMS certification for long-term 29 . McLeod.

contracts. 2007c) It is a way that the Government can encourage the private sector engaging in the environmental management system. 30 . (EPD.

Chapter 3 Background of Hong Kong’s Municipal Solid Waste Management In this chapter. Due to health and environmental considerations. our landfills will be full in 6 to 10 years if there is no substantial reduction in the generation of waste and the amount of waste that sent to the landfills. Because of Hong Kong's small geographic area and the high cost of land. (EPD. landfilling is the management option which has limitations in capacity and is unsustainable. Although around 40% of the waste was recovered for recycling. 2005a) The Hong Kong Government classifies solid waste into five main types by making reference to the sources of waste and the institutional arrangements for 31 . solid waste incineration once in use was closed down in the mid 1980s. the current situation of Hong Kong’s municipal solid waste management will be discussed. Currently Hong Kong solely relies on landfilling for solid waste disposal.

1 – Solid Waste Disposal in 2001-2006 25000 20000 Quantity (Tonnes per day) 1534 1903 1588 1109 1620 2274 1746 2549 15000 1749 7519 2040 1635 2645 10000 7551 7402 7014 6828 6634 5000 6408 10202 6728 6595 6556 4125 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Landfilled construction waste Commercial and industrial waste Domestic waste Special waste (Source: EPD. construction and demolition waste.waste collection and disposal. it is necessary to understand the current situation of municipal solid waste management in Hong Kong. To better understand the waste problem. They are municipal solid waste. special waste and other solid waste. Figure 3. Figure 3. 32 .1 shows the composition of solid waste disposal for the period of 2001 to 2006. this study will analyze the policy on managing MSW only. 2007d) Since around half of waste disposed of is consisted of municipal solid waste. chemical waste.

putrescibles (39%). plastics (19%). metals (2%) and glass (3%) as shown on Figure 3. and industrial waste. Commercial waste includes shops. and markets in private housing estates. Sometimes.2 – Hong Kong’s Municipal Solid Waste by Waste Types in 2006 Plastics 19% Paper 26% Metals 2% Glass 3% Others 11% Putrescibles 39% (Source: EPD. Paper and plastics make up significant proportions of domestic waste. offices. streets. domestic waste. 2007d) Domestic waste includes households and institutional premises. (EPD. marine areas and country parks also comes under this category.There are three sources of MSW. commercial waste is mixed with domestic waste and is 33 . 2005a) Waste collected from residential buildings. public letter bins. hotels. namely. restaurants. Most of this waste is collected by private waste collectors. MSW mainly consists of paper (26%). (EPD.2. 2007d) Figure 3. commercial waste.

10 1.20 1.11 1.39 1. 2005a) Industrial waste covers all industries.40 1. 2008b) This suggests that each individual is producing more waste each year and thus the burden on our scarce and precious land is increasing.35 Domestic waste disposal rate Municipal solid waste disposal rate (Source: EPD.10 1.collected by the Government as a public service.30 kg/person/day 1. 2007d) While our population has grown with an average of only 0.50 1. (Panel on Environmental Affairs.2006 1.3 – Per Capita Disposal Rates of Municipal Solid Waste and Domestic Waste in 2001. 34 . Hong Kong is facing with a challenge to find an effective ways to tackle the solid waste problem. Some companies may deliver their waste directly to landfills for disposal. (EPD. 2005a) Figure 3.40 1. (EPD.40 1. over the same period it has generated an annual average of 3.80 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 1.07 1.0% more MSW.90 0.97 1.9% per year over the past nine years. Industrial waste is usually collected by private contractors.00 0.12 1.00 0.03 1.08 1. except construction and chemical activities.

undated) To deal with the waste problem. the review recommends a series of measures to facilitate domestic waste separation and recovery and to reduce construction and demolition waste going to landfills in Hong Kong. the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) is headed by a Permanent Secretary. such as. (EPD. conservation and sustainable development. 2005a) Although there was some progress in the overall waste recovery rate. (Panel on Environmental Affairs.Under the political structure in Hong Kong. The WRFP sets out the various initiatives for waste reduction and the progress of the Plan was reviewed in 2001. The Government recognizes the growing waste management problem 35 . the Hong Kong Government from time to time has carried out various studies. who reports directly to the Secretary for Environment (or the former Secretary for Environment. (EPD. EPD is responsible for policy-making and implementation in five programme areas of environmental issues and waste management is one of these programmes. Transport and Works). 2007c) The Legislative Council has set up the Panel on Environmental Affairs to monitor and examine government policies and issues of public concern relating to environmental matters. the Waste Reduction Study in 1994 and the Waste Reduction Framework Plan (WRFP) in 1998. consultations and work plan.

2005 to 2014. the Government has outlined three objectives for solid waste management:As a community. (Panel on Environmental Affairs. In December 2005. by adopting measures to facilitates the separation of discarded material. (EPD. which set out a comprehensive waste management strategy for the next ten years i.e. To adopt advanced technologies and practices to treat waste requiring final disposal and to create new economic opportunities. the Chief Executive reiterated the need for waste reduction and recovering by outlining the way forwards for solid waste 36 . 2008b) In the Policy Framework. the recovery and reuse of material and the recycling of non-reusable material. 2005a) In his Policy Address 2007. the Government published the “Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014)”.requiring continued effort both by the Government and the community at large. to make every effort to avoid generating waste and to reduce the amount of solid waste that needs final disposal. To apply the “user-pays” principle as a means of reducing volumes of waste for disposal.

the policies on MSW management in Hong Kong. Taipei and Singapore will be discussed and compared in details so as to analyze which policy instruments is more effective in combating the waste problem. The Government intended to implement the “polluter-pays” principle to achieve waste reduction at source by inducing people to change their living habits. and to encourage recovery and recycling.management in Hong Kong. In the next chapter. 37 .

will be adopted for the analysis of the solid waste management policies. Comparing with the experiences of Hong Kong. this study tries to find out which policy instrument is more effective in tackling the solid waste problem. this study will analyze the policy on the municipal solid waste management. The four policy instruments. There are two traditional ways of explaining such rule-compliance behaviours. namely. we will analyze the Hong Kong’s municipal solid waste management policy. People tend to comply with laws or regulations.Chapter 4 Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste Management Policy In this chapter. as discussed in Chapter 2. Mandates. Taipei and Singapore. The policies on solid waste management in Hong Kong will be evaluated with reference to the overseas experiences. Inducements. Since the municipal solid waste is the major source of solid waste. namely. Capacity-building and System-changing. Deterrence Theory and Norm Theory. Deterrence Theory assumes that actors are instrumentally rational and 38 .

it can be inferred that with legislations being introduced which request citizens to comply with relevant rules and regulations in respect of waste management. 1974) Norm Theory assumes that internalization of social norms strictly prevents actors from violating norms. It is believed that pain and pleasure are the great springs of human action.1 – Facts on Hong Kong. it can be noted that various policy tools are introduced in Taipei. the Taipei City and Singapore are from the Hong Kong Yearbook 2006. Thus. In the same arena. 1990) In the following. Facts on Hong Kong. km.know the cost of compliance and the magnitude of the deterrence factors. 2 629 269 9 674 per sq. they are considered as effective measures in correcting people’s behavior in the short-run. the Statistical Yearbook of Taipei City 2007 and the 2007 Yearbook of Statistics Singapore respectively. 39 1 . other measures such as incentives schemes (inducement measure) and education (capacity-building measure) are of help in modifying people’s behaviour. km. (Tullock. km. Singapore 704 sq. Taipei City 272 sq. In the long-run. Figure 4. km. the effective measures come with fee levying mechanisms and mandatory waste separation measures. the Taipei City and Singapore1 Hong Kong Area Population Population Density 1 104 sq. 6 925 900 6 410 per sq. The principle end of punishment is to prevent like offences. km. Singapore and Hong Kong so as to tackle the problem. km. It suggests that actors behave according to social norms that prescribe which action is appropriate. 4 483 900 6 369 per sq. (Tyler.

Hong Kong Major Ethnic Group 95% Chinese Taipei City 98% Chinese Singapore 75% Chinese The Taipei City and Singapore are selected for making reference in the municipal solid waste management policies because both their geographical features and nature of solid waste problems are similarity to Hong Kong’s. All of the three places are with limited space and with high population density. the governments from time to time develop an overall municipal solid waste management strategy and the governments of Hong Kong. Figure 4. 4. The major ethnic group of them is Chinese. 40 . the Taipei City and Singapore are no exception.1 Municipal Solid Waste Management Strategy To address the serious and imminent municipal solid waste problem in a holistic manner.2 shows the overview of MSW management strategies adopted by the three governments.

Singapore 2007 (a) incineration: 43%. From the strategic level. 33%. 67% and 100% by 2005. & (c) landfilling: 7%. Accounting and Statistics. & (c) landfilling: 3%. & (c) to reduce the total MSW disposed of at landfills to less than 25% by 2014. (b) recycling: 45%. from the current target of one every five to seven years to one every 10 to 15 years.2 – Municipal solid waste disposal. Taipei (2008) and TDEP websites. Singapore (2008) 41 2 . 2008) Sources of information are from EPD websites. & (c) to reduce the need for new incineration plants. and strive "towards zero landfill". The sources of information in Singaporeare from Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. & (c) landfilling: 55%. incineration and recycling are For the information of Hong Kong. (b) recycling: 48%. (b) to extend the lifespan of the landfill site to 50 years. 2007. For those of Taipei. by percentages Municipal solid waste management strategy Overview of Municipal Solid Waste Management Strategies2 Hong Kong 2006 (a) incineration: 0%. Targets: (a) to achieve a series of total sorting and recycling rates between 2005 and 2010: 15%. Among the three treatment methods of solid waste. (b) recycling: 54%.Figure 4. Taipei 2007 (a) incineration: 43%. Targets: (a) to reduce the amount of MSW generated by 1 % per annum up to the year 2014. Singapore Green Plan 2012 implemented in 2002. sources of information are from Department of Department of Budget. Targets: (a) to raise the overall waste recycling rate from 44% to 60% by 2012. Total Recycling and Zero Landfill Programme. source reduction and recycling have gained the precedence over other MSW management strategies in all the three places. based on the 2003 levels. 2008 and 2010 respectively. (b) to increase the recovery rate of MSW to 45% by 2009 and 50% by 2014. (Mingpao Daily. Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014) implemented in 2005. the media challenged the accuracy of Year 2007 figures in Hong Kong so Year 2006 figures are used for analysis instead.

