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Hong Kong Productivity Council and Swire Properties Reveal Results of Municipal Solid Waste Charging Scheme Trial Programme

28 Nov 2017

Hong Kong Productivity Council and Swire Properties Reveal Results of Municipal Solid Waste Charging Scheme Trial Programme

Over 130 participating tenants reduced their total amount of disposable waste by 18%

Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and Swire Properties announced today the results of the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Charging Scheme Trial Programme. The Government is expected to launch the MSW Charging Scheme in 2019, at the earliest. This trial programme aimed to facilitate the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sectors’ understanding of the Scheme’s methodology, raise awareness in waste reduction and better prepare the sectors for future implementation of the Scheme.

Funded by the Environment Conservation Fund (ECF), 131 Cityplaza tenants participated in and successfully achieved an 18% reduction in overall disposable waste during the six-month trial programme.

MSW Charging Scheme Trial Programme At A Glance

Volume-based and weight-based MSW charging approaches were trialed at 105 retail outlets and  26 office tenants at Cityplaza Mall and Cityplaza One office tower respectively; as well as at Swire Hotels’ EAST, Hong Kong.

During the trial, participants practiced waste separation and recycling, as well as measuring waste volume and weight. HKPC recorded and stored the waste disposal data.

A waste disposal report, which included a pricing guide, was issued on a monthly basis, to familiarise tenants with the MSW Charging Scheme and its operations, and allow them to gain a deeper understanding of the amount of waste generated on-premise. In addition to monitoring the results, Swire Properties and HKPC arranged MSW-related exhibitions, as well as visits and workshops to offer tips and recommendations on waste reduction and upcycling. The goal was to further educate and engage participants.

After the six-month trial, participants achieved an 18% reduction in overall disposable waste. What’s more, the overall recycling rate increased by 15%, with paper and food waste recycling improving significantly at 10% and 30% respectively.

Dr Lawrence Cheung, Director (Technology Development) of HKPC, said, “This trial project aims to help participating tenants understand different MSW charging approaches and identify effective recycling methods in order to reduce the amount of waste disposal. With the concerted efforts of participating tenants, the overall waste disposal has been reduced by 18%. Some tenants even achieved 50% in waste reduction. We are also delighted to see an increase in recycling rates, in particular, food waste recycling has increased by 30%”.

 “Swire Properties is delighted to have Cityplaza as our first mixed-use development to participate in this trial programme,” said Dr Raymond Yau, General Manager, Technical Services & Sustainable Development at Swire Properties. “Sustainability is an integral part of Swire Properties’ business, and to achieve the company’s vision to become the leading Sustainable Development (SD) performer in its industry globally by 2030, we have set progressive targets in terms of waste reduction, recycling and developing green buildings. We are