Whether such public-private-partnership arrangement will lead to the Faustian bargain3 is unknown. But with advancement in incineration technology. Landfilling is a common practice in all the three places and Hong Kong heavily relies on it for waste disposal (45%). Through incineration. as set in its Policy Framework. Singapore’s first privately owned and operated incineration. However. 42 . On the other hand. is scheduled to be ready in 2009. The Singapore Government is in the process of restructuring the incineration industry to obtain efficiency gains in the industry through private sector participation. the government can at least have less capital burden in developing new incineration facilities. reducing the amount of waste that will be disposed of at the landfill. the Hong Kong Government. using public-private-partnership arrangement. the volume of waste can be reduced by as much as 90%. incineration is yet to be a method of waste disposal in Hong Kong since all the incineration plants were closed in 1980s due to environmental and hygienic concerns. is exploring the introduction of the integrated waste management facilities (IWMF) 3 Faustian bargain in that forms of PPP may deliver efficiency gains and services improvements in some policy areas but these benefits may involve substantial political and democratic costs.more important than landfilling in Taipei and Singapore. landfilling is perceived to be the least favourable choice because of the difficulties in securing landfill sites.

2008.4 Figure 4. The IWMF will have a total treatment capacity for 3 000 tonnes per day (tpd) of mixed MWS. the Government proposed to develop such facilities in Tuen Mun of the New Territories.Process Flow Diagram of an Incineration System (Source: EPD. This system-changing policy can extend the lifespan of the existing 4 A site search was begun in late 2006 for developing state-of-the-art. The unavoidable waste is first incinerated so as to reduce its volume to one tenth of its original size before disposing into the landfills.23) The proposed IWMF in Hong Kong is in line with both the solid waste strategy in Taipei and Singapore.p. (EPD. It will comprise (a) a thermal incineration plant of about 2 800 tpd capacity and (b) a sorting and recycling plant of a demonstration scale of about 200 tpd capacity. 2008) 43 .with incineration as the core technology reduction technologies to reduce the volume of unavoidable waste. Tentatively.3 . multi-technology integrated waste management facilities.

just like the Singaporean experiences. Tuen Mun District Council dated 17. they do perceive the construction of such facilities will also worsen the seriousness of air pollution and hygienic condition in the district as they may be subject to the smell of those disposed materials and the problem of flies and mice derived from the facilities when waste disposal or recycling is in operation.landfills. The construction of related facilities will adversely affect their well-being as they do perceive that the property price of their properties will decline dramatically. it may also create business opportunities for facilitating recycling and turning the waste into heat energy. The Singapore Government has already gone one step further by inviting private sector to form partnership in owning and operating the incineration facilities while Hong Kong is still on the stage of exploring different options available. Moreover. 5 Members of the Tuen Mun District Council on its committee meeting were strongly against for the proposed location of incineration in Tuen Mun. implementing such system-changing scheme is facing with stiff resistance from the local people and the district council of Tuen Mun.5 Although the incineration is scientifically proven to be harm free. (Minutes of the Environment. Hygiene and Local Development Committee.2007) 44 . Through the process. They argued that why Tuen Mun had to be the rubbish bin of the whole territory.8. the residents in Tuen Mun do not want to have such facilities in their backyard. However.

government-run enterprises. Environmental Protection Administration of Executive Yuan. The second stage commenced in January 2003. supermarkets.6 In effect. 2007) Based on the investigation result. As the bag is not free. The levy on its usage does create an economic compulsion for people not to use plastics bags. After the introduction of the restriction on using plastic shopping bags. (Government Information Office. (Environmental Protection Administration of Executive Yuan. and public hospitals. and food and beverage stores. The charging rates for plastic shopping bags may vary depending on the size and volume of the product concerned. people will compare the cost and benefit in using fee levying plastics shopping bags and may find 6 The first stage of the policy was launched in October 2002.2 Policy on the Use of Plastic Shopping Bags In Taiwan. 45 . military units.4. the mandatory restriction on the use of plastic shopping bags can be perceived to be successful as the restriction does significantly reduce the usage of plastic shopping bags. The use of plastic shopping bags and disposable plastic tableware was restricted in government agencies. chain stores. 2006). military general stores. public and private schools. large-scale markets. an investigation result shows the reduction rate in the number of plastic bag used is 58. this restrictive policy has nearly covered all retailers in Taipei. The Waste Disposal Act stipulates that plastic shopping bags must not be offered to customers for free.75%. the government has adopted a mandatory measure to restrict the use of plastic shopping bags. fast food chain stores. 2004.37% and its weight reduction rate is 79. extending the policy to department stores.

About two thirds of shoppers surveyed also supported a more frequent BYOBD. there is no restriction on the use of plastic shopping bags in Hong Kong but with ongoing voluntary “no plastic bag day” campaign. shoppers are encouraged to bring their own shopping bags. Otherwise. 2008) The BYOBD. Like Singapore. buying reusable bags. the Hong Kong Government has introduced the Product 46 . (NEA. To endorse the principle of “polluter-pay” set out at the Policy Framework. On BYOBD. by imposing a charge on checkout bags. 2008) The NEP conducted a survey revealing that on average about 60% of shoppers participated either bringing their own bags. they can purchase reusable bags available at the participating supermarkets or voluntarily donate 10 cents for each plastic bag taken at the checkout counters. making donations for checkout bags needed. or declining checkout bags when making small purchases. helps reduce the usage of one-off shopping bags as it creates an economic compulsion for people doing so. In Singapore.alternative for carrying the things they buy. there is no such mandatory restriction on the use of plastic shopping bags in place but is with voluntary capacity building “Bring your own bag day (BYOBD)” campaign. (NEA. The charging mechanism deters people from using unnecessary plastic shopping bags.

The first product eco-responsibility scheme is the introduction of the Environmental Levy on Plastic Bag. Another reason for its introduction is that the results of voluntary capacity building scheme of “no plastic bag day” and recovery of recyclables are unsatisfactory. In fact. the Legislative Council enacted the introduction of the Bill that the first PER Bill. 47 7 . the use of plastic bags is expected to be reduced just like the Taipei’s experience. Environmental Levy on Plastic Bag. The budding of the packaging law in Germany blossomed around the world. The mandatory Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS) is proposed since it is unfair to require the public to shoulder waste charges while producers are not responsible for disposal of the products they produce. 2008) The European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directives is a successful example showing how PRS can reduce the amount of waste disposed and increase the recovery rate of recyclables. With the legislation in place. The levy is similar to the one set by the Waste Disposal Act in Taiwan so as to restrict the use of plastic shopping bags. Hong Kong has already lagged behind many overseas places7 on the implementation of PRS. (Friends of Earth (HK).Eco-responsibility Bill (the PER Bill). As people are required to comply with Germany enacted the world’s first packaging law in 1991 requiring the producers to take up environmental responsibility by managing their own package waste. The Product Eco-responsibility Bill was published in the Gazette on 21 December 2007 and in July 2008. will be implemented from April 2009 at its soonest. But there is no roadmap for enacting legislation for other producer eco-responsibility.

customers may demand the larger shopping bags available even when it is not necessary. they are forced to pay for what they use and therefore may change their behaviour by using less plastic shopping bags.3 Municipal Solid Waste Charging Scheme Both the Taipei City Government and Singapore Government have adopted mandatory municipal solid waste charging scheme as one of their policy instruments to reduce municipal solid waste. it may also lead to undesirable outcomes. 4. With the mandatory fee on waste disposal. According to the public opinion survey conducted by EPD.relevant rules and regulations. The levy may also lead to some shop operators switching to use of alternative bags which may cause other type of waste. around 66% interviewed supported the introduction of the environmental levy and among them. (EPD. the public produce less 48 . 2007g ) On the other hand. hence leading to wastage. With a flat scale charging system (for large and small bags). 76% considered that a levy of 50 cents or more would be effective in discouraging the use of plastic shopping bags. The introduction of the waste charging scheme can reduce the free-rider problem which arises because people can take advantage of public goods without contributing sufficiently to their creation.

the Taipei City Government (TDEP) started to collect general waste clearance and disposal fees (except in 1999 when the collection was interrupted) in monthly water bills (processing charge of NT$4 for each unit of water consumption). In 1991.pollutants and wastes because they have to pay so as to enjoy the waste disposal service. there are a total of 2. TDBAS. (TDEP. but also complies with the polluter-pays principle and provides economic compulsion for citizens to reduce waste and recycle resources. 2005a) Since water consumption and garbage volume are not necessarily related. the Taipei Government has begun charging for general waste clearance and disposal based on the number and size of garbage bags used since 1 July 2000. At present. 2005a) This measure not only improves on the fairness of this fee. In addition. (TDEP. 2005b. 2008) The capacity building instrument can smoothen the implementation of the Per Bag Trash Collection Fee policy. the City Government has facilitated more sales outlet of TDEP-certified bags so that citizens should find it convenient to buy the garbage bags. 49 .200 sales outlets of TDEP-certified bags in the city of total area of 27 179 acre (TDEP.

2008) Figure 4. 2005b) Figure 4. The scheme as a mandatory policy is a success. the Taipei City has reduced the quantity of garbage by 51%. Accounting & Statistics. upgraded the resource-recycling rate to 27%. The success in garbage reduction may be explained by the Deterrence Theory. Taipei.4 shows that there is a drastic reduction in the amount of garbage and increase in resource recycling rate since the rollout of the Per Bag Trash Collection Fee scheme in 2002.4 – Amount of Garbage Clearance and Recycled in Taipei 1800000 1600000 1400000 Metric Tonnes 1200000 1000000 800000 600000 400000 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Total Garbage Clearance Garbage Recycled (Source: Department of Budget.Since the Per Bag Trash Collection Fee policy in place. (TDEP. and promoted recycling of kitchen wastes to further reduce the quantity of garbage. People tend to comply with laws and regulations because they do not 50 .

Such success may also be contributed by other factors. the Singapore Government was responsible for the collection and disposal of solid waste from households. Prior to 1 April 1996. (NEA. The “3-in-1 resource recycling program” may help to reduce the waste volume and increase the recovery rate to by facilitating Taipei residents to save money on trash fees by separating recyclables from trash items. trade and institutional premises. they have to pay for what they disposed of. recycling and clearance are all done in one step when recycling vehicles follow garbage trucks to collect resources for recycling. such as. If they disposed more. they have to pay more. higher public awareness in waste reduction and the implementation of “3-in-1 resource recycling program”8. 51 . It creates an economic compulsion for them to dispose less. From 1999 onwards. Successful tenders were appointed as PWCs for their respective sectors for a period of five to seven years to collect and dispose solid waste. The solid waste collection and disposal services for these premises were corporatized and taken over by public waste collector (PWC). Since recyclables are collected for free and bulky or large trash items are collected for free by appointment with the city trash crews. As such. 2008a) 8 “3-in-1 resource recycling program”: waste sorting.want to be punished. the Singapore Government divided the country into nine geographical sectors.

600 958 (1000 tonnes) 2.380 1.Refuse Disposed of at Authorized Disposal Sites in Singapore (1998-2007) 3.200 756 357 251 204 194 220 270 235 187 1. Nevertheless.551 2.400 1.The fees imposed on the residents for solid waste disposal in the nine sectors may vary.311 2. 2007a) The introduction of the solid waste disposal fees in 1996 (a mandatory measure) and further liberalization of the collection and disposal services from 1999 helps reduce the amount of waste landfilled.279 2. 2007b) Figure 4.000 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Incineration Plants Landfilled (Source: NEA.421 2. which are based on the successful tender rates submitted.884 2.329 2. the fee structures for domestic and trade premises are standardized that is a fixed monthly rate per domestic premises plus a variable monthly rate for trade premises based on the volume of solid waste generated. (NEA.5 .000 2. Compare the figures before and after the liberalization of the collection and disposal services.263 2.036 1.800 2.440 2. there is a 53% 52 .

people will think twice as disposing less waste means paying less fee. 2007a) The voluntary programme encourages community participation in recycling and facilities the provision of a reliable source of materials for the recycling industry. which is a territory-wide voluntary programme aiming at providing suitable recycling facilities for domestic waste at locations as close as possible to their generation sources. Unlike Taipei and Singapore. the fee charging scheme requires people to pay for what they disposed of. and at the same time broadening the types of recyclables to be recovered. Before taking the disposal action. there is no fee charging scheme for garbage disposal in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Government launched in January 2005 the source of separation of domestic waste programme. 53 . (EPD.reduction (compare 756 000 tonnes in 1999 to 357 000 tonnes in 2000) in the volume of waste being landfilled. Just like what happened in Taipei.

6 – 30% 25% 20% 15% Domestic Waste Recovery Rate in Hong Kong 26% 10% 5% 0% 20 01 20 02 20 03 20 04 20 05 20 06 20 12 (T ar ge t) 20% 10% 13% 14% 14% 16% (Source: EPD. (EPD.Figure 4. 2007a) Compare with the Government’s goal is to have 80 per cent of the population (around more than 1300 housing estates) participating in the programme by 2010. The target of 54 . there were 833 housing estates participating in the voluntary programme. 2007a) As at January 2008. covering about 1 million households and some 45% of the population. while the remaining set up waste separation facilities on the ground-floor to collect different types of recyclable materials. Around 30% of them have implemented a floor-to-floor mode of waste separation. The participating estates have reported an average of about 10% reduction in waste disposal since their participation in the programme. the voluntary scheme is far from satisfactory.

the Hong Kong Government plans to introduce mandatory municipal solid waste charging scheme where people are forced to take part in waste reduction. the result of the trial has not been released and there is no data available for analysis. EPD collected views from stakeholders and examined in further details the feasibility of a charging scheme in light of the feedback received. In order to achieve the targets of waste reduction and recycling.achieving an average of about 10% reduction in waste disposal of the participating estates is perceived to be low. comparing with the rate of waste reduction in Taipei and Singapore before an after the implementation of mandatory measures in waste reduction and recycling. a three-month trial was launched in 20 housing estates in late 2006 to early 2007 in Hong Kong. or they will be charged a fee subject to the volume of waste they disposed. Being a voluntary scheme. At the end of the trial. To examine the feasibility of introducing a variable rate charging scheme for municipal solid waste. the volume of waste will be 55 . So far. there is no deterrence effect since there will be no punishment for people not participating in waste reduction. Hong Kong is lagged far behind the progress of the Taipei City and Singapore in introducing the municipal solid waste charging scheme. Based on the experiences in Taipei and Singapore. To sum up.

4. Violators are fined. The changes in people’s behaviour may be due to the deterrence effects under the fee charging scheme in the short run.significantly reduced and the recovery rate of recyclables will be drastically increased with the introduction of MSW charging scheme in Hong Kong. In Taipei. Residents are required to bring the waste to designated locations at a specific time. 56 . people will compare the cost of compliance to the cost of punishment if they are found to be non-complying. Once again. In the long run. kitchen waste and general household waste. Being rational. the social norm may be changed that people regard participating in waste reduction activities as a normal part of their life.4 Sorting and Recycling Programmes There are mandatory recycling programmes in Taipei and Singapore where people are compelled to separate their wastes. Hong Kong is moving towards mandatory measure from voluntary capacity building measure after the failure of tackling the waste problem by voluntary measures. People tend to comply with regulations because of the deterrence effect. household wastes must be separated into three categories: recyclable waste.

"cubic" recyclable wastes on Tuesdays. Currently. 3 out of every 5 households participate in the programme. (TDEP. with the Per Bag Trash Collection Fee and mandatory source separation of waste scheme in place. there are 57 garbage-collection locations plus 53 temporary locations in 12 districts that collect general waste and resources (including food waste). At present. the mandatory National Recycling Programme (NRP) was introduced in 2001. 2005d) 57 9 . recycling and clearance of waste resources. General waste is collected by garbage trucks at specified times and locations. (NEA. the number of days set for resource recycling has increased from 3 to 5 days. 2007c) The result of recycling Since 15 March 2003. Thursdays and Saturdays (includes general wastes. "Flattenable" recyclable wastes are collected on Mondays and Fridays (includes waste paper. However. plastics. to satisfy the needs of citizens who have unconventional living schedules. Under the programme. this capacity-building instrument can facilitate people to recycle so as to produce less so-called waste and result in pay less trash collection fee. encouraging people to sort specific items on separate days. 2005d) The increase in the frequency of garbage collection alone may not have significant impacts on waste reduction.Garbage in the Taipei City is collected five days a week9 in a 3-in-1 system including sorting. secondhand clothing and clean plastic bags). PWCs are required to tie up with recycling companies to provide door-to-door collection services for recyclables such as paper. (TEDP. In Singapore. glass and metal cans. clean polystyrene tableware and polystyrene packaging materials).

In the long run. 58 . there is a territory-wide voluntary source of separation of domestic waste programme. For instance.programme is encouraging that the recycling rate has increased from 40% in 2000 to 51% in 2006. 2007b) All these programmes facilitate the public to carry out waste sorting and thus increase the recycling and recovering rate. people may be accustomed to recycle whenever they dispose waste. individuals will act accordingly. all the recycling programmes in Hong Kong are voluntary in nature and there is no mandatory requirement for residents to separate their wastes into different categories. recycling in order not to be punished.e. Once it becomes a social norm. individuals will act in accordance with what the society perceives to be appropriate. As waste separation is perceived to be appropriate. “Recycling @ Schools Programme” and “Recycling @ Industrial Estates Programme”. people comply with the regulations i. To better fit different circumstances. the NEA launches three different programmes of recycling: “Recycling @ Condominiums Programme”. With the compulsory recycling programme. Unlike the mandatory measures in Taipei and Singapore. The drastic reduction in waste and the increase in recycling rate will be achieved in the short run. (NEA.

waste tyres and waste electronic and electrical equipment. The details of Environmental Levy on Plastics Bag are discussed in the previous section. In April 2005. whereby producers collect and manage their won post-consumer waste products. Since the scheme is voluntary that cannot control the behaviour of individuals and is with no inducement for one’s participation. Hong Kong’s voluntary scheme on rechargeable batteries can hardly be regarded as successful. plastic shopping bags. It is believed that with the introduction of the levy on plastic bag. the Government is introducing mandatory PRSs under which the Environmental Levy on Plastics Bag is the first of this PRS being introduced. 2007) 59 10 . the scheme does not significantly increase the recycling rate of rechargeable batteries. Comparing with the EU’s mandatory scheme10.A voluntary Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS) has been set up for rechargeable batteries. WEEE has resulted in high recycling rates of greater than 85%. (Nicol and Thompson. Therefore. a voluntary PRS on rechargeable batteries was set up and by the end of 2006. the volume of plastic bag disposed can be drastically reduced because of the deterrence effects. only 10 per cent of batteries were being recovered. The European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive requires extended producer responsibility.

inducements are used to encourage private sector to take part in certain activities. (Taipei Health City.5 Incentives provided to the Private Sector – Recycling Park Inducements are conditional transfers of money to individuals and agencies in return for the short-term performance of certain actions.4. there are 108 recycling companies registered under the Department of Environmental Protection. To encourage the development of the recycling industry. 417 inspections per month) to ensure their performance. allocating suitable land solely for recycling purpose at affordable rent is a major measure for supporting the waste recycling industry so as to lower their operation cost. With such incentive. The Taipei City Government inspects the recycling companies on a regular basis (on average. Both Hong Kong and Singapore have adopted such financial inducement to recycling companies while no such scheme is in place in the Taipei City. Although there is no recycling park in Taipei. In 2003. In some occasions. the City Government works with recycling companies. 2003) 60 . it aims at reducing the financial burden on recycling companies. The Hong Kong Government does not usually use this kind of policy instrument as it may be criticized as creating favouritism to a particular group of people and violating the free market principle.

2003) Such rent is much lower than the market rent so as to encourage recycling companies to move in and develop their businesses. For a 20 000 square metre plot. (NEA. the twice-renewable three-year lease came at S$0. (The Straits Times.68 per square metre a month. Around 95 % of the waste recovered is exported for recycling. 2007d) In the Sarimbun Recycling Park. recycling industry is not a major industry as the profit of waste recycling is often marginal. In Hong Kong. or a low S$8.6 per square metre a year. The lease period for the land parcel in these two recycling parks may be up to 30 years. 61 . NEA established the Sarimbun Recycling Park in 1995 and the Tuas Recycling Park in 2002. which has the purpose of encouraging long term investment.To provide a boost to the local waste recycling industry whereby low cost land is made available for entrepreneurs to operate recycling facilities in Singapore. the annual rent amounts to about S$163 000.

the EcoPark is set up to provide the recycling and 62 . At the end of 2006. the recycling companies may not wish to invest in capital intensive facilities.73 million tonnes) 43% Landfilled (3. Allocating suitable land solely for recycling purpose at affordable rent is a major measure for supporting the waste recycling industry so as to lower their operation cost.39 million tonnes) 55% Recycled locally (0. say up to 30 years. The short term tenancy arrangement is different from the Singaporean’s tendency for longer term tenancy.4 hectares) have been allocated to waste recyclers under short term tenancy (EPD.11 million tonnes) 2% (Source: EPD.7 - Recovery of Municipal Solid Waste in Hong Kong (2006) Exported for recycling (2. 2007f). a total of 36 sites (about 7. 2007d) The Government encourages materials re-use. With the uncertainty in lease period.Figure 4. In addition. recovery and recycling to help achieve waste reduction.

environmental industry with long-term and well-equipped land at affordable rent to encourage the industry to put more investment into advanced and value-added recycling processes. (EPD, 2007c) Its development will fulfill the vision made in the Policy Address in which long-term land at an affordable price will be provided to encourage the recycling and environmental industry in Hong Kong. The first phase of the EcoPark is leased out in May 2007.11

The Government, by providing cheap land with basic infrastructure, aims at facilitating the development of local recycling industries. With a blossoming local recycling industry, it can help improve the overall recycling culture in the society and stimulate the local economy through job creation. For such short period of time since the first phase is rolled out, whether the objectives of the EcoPark can be achieved is uncertain. Although providing cheap land can be regarded as an inducement, the behaviour of individuals cannot be controlled that is whether the local recycling industry will be induced to take part is uncertain. Only if the benefit is more than the cost of locating in the EcoPark, will the recycling companies operate there. Other factors, such as, labour cost, material cost and other operation cost and competition from nearby cities, will also affect

Construction began in 2006 on the $257 million EcoPark in Tuen Mun to provide land and supporting facilities for recycling and environmental industries. Tenancies of Batch I and II were awarded in May and December 2007 respectively. Tender invitation for the tenancies of the third batch of lots for recycling of designated materials in EcoPark Phase I closed on 19 March 2008. Tender assessment is in progress. (EPD, 2007b) 63

the recycling companies’ decision. A failure example of incentive scheme in Hong Kong is the case of disregarding waste recycling facilities in Gross Floor Area calculation. (Panel on Environmental Affairs, 2008b) Since the developers’ behaviour cannot be controlled by the voluntary scheme, the introduction of mandatory requirements for new residential buildings to reserve space on each floor for the provision of a refuse storage and material recovery room, becomes essential in order to achieve the desirable outcomes. This example shows the limitation of voluntary scheme and the effectiveness of mandatory scheme. With statutory requirements, the developers are forced to reserve space in future development projects for the provision of a refuse storage and material recovery room.


Programmes for Encouraging the Use of Recycled Products
Green labelling schemes aim at encouraging the purchase of "greener"

products / services with improved recyclability, reduced packaging, greater durability, and with higher recycled content if possible. Such schemes also reward leadership and initiative in promoting environmental consumerism. In all the three places, the Governments have facilitated the introduction of such programmes to promote the use of recycled products internally and

publicly. In the short run, there will be no obvious and significant impact on waste reduction and recycling since there is no mandatory requirement for people to do so. By promotion and education, people’s awareness on environmental issues will be arisen which may then become a social norm to act in an environmental friendly way in the long run. In Taipei, the Green Mark Programme, launched in August 1992 by EPA, aims at promoting recycling of waste and reducing pollution levels. The objectives of awarding the Green Mark are to guide consumers in product purchasing and to encourage manufacturers to design and supply environmental friendly products. In addition, a revised Government Procurement Act was put into effect in May 1999 to promote the priority purchase of green mark products over similar products by allowing a maximum difference of 10% in price on such purchases. Since then, this procurement priority has been extended to other products certified by EPA to be recyclable, low-pollution, energy-saving, and made of regenerated materials. (EPA, 2008)

Similar to the Taipei’s experience, the Singapore Environment Council is responsible for implementing the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme (SGLS) to promote green consumerism. SGLS, launched in May 1992, applies to most products, except food, drinks, pharmaceuticals and services. (Singapore

As with all eco-labelling programs. The Hong Kong Green Label Scheme is managed by the Green Council. the aim is to encourage manufacturers to supply products with good environmental performance and provide a convenient means for consumers to recognize products that are more environmentally responsible. the Hong Kong Government amended its procurement regulations to require bureaux and departments to take into account environmental considerations when procuring goods and services. There are currently about 130 green label products. paper products. Specifically. Similar to the experience of Taipei. 2007) Various products are under the scheme. the most visible to consumers being stationery and household cleaning products. bureaux and departments are encouraged to 66 . (Green Council. The scheme is an independent.Environment Council. as early as Year 2000. stationery. thus promoting a more sustainable pattern of consumption. not-for-profit and voluntary scheme for the certification of environmentally preferable products launched in December 2000 by the Green Council. plastic products. The scheme sets environmental standards and awards "Green Label" to products that are qualified regarding their environmental performance. such as. updated) Products which comply with the green label standards carry the green label logo. cleaning products.

(EPD.7 Education Programmes for Enhancing Public Awareness Community awareness and education programmes bring environmental protection into people’s everyday lives and encourage them to change their behaviour. books and pamphlets. 4. It is almost impossible to develop measurable parameters of the exact contributions arising from education. has made use of recycled materials where technically practicable. the Government. the governments tend to encourage voluntary green labeling schemes so as to promote the use of recycled products. by producing films. and purchase products. can induce producers to produce more recycled products by formulating suitable procurement standards. The governments. being one of the largest purchasers in the market. in public works projects. In the long run. schools and offices. It can internally require itself to adopt the green procurement but for the general public. television and radio programmes. people’s mindset may be changed that environmental protection may become a 67 .avoid single-use disposable items. For example. The effects of such policies are not easily observable in the short run. 2006) The governments. encourage the public to reduce waste production in their homes.

the Hong Kong Government has used various means to enhance public awareness in waste reduction and recycling. a structured waste recycling programme for schools was launched by NEA in 2002. the number of students participating in the Student Environmental Protection Ambassador Scheme increased by ten times from 1 659 in 1995/06 to 16 639 in 2006/07. 2007b) Like the situation in Taipei. environmental education is a compulsory subject of the educational curriculum of school children in Singapore.core part of their live. Other than the above measures. Once people regard participating in waste reduction as a social norm. and grants were provided to pair larger green groups and smaller organizations on waste-related projects. The Taipei City Government has used the above mentioned means to enhance public awareness on the waste reduction and recycling. they will act accordingly. In addition. The Environment and Conservation Fund is set up and has funded about $21 million for more than 70 community waste recovery projects since 2001. The percentage of schools with the recycling programme has increased from 30% in 2003 to 84 % in 2006 (NEA. The Singapore Government provides an environmental education package for primary and secondary schools. For example. 68 .

2007c) The contribution to the waste reduction devised from promoting community awareness and education can hardly be quantified. with little interference to the interests of stakeholders. Capacity building instruments. capacity-building works serve as an indicator for the inadequacies of existing capacity in waste reduction and recycling. Nevertheless. In the long run. people may change their mindset and perceive participating in waste reduction appropriate.Figure 4.8 . of students 10 000 8 000 6 000 4 000 2 000 0 95/96 96/97 97/98 98/99 99/00 00/01 01/02 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07 (Source: EPD. 69 .Number of Students Participating in the Student Environmental Protection Ambassador Scheme 18 000 16 000 14 000 12 000 No. are one of essential parts in the waste management strategy.

Policy Instruments in Municipal Solid Waste Management Tools Mandates Policy Instruments Compulsory collection / recycling Fee charging Description Legislation to enforce individuals to separate.9 . collect and recycle wastes Legislation to enforce individuals / producers to pay for the use of resources (plastics shopping bags) or services (garbage collection and disposal) Raising the price of collection and disposal so as to induce the user to pollute less according to the volume of disposal Providing cheap land to reduce the financial burden to the recycling industry Changing the individual’s behaviour and the social norms through various publicity campaigns and education to enhance public awareness in waste reduction Developing an integrated waste facilities management to reduce the volume of waste and to extend the lifespan of landfills Governments take the initiates to implement green procurement policies in preferences to recycled and recyclable materials Legislation to enforce individuals / producers to pay for the use of resources (plastics shopping bags) or services (garbage collection and collection) Inducements Waste disposal levies Grants/Subsidies Capacity -building Education ISWM System -changing Green procurement Fee charging 70 .8 Summary of Policy Instruments With the above comparison of the three places’ policies on municipal solid waste management.9. Figure 4.4. we can categorize the policies as shown in Figure 4.

inducements being voluntary in nature may not bring desired results. Education on waste reduction is a good example of capacity-building. On the other hand. the voluntary separation of domestic waste programme and the recycling of rechargeable batteries scheme in Hong Kong. mandates are found to be the most effective instrument in achieving the predefined policy objective of waste reduction and recycling. the Per Bag Trash Collection Fee scheme in Taipei brings a drastic reduction in the volume of waste disposal and a significant increase in the recycling rate. For example. Because of the deterrence effect and the influence of social norms. people tend to comply with regulations and rules (i.Tools Policy Instruments Producer responsibility ISWM Description Changing the responsible parties of handling waste from the government to the producers Developing an integrated waste facilities management to change the procedures of waste disposal so as to reduce the volume of unavoidable waste and to extend the lifespan of landfills Comparing the three places’ experiences in municipal waste management. such as. mandatory measures). Capacity-building aims at investing in capacity for the future and its short term result is difficult to measure. 71 .e. It may arouse public awareness on waste management but public awareness doe not necessarily bring a high participatory rate in waste reduction and recycling.

the government is introducing various fee charging schemes so as to shift the burden of waste management to the producer and consumer from the government. 72 . In the case of Hong Kong. To achieve an immediate and definite effect for a particular policy. mandates are the most effective measure. the introduction of the integrated solid waste management with incineration is facing with strong resistance from various stakeholders.System-changing is the transfer of authority among individuals and agencies in order to alter the system by which public goods and services are delivered. To make the solid waste management sustainable. the introduction of all the four policy instruments is usually the way that the Government adopts since each policy instruments are with its own merits and limitations. For instance. Then the question comes to why the Hong Kong Government is lagged-behind in introducing the mandatory measures in combating the MSW management. This question will be discussed in Chapter 5.

we will use different institutional frameworks to examine why the Hong Kong Government is reluctant / slow in implementing the mandatory measures to tackle the municipal solid waste problem.Chapter 5 Institutional Analysis of Policy Instruments In this chapter.1 Problems The impact of the municipal solid waste problem has not been widely recognized. namely. 5. and cost-benefit analysis. 5.1 Agenda Setting The process of how an issue comes to the public agenda and then the government agenda is known as agenda setting. 73 . politics and visible participants. According to Kingdon (1995). the answers are concentrated on three explanations. the media widely reported that the residents of the Italian city of Naples have been torching piles of rotting rubbish in the streets. There is no focusing event. redistribution of wealth. helps shape the agenda setting process.1. problems. which is widely reported in the media. They are agenda setting approach. In January 2008.

the only landfill site of Naples is expected to be full within a week as at the day of news reporting. there has been a swing in the community mood regarding air pollution problem but not solid waste problem. Landfill problem is still perceived not as an eminent issue as the Hong Kong Government estimates that the existing landfill sites can last for another 5 to 6 years. The media and the visible participants have played a very important role in directing the flow of the political stream.1.1.2 Politics As suggested by Kingdon (1995). political events flow along according to their own dynamics and their own rules. 5. Independently of problem recognition or the development of policy proposals. which will be discussed below. 74 .1.Amid a worsening refuse crisis.2008) have reported the news of rubbish crisis in Naples. 12 Hong Kong’s waste management problem is not at such a critical stage as Naples’s is.3 Visible Participants Kingdom (1995) defined policy entrepreneurs as advocates who are 12 Both the Hong Kong TV media and BBC Worldwide News (4. 5. In the environmental issues. the explanations for high or low agenda prominence are in the political stream.

3. the Friends of the Earth (HK) and the Conservancy Association. have been advocating for waste reduction and recycling for years. activists and professionals. 5. coupled with the wide media coverage. in capacity such as knowledge base. and in institutional ability to sustain their role in society. these interests groups may lack the driving force 75 . civil society faces many constraints.1 Interest Groups and Professional Bodies Conservationists have been advocating waste reduction and recycling for a long time. in social capital so that their effort bears fruit. reputation and money) to promote a position in return for anticipated future gain in the form of material. policy entrepreneurs include interest groups. such as. no such joint effort is observed although conservationist groups. apart from the Government. purposive. but the issue failed to be put on the public agenda. it needs the joined forces of the interest groups. In the solid waste management. To force the issue onto the pubic and government agenda. professional bodies and politicians.1. or solidary benefits. As suggested by Chan Wai-kwan of the Conservancy Association (2007). manpower and funding. energy. In the case of waste management. After being repeatedly disappointed by the Government.willing to invest their resources (including time.

the politicians cannot and will not ride on public sentiments. Cost is not justified by those political parties in promoting public awareness in environmental issues. such as economic development.2 Politicians Many politicians ride on the rising public sentiments and put the particular hot topic on their election platforms. which are perceived to be directly affecting the public’s livelihood. inflation and even the cross-border cooperation with the Mainland counterparts. Furthermore. as the benefits expected to be obtained is somewhat not in a balance.3. Unlike those economic-related issues.and resources to sustain their campaigns in waste reduction and recycling. Since the municipal solid waste management is not the major public concern.1. This has further enhanced public awareness and the perceived importance of the subject. 76 . political parties are engaged in their election campaigns. In times when elections come. environmental issues are less echoed by the public and thus less and even no effort will be spent by those political parties. where most of the efforts is being spent in issues which are echoed most by the public. employment. which perceive only a small portion of the Hong Kong population may have concern about. those political parties do not possess adequate technical expertise to tackle those environmental problems when they arise. 5.

9% and 4.4% of people responded expected the Chief Executive should regard “Environmental” issues as the point of focus in his first. The reason behind the political parties’ lack of interest in the environmental issue is that the inclusion of such issue onto their manifesto cannot bring any significant benefits in gaining public supports. second and third policy addresses respectively.compared to those of interest groups such as Friends of the Earth (HK). Environmental issue is either not mentioned or in a less prominent position in their manifestos. The manifestos of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progression of Hong Kong (DAB) and the Democratic Party (DP) include environmental issues as one of their concerns. which may devote all its resources and expertise in tacking with all these problems. DAB listed it as the last item of their twelve concerns while DP listed it as the thirteenth out of twenty-three items. only 1. The Liberal Party and the Civil Party have not mentioned environmental issue on their manifesto at all. 1. According to a survey conducted by Hong Kong University (HKU) Public Opinion Programme in September 2007(Appendix II).2%. The environmental issue ranked number 7 or 8 while the issues on “Economic Development” and “Labour and Employment” are the top considerations by the 77 . The manifestos of the four major political parties in Hong Kong are studied.

North Carolina. agenda setting theory was first introduced by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw (1972) in their ground breaking study of the role of the media in the 1968 presidential campaign in Chapel Hill. being one of sub-topics under environmental issues. It is therefore rational to see that the political parties do not put the solid waste problem (or the environmental issue at large) on top of their agenda. The theory explains the correlation between the rate at which media cover a story and the extent that people think that this story is important. firstly. As a result. solid waste management. In fact. 5. It 78 .people surveyed. is not one of the top public concerns. As for the media’s strategy of agenda setting. framing is a process of selective control over media content or public communication. We can see that both the politicians and the public do not regard the solid waste as a major concern.4 Role of the Mass Media The mass media’s role in bringing the issue to spotlight was pivotal to the agenda setting process.1. Waste problem therefore is not on top of policy agenda for immediate remedies.

79 . However. air pollution problem. 1998).e. 1998). exclusion. what the public know and care about at any given time is mostly a product of media gatekeeping (Clayman and Reisner. For example. and elaboration (McCombs. Secondly.defines how a certain piece of media content is packaged so that it will influence particular interpretations. more coverage on solid waste management is found on the newspapers in 2005 (compare to 29 and 61 news clips in 2004 and 2005 respectively) when the Policy Framework was published on that year. The mass media has a wider coverage on another environmental issue i. This is accomplished through the use of selection. gatekeeping is a control over the selection of content discussed in the media. Shaw and Weaver. emphasis. there is less than 50 news clips is on solid waste management.1 shows that on average. Figure 5. the media do generally not have wide coverage on the issue of solid waste management.

1. 80 . Not until the introduction of the Principal Officials Accountability System in July 2002.5 Government’s Priority Other than the public’s attitudes towards solid waste management. did the environmental issue become a key policy area under the then Environment.Number of News Clips 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 On "Waste Management" or "Waste Recycling" On "Air Pollution" (Source: Wisenews) 5.Figure 5. The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) was created in 1986 to co-ordinate and carry out pollution prevention and control activities.1 . we have to analyze the Hong Kong Government’s attitude: whether MSW is on the top policy agenda that the Government is willing to spend resources and pay cost for bringing the desirable outcome.

1%) only on the policy arena of environment and food in its financial budget. unless a trigger-off event has taken place which may affect the well-being of the Hong Kong citizens. Solid waste management is one of the five policy arenas under the Environment Bureau. With the growing concern on environmental issue. Following such priority.Transport and Works Bureau. Without such an event being taken place. With the 4. Through the above analysis. On the budgetary point of view. we can see that the environmental issue is not on the top of the government agenda. the Government usually allocates around $8 843 million (or 4. Hong Kong people traditionally concern about the economic development most as the up and down of the economy greatly affects their livelihood. solid waste management is not brought onto the public agenda and the government agenda. it is believed that no proactive measure will be formulated by both the government authorities and political parties in selecting which will be the best approach in tacking the municipal solid waste issue. regardless whether the mandatory policy is considered to be an efficient and 81 .1 % of the total budgetary allocation. a new Environment Bureau was formed in 2007 overseeing the formulation and implementation of environmental policies. the actual amount spent on combating solid waste management is far less.

effective approach. The rationale behind is that the political cost of implementing mandatory policy is always higher than other kinds of policy instrument as the stakeholders who are worse off will have great resistance to the new mandatory policies.


Redistribution of Wealth
According to Kaldor-Hicks criterion, a policy should be adopted if and

only if those who will gain could fully compensate those who will lose and still be better off. (Boardman, et al, 1996; Frank, 2000) In the waste management, there are two distinctive situations that the Kaldor-Hicks criterion should be taken into consideration for explaining why a particular policy is not adopted or is difficult to be adopted. The first situation concerns about the development of integrated waste management facilities (IWMF). Although the worldwide experience shows that IWMF can help to reduce the waste problem, its development and implementation usually face strong resistance from interest groups. The Hong Kong Government in its Policy Framework proposed to develop an IWMF with incineration in Tuen Mun. The details are discussed in Chapter 4. Although the Government guarantees that the facilities will pose no


threat nor harm to its neighbour, no one likes such facilities in one’s backyard and therefore the local District Council strongly objects such proposal13. With such facilities nearby, the land value will adversely affected. Under the Kaldor-Hicks criterion, the policy should be adopted if and only if those who will gain could fully compensate those who will lose. However, it is almost impossible for the Government to compensate the local without drawing criticism from other groups as the facilities are proven to be harm free but with psychological impacts.14 If the Government pays monetary compensation to the nearby landowner, what is the appropriate compensation level? Should the subsequent landowner be compensated as well? All those questions are not easy to answer. Without the support of the general public, the one who is worse off will not compensated. Another situation that draws the Kaldor-Hicks Criterion is about who is / are responsible for the financial burden on waste management. Originally all the costs of municipal solid waste management, including the garbage collection fee and transportation cost, operation of the landfill, and any other related administrative cost, are borne by the government. Individuals do not have to pay a single penny directly out of their pockets. If the user-pay principle is adopted in

Members of the Tuen Mun District Council on its committee meeting were strongly against for the proposed location of incineration in Tuen Mun. They argued that why Tuen Mun had to be the rubbish bin of the whole territory. (Minutes of the Environment, Hygiene and Local Development Committee, Tuen Mun District Council dated 17.8.2007) 14 According to a website of public forum manned by the Sustainability Development Council, no one agreed to compensate those living near the incineration facilities. (Council for Sustainable Development., 2004) 83

charging the households to pay for the waste they disposed of, the financial burden is shifted to individuals from the government. Despite the difference in wealth, each individual has to bear the same level of financial burden depending on the volume of the waste disposed. As the Hong Kong Government adopts the direct and progressive tax regime, tax rate increases as the amount subject to taxation increases. In other words, it imposes a greater burden (relative to resources) on the rich than on the poor. The Government coffer is collected from taxes being paid by the richer rather than by the poorer. The shifting of the burden from the Government to individuals suggests that the poor also have to bear the financial burden on waste management and become worse off. Such mandatory policy which is somewhat regarded as a regressive system where the rich has only to spend a very small proportion of his wealth to that of the poor in fulfilling the obligation in respect of the polluter-pay principle, even though the same level of waste has been produced. Bearing the Kaldor-Hicks criterion in mind, it is difficult in ensuring those who will gain (i.e. the rich) could fully compensate those who will lose (i.e. the poor) and still be better off. The mandatory garbage fee charging scheme may also pose a doubt on equity in respect of wealth or income redistribution.


and that the rich should be obliged to assist the poor. though with a low tax regime. 2002) 15 A progressive tax is a tax imposed so that the tax rate increases as the amount subject to taxation increases. The rich therefore should pay higher taxes. Although it is argued that the redistribution of wealth punishes good economic activity whilst rewarding poor economic activity resulting in an 15 Another definition of equity mentioned by Salamon is that the distribution of benefits and costs more or less evenly among all those eligible. In many societies. to channeling benefits disproportionately to those who lack them. Achieving such redistribution is one of the principal rationales for public action. adopts the progressive tax system which imposes a greater burden on the rich than on the poor. It is argued that the cost of government must be borne by those best able to afford it. The current municipal solid waste management follows the redistribution of wealth model that all the costs are borne by the government. Frank (2000) argues that the basic premise of the redistribution of income is that money should be distributed to benefit the poorer members of society. taxation or regulation to redistribute capital and diminish extreme inequalities of wealth. The Hong Kong Government. moderate attempts are made through property redistribution. which is indirectly borne by those who pay taxes (the richer).Equity has a connotation relating to redistribution. (Salamon. 85 .

development of integrated waste management facilities. The current practice can help ease the uneven distribution of wealth and will not trigger public protest on criticizing government’s collision with the rich one. As solid waste management regarded as a public service. The question comes to why 86 .3 Cost-benefit Analysis In the municipal solid waste management. 5. Not adopting the polluter-pay principle cannot discourage the polluter to produce less waste since there is no incentive in doing so. mandatory measures for source separation of domestic waste. it avoids unjust extremes of concentration of wealth on a group of people. there are a lot of policy alternatives as discussed in Chapter 4. the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong becomes more uneven. The current MSW management is in line with the redistribution of wealth principle. such as. fee charging schemes. the principle of redistribution of wealth may help to explain why the government is reluctant / slow in implementing the mandatory schemes in waste reduction and recycling. Such behaviour will not result in an efficient economy. Mandatory measures are found to be more effective. The rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer.inefficient economy. During the past decade. voluntary scheme for public participation.

The cost-benefit analysis can be used to assist the government in the policy making process.such policy instruments have not been chosen for implementation. it is inferred that mandatory policy is more effective in waste reduction and recycling. (Salamon.16 It is doubted that such policy is efficient based on the cost-benefit analysis. Based on the analysis of Chapter 4. the cost-benefit analysis provides a protocol for measuring the allocative efficiency of society’s resources by demonstrating the superior efficiency of a particular intervention relative to the alternatives. financial impacts on government and stakeholders (e. According to Boardman. including the status quo. the government should act in the same way as a profit-maximizing firm on behalf of society as a whole. The government should conduct the cost-benefit analysis so as to find out which policy instrument is more efficient. In the public domain. the following parameters should be taken into consideration: impacts on waste to landfill.g. implementation costs and staffing) and potential value of the 16 Effectiveness measures the extent to which an activity achieves its intended objectives while efficiency concerns the balance between benefits and costs. Effective measure does not necessarily come with efficiency. 2002) 87 . When comparing the costs and benefits associated to alternatives solution to waste problem.

including. four options aiming at reducing the use of plastic bags are identified and assessed: Option 1: voluntary approach. 2007g) In the study.gain or loss due to the initiatives. estimated financial impacts on consumers. The Hong Kong Government commissioned a private company to conduct an assessment of benefits and effects of plastic shopping bag charging scheme in 2006. Option 2: supplier levy and consumer levy. implementation costs and staff. the cost and benefits of different options of reducing the use of plastic shopping bags will be analyzed as an example. Option 3: consumer charge at all retail outlets. impact on government finances. All these parameters will be turned into monetary term for comparison. The study examined the benefits and effects arising from the four options. and Option 4: consumer charge at selected retail outlets. and the switching effects on using alternatives. 5. potential value of the loss of sales to the Hong Kong market.3. (EPD. 2007h) 88 . (EPD. impact on number of bags.1 Case Study – Environmental Levy on Plastic Shopping Bags In the following. impact on waste to landfill.

3 and 4) could reduce the amount of plastic shopping bags used by 11% to 44 % while the voluntary option (Option1) could reduce 3% only.g. we can say that mandatory options (Option 2. who are participating voluntarily in the scheme. Based on the study findings. However. 3. Retailers and consumers.The study estimated that fee charging options (Option 2. the study found that reducing indiscriminate shopping bag use through voluntary measure (Option 1) is the most efficient solution. the Hong Kong Government has been adopting the voluntary measures since its first launching the voluntary “No Plastic Bag” campaign in 1993. Given the effectiveness of the mandatory scheme. Under the mandatory charging measures. why the Hong Kong Government does not adopt such measures for the past 15 years? Comparing the benefits and impacts of all the four options. will not switch to alternatives. paper bags) so as to enhance their competitiveness and to retain their market share. retailers will seek for providing other kind of “free” bags to customers (e. the increase in waste volume of 89 . and 4) are more effective in achieving the objective of reducing the use of plastic shopping bags than voluntary options are.e. Although the overall reduction in plastic shopping bag use will likely be less than a Government imposed charging scheme. Option 1 has merits in being simple and cheap to implement. These measures will result in producing more waste to landfill i.

they are not more efficient. This may help explain why the reluctance in adopting the mandatory measure in tackling the waste problem. It will increase the costs and therefore affect its efficiency. So the mandatory measures are not efficient in terms of the overall waste reduction. The deterrence effect of law and regulation will be adversely affected. The government therefore has to spend more resources to ensure people’s compliance with mandatory measures. Under the cost-benefit analysis. the government does not have to spend much staffing and money on monitoring the implementation of voluntary scheme. Expenditures will mainly concentrate on education and promotion activities. On the other. On the other hand. Regulation without enforcement is with little use because people will not be punished even if they do not comply with. the voluntary option is more efficient and is the most likely to yield benefits in terms of reductions in the waste stream. the implementation cost and staffing for mandatory scheme is much higher. When considering cost impact on government. it is found that although the mandatory options are more effective.non-plastic bags is larger than the reduction in waste volume of plastic shopping bags. 90 .

The “user-pays” principle is an overriding objective in waste reduction.5. is in line with the “user-pays” principle and therefore should be adopted. 84% and 66% interviewed supported the introduction of “polluter pays” principle and the 91 . The mandatory fee charging scheme.2 Other factors Contrary to the conclusion drawn from the cost-benefit analysis. In the 2005 Policy Framework adopted the “user-pays” principle as means of reducing volumes of waste for disposal. According to the public opinion survey conducted by EPD. the Hong Kong Government decided to introduce the Environmental Levy on Plastic Shopping Bags which is likely to be rolled out in 2009. The Government recognized that inaction is costly and something has to be done. The current practice of waste management is unsustainable and the landfill can only last for another couple of years if no alternative solution is present. Public’s attitude towards the “user-pays” principle” is also crucial. Such political concern overrides the recommendations drawn from the cost-benefit analysis. not being efficient.3. The reason for the change in the Government’s attitude can be explained by a number of factors.

plastic shopping bags account for just an estimated 1. Among those supported of the introduction of the environmental levy on plastics shopping bags. 2007g) The positive attitude of general public towards the introduction of the environmental levy is a good sign for the government acting accordingly. (EPD.environmental levy on plastic shopping bags respectively. (EPD. 76% considered that a levy of 50 cents or more would be effective in discouraging the use of plastic shopping bags. Although the direct contribution to waste reduction from the environmental levy on plastic shopping bags will be minimal17.8% of the waste by wet weight and less by bulk. garbage fee charging scheme and compulsory waste separation scheme. 17 According to the EPD study. With the above factors being weighed. such as. 92 . it helps pave the ways for other mandatory schemes. the Government has been becoming more willing and active in introducing the mandatory measures to tackle the solid waste problem. 2008h) Any plastic charging scheme will therefore have little positive effect on the overall weight of waste to landfill.

This study aims at analyzing different policy instruments and finding out which policy instrument is more effective in combating waste problem. the Government introduced the “Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste in Hong Kong (2005-2014)” which set out a comprehensive waste management strategy for the next ten years. The study uses comparative method to evaluate different policy instruments adopted by the governments of Hong Kong. to increase the recovery rate of MSW and to reduce the total MSW disposal at landfills. the Hong Kong Government has been taking various measures to promote waste reduction and enhance source recovery for recycling. Various policy instruments are applied so as to reduce the volume of municipal solid waste. In 2005. To reverse the rising trend of waste requiring disposal. Taipei and Singapore on various policy arenas of municipal solid waste management. 93 . and the reasons for the reluctance of the Hong Kong Government in implementing the most effective policy instrument.Chapter 6 Conclusion Hong Kong is faced with an imminent waste problem as our landfills. which are currently the only means for waste disposal. will be running out of space in the early to mid 2010’s.

On the other hand. the political cost of implementing mandatory policy on solving waste problem is always higher than other kinds of policy instrument as the stakeholders who will be worse off will have great resistance to the new mandatory policy. there will be little resistance in its implementation because of its voluntary in nature. it is found that the solid waste management is not brought onto the public agenda and the government agenda unless a trigger-off event happens. Lastly. Although the benefits devised from the voluntary measures in waste management is low. cost-benefit analysis is used to explain the reluctance of the Hong Kong in implementing mandatory measures to combat waste problem. The principle of redistribution of wealth is also used to justify the Hong Kong Government’s reluctance in implementing mandatory measures where all the people have to shoulder the burden. the benefits 94 . Different analytical frameworks are used to find out why the Hong Kong Government is reluctant / slow in implementing mandatory measures. it is found that mandate is the most effective measure in combating waste problem and the Hong Kong Government is far lagged behind other governments in adopting such effective policy instrument. Under the agenda setting approach. Without such an imminent need.Based on the results of these policy instruments.

95 . Application of different policy tools are found in various policy arenas from environment. it can explain the reluctance of the Hong Kong Government in implementing mandatory policy. With the change in the Government’s attitude. Being involuntary in nature. the mandatory measures is becoming more common in tackling the solid waste problem. the Hong Kong Government in 2007 set up a new Development Bureau and one of its main responsibilities is to overview the heritage conservation policy. In response to the public’s concern. the society nowadays concerns about the heritage conservation and those associated with collective memories. When we consider the adoption of particular policy tools. The government’s determination in dealing with a particular problem is highly likely affected by the “political mood” in the society. we should bear in mind the social mood other than the cost-benefits analysis.derived from mandatory policy is perceived to be high but the cost associated with such implementation is perceived to be high as the financial cost is likely to be strong. From the cost-benefit perspective. social welfare and so on. Municipal solid waste management is only one of the many policy arenas that the government has to deal with. economics. people may find means to get rid of the mandatory measures. education. For instance. labour.

96 . the “Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste in Hong Kong (2005-2014)” has been published for about three years and not all the measures are already in place. Recent events such as the removal of the Star Ferry and Queens Piers. If such further research is being conducted. which results in speeding up the process of a particular public policy formulation and execution. In addition. Nevertheless. emphasis should be put on performing data analysis so as to ascertain whether after the presence of a particular trigger-off event (which may need to be further defined). however. public awareness over a particular issue may increase. such relationship cannot be established unless further research is carried out. the presence of a trigger-off event may arouse public awareness and change the public sentiment over a particular issue. comparing with the experience in Taipei and Singapore. Hong Kong is far lagged behind in adopting a comprehensive solid waste management strategy and mandatory policy (the most effective policy instrument) in combating waste problem.As mentioned earlier. It still takes time to evaluate whether all the measures are successful in achieving its objectives and targets. which results in speedy action by the Development Bureau in conserving King Yin Lei (a historical building) is a good illustration which warrants further research interest. at the time of writing.

All the data and information are from secondary sources only. Another major limitation is that no field study for the Taipei City and Singapore is taken place and the study solely relies on the information published by the governments and other authors. 97 .It should also be borne in mind that one of the constraints of the study is that no primary data is collected for analysis.

Issued a circular memorandum to implement a policy commitment in the Chief Executive's 2005-06 Policy Address to subject all new major government policies to environmental protection scrutiny. Organised a forum for the property management sector to share successful experiences on source separation of domestic waste in housing estates. 2006 Adopted the theme "Be Responsible for Our Environment. The circular stipulates the guidelines and procedures that all bureaux/departments should observe when formulating policy proposals with potential environmental implications. Launched the first "No Plastic Bag Day" on April 15. I Can and So Can You" for World Environment Day 2006 to educate the public on their responsibility to reduce waste. to a recycling facility in South Korea. Invited Expressions of Interest for establishing environmental and recycling businesses in the EcoPark. and to study the extension of existing landfills and the use of incineration as a way of waste disposal. agreed to continue the campaign in 2007 on a self-supporting basis. Started charging for disposal of construction waste.Appendix I Milestone for Solid Waste Management in Hong Kong (1990. including the three largest supermarket chains. major green groups continued to organise monthly "No Plastic Bag Days" between June and December with the support of the EPD. Riding on the success.2007) 2007 Adopted a policy commitment in the Chief Executive’s 2007-08 Policy Address to introduce the Product Eco-responsibility Bill to provide a legal framework for implementing producer responsibility schemes. Shipped the first batch of rechargeable batteries (13 tonnes) collected under the "Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme". Enacted the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Ordinance 2006 to tighten control on the disposal of imported waste. Ten major retail chains. and to provide legal back up for the Basel Ban on the import of hazardous waste from developed countries. and issued the "Guidebook on Source Separation of Waste in Residential 98 .

Transport and Works Bureau on April 1. Organised the first Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recycling Day and "Zero Waste" walk to echo the Environmental Protection Festival 2005. Launched the territory-wide Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme to recover all types of rechargeable batteries. green groups and the Government in implementing a voluntary producer responsibility scheme. Saw the Environment and Conservation Fund agree to allocate $10 million for a public education programme under "A Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014)". 99 . Started the tender invitation for tenancies of the first batch of Phase I lots in EcoPark for recycling designated materials. Set aside $5 million under the Environment and Conservation Fund to support the implementation of Source Separation of Domestic Waste in private housing estates. Substantially completed a consultation with stakeholders on a new set of risk-based land contamination standards for Hong Kong. Launched a three-month Trial Scheme on Municipal Solid Waste Charging at 20 housing estates to examine the feasibility of introducing a variable rate charging scheme for municipal solid waste. Saw membership of the Wastewi$e Scheme exceed 1 000. This was a good example of tripartite collaboration between the trade. Awarded a contract for the provision of management services for EcoPark. Launched the programme on source separation of domestic waste territory-wide with the aim of having 80 per cent of the population in Hong Kong take part by 2010. Broadcast a series of one-minute TV programmes and a 30-minute TV programme to promote waste reduction. 2005 Saw the merger of the Environmental Protection Department and the Environment Branch of the Environment. Started construction of EcoPark Phase I. Enlisted 497 housing estates/residential buildings (reaching some two million people) to join the Programme on Source Separation of Domestic Waste.Buildings". Commissioned the Low-level Radioactive Waste Storage Facility at Siu A Chau.

Saw the Legislative Council approve the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill No. legislation and practical guides for reference. Commissioned a detailed feasibility study to investigate sludge treatment facilities in Hong Kong. This year the number of Wastewi$e Logo recipients exceeded 200 for the first time.the first permanent recreational facility built on a restored landfill in Hong Kong. Opened the Sai Tso Wan Recreation Ground for use by the public . Changed the name of the Local Control Division to Environmental 100 . The programme also broadens the types of recyclables recovered in order to further increase the waste recovery rate and reduce waste. Signed a Supplemental Agreement with the contractor of NENT Landfill on the export of landfill gas for beneficial uses.a one-stop telephone service on environmental standards. resulting in substantial savings in landfill space and disposal cost. which aims to facilitate residents in separating waste at source by providing waste separation facilities on each floor.2 2003 to enable charging for disposal of construction waste at waste disposal facilities and to enhance control of illegal dumping of waste. Co-organised a briefing session on Source Separation of Waste with the Hong Kong Association of Property Management Companies Ltd. Organised a series of education and publicity programmes in the weekends of June to celebrate Hong Kong World Environment Day 2004 with the theme "Polluter Pays Principle". 2004 Implemented the Waste Recycling Campaign in Housing Estates (Phase VIII). Launched the Help Desk for the business community . in which 1 420 housing estates participated. Launched a pilot programme on source separation of waste. reaching 203. More than 90 000 tonnes of waste have been reduced and recycled by Wastewi$e Logo recipients.Published "A Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014)" which sets out a comprehensive strategy for municipal solid waste management in Hong Kong for the ten years from 2005 to 2014. Commenced implementation of the Construction Waste Disposal Charging Scheme. Saw the Wastewi$e Scheme enter its fifth year as one of the key initiatives to promote voluntary waste reduction and recycling in the private sector.

Compliance Division (ECD) on 24 July 2004. with the participation of 1 333 housing estates. Radio Hong Kong One and the Agency for Volunteer Service. Launched a trial "Mooncake Containers Recovery Programme" with support from the trade associations. Organised the "Hong Kong Environmental Protection Festival 2003 Forum on SMEs in Environmental Protection Industry" to promote the waste recovery and recycling industries. such as dumping at sea. Launched a mobile phone battery recycling programme with the mobile phone industry. asbestos control and import and export of waste. with the participation of 1 200 public and private housing estates covering some 1. recycling about 230 tonnes per month for the production of a lightweight geo-construction material to be used as filling material for road sub-base and slopes. and co-operation with community groups to launch waste recovery schemes. Invited expressions of interest for the development of waste management and waste treatment facilities. which resulted in 25 000 units of WEEE. Launched the Waste Recycling Campaign in Housing Estates (Phase VI). in recognition of the growing importance of partnerships. About 25 000 containers were collected. 2002 Celebrated the Environmental Protection Festival on the themes "Waste Reduction. property management companies. providing child-size waste separation bins to pre-schools for teaching purposes. Commenced a study on Environmental Impact Assessment and Landuse Rezoning for Development of Recovery Park in Tuen Mun Area 38. Co-operated with community groups to launch waste recovery schemes. The ECD also took over from other divisions the responsibility for enforcing territory-wide issues from other divisions. Launched a trial recovery programme for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and computers. 101 . Clean Air for You and Me.5 million households. Launched the Waste Separation Scheme for Pre-schools. and Protect Our Water Resources". 2003 Implemented the Waste Recycling Campaign in Housing Estates (Phase VII). over the two weekends following the Mid-Autumn festival. Launched a pilot programme to recycle waste tyres. computers and computer peripherals being recovered for reuse or recycling over 12 months.

co-organised by the EPD. Held the International Forum on Food Waste Composting. Held a Joint Workshop on Waste Management and Contaminated Land. 2001 Saw the announcement by the Secretary for the Environment and Food of seven major initiatives to enhance the prevention. 2000 Published EPD's first Environmental Performance Report. as part of the Outlying Islands Transfer Facilities. Held the International Solid Waste Association's (ISWA) International Symposium and Exhibition on Waste Management in Asia Cities. Commenced construction of a new refuse transfer facility at Ma Wan. Quality Home" and sustainable development. Saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Environmental Protection Administration and the Environmental Protection Department on hazardous waste import and export control.Completed consultations on the control of clinical waste. Commissioned the North West New Territories Refuse Transfer Station. separation and recycling of domestic waste. Invited tenders to build a storage facility for low-level radioactive waste on Siu A Chau. Saw ISO 14001 Certification of the Waste Facilities Business Unit. 1999 Placed emphasis in the Chief Executive's Policy Address on "Quality People. Launched the First Hong Kong Green School Award. Launched an on-line electronic application system for environmental permits and licences Formed the Central Prosecution Section within the Local Control Division. organised with Environment Canada. ISWA and other parties. aimed at encouraging local schools to implement comprehensive green school management. Launched district-based waste recovery campaigns with 12 District Councils. Opened the North West New Territories refuse transfer station. Commissioned a study to extend the capacities of existing landfills and to search for new waste disposal sites. 102 . Commenced a plastic bags recovery trial in eight housing estates and 109 convenience stores and supermarkets. organised with the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Launched the "Waste Recycling Campaign in Housing Estates (Phase III)" to promote recycling of waste paper. Kam Tin River and part of Yuen Long area. Implemented the final phase of the Livestock Waste Control Scheme on July 1.Launched the "Hong Kong Eco-Business Awards" to recognise green corporations and the Wastewi$e Scheme to encourage businesses to reduce and avoid waste. 1996 Extended the controls on livestock waste to Tuen Mun. Saw successful implementation of the first project to utilise landfill gas by the Hong Kong and China Gas Company. 1997 Produced a promotional video on "Green Families" to encourage public participation in household waste separation and recovery. which is the first project to make beneficial use of a restored landfill. Launched the "Waste Recycling Competition in Housing Estates" to promote waste reduction and recycling in public and private estates. Opened the golf driving range at Shuen Wan Landfill in Tai Po. Established the Waste Reduction Committee and targeted task forces to advise the government on waste reduction measures. Introduced a permit control on the import and export of waste under the Waste Disposal Ordinance in accordance with the Basel Convention. aluminium cans and plastic bottles. 103 . Environmental Assessment & Planning Uploaded Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports exhibited under the EIA Ordinance onto a dedicated Internet home page to facilitate public access. 1998 Adopted "Sustainable Development" as the theme for World Environment Day 1998. Saw announcement by the Chief Executive's Policy Address that all policy secretaries and directors of bureaux and departments have to provide environmental reports for their organisations starting in 2000. Banned the import of hazardous waste from developed countries to tie in with the latest requirement of the Basel Convention. Set up a dedicated web-site for public access. Commissioned a door-to-door livestock waste collection contract to assist farm operators in disposing of livestock waste properly.

1993 Commissioned the comprehensive Chemical Waste Treatment Centre . 1994 Launched the first territory-wide action-oriented waste reduction programme . with a capacity to treat 100 000 tonnes of chemical waste per annum. Commissioned the South East New Territories (SENT) Landfill.1995 Commissioned the North East New Territories (NENT) Landfill. Hong Kong's second strategic landfill. introduce stiffer penalties for illegal dumping of waste and define an offence for breaching waste collection and disposal licence conditions. Hong Kong's third refuse transfer station. most of which had previously been dumped in the harbour. Decommissioned the Mui Wo incineration plant. Commissioned the Sha Tin Refuse Transfer Station. Enacted regulations under the Waste Disposal Ordinance for the control of chemical wastes. Hong Kong's third strategic landfill. the first of three strategic landfills in Hong Kong. Introduced a charging scheme for the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (CWTC) to recover the running costs from its users. which saw 35 million fewer plastic bags used during the year. 1992 Commissioned the Island East Refuse Transfer Station. Celebrated the first anniversary of the "Use Less Plastic Bags Campaign".the first in South East Asia. Introduced phased control of livestock farms in the North and Tuen Mun districts under legislation requiring them to meet environmental requirements. Opened the Construction Waste Recycling Facility at SENT Landfill.the year-long "Use Less Plastic Bags Campaign". Implemented the newly localised Dumping at Sea Ordinance. Amended the Waste Disposal Ordinance to provide comprehensive control of livestock waste. Introduced charges for MARPOL waste at the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre. 104 . Commissioned the West New Territories (WENT) Landfill. Phased out the Kennedy Town Incinerator.

1990 Commissioned Hong Kong's first Refuse Transfer Station (RTS) at Kowloon Bay.hk/epd/english/resources_pub/history/history_hkep.gov.2008) 105 . Available at http://www. Commissioned the Sha Ling Livestock Waste Composting Plant.html (accessed 1. Environmental Protection Department (updated) Milestones in Hong Kong Environmental Protection.epd. Phased out the Lai Chi Kok incinerator and Jordan Valley landfill.1991 Launched the Marine Dumping Action Plan to strengthen control over marine dumping operations and to deter marine dumping offences. Source: Chief Executive (2007) Policy Address.5.

Which aspect.6% 0.6% 7.9% 4.2% 0.9% 4.6% 4.1% 5.2% 3.3% 100.Appendix II Hong Kong Universary Public Opinion Programme People's Expectation for the Third Policy Address of Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen Date of survey : 17 to 21 September 2007 特首即將要發表其第 XXX 份施政報告.0% 100.4% 1.7% 4.4% 2.6% 1.3% 12.1% 15.8% 0.3% 1. should he regard as the point of focus? 項目 Items 經濟發展 Economic development 勞工及就業 Labour and employment 社會福利 Social welfare 教育 Education 政制發展 Political development 醫療 Medical policy 環境 Environment 房屋 Housing 交通 Transport 人權自由 Human rights and freedom 公民教育 Civil Education 文化藝術及康體發展 Cultural arts and sports development 唔知/難講 Don't know/Hard to say 合計 Total 第一份 First 37.6% 0.8% 15. 2007) 106 .4% 0.3% 0.0% (Source: HKU Pop Site. do you think.1% 5.0% 1.你認為他應重點處理甚麼問題? The Chief Executive will soon announce his XXX policy address.9% 4.9% 100.4% 13.0% 第三份 Second 32.2% 0.6% 9.0% 第二份 Second 40.0% 5.0% 13.6% 6.9% 2.3% 0.0% 14.3% 0.4% 5.5% 0.9% 19.

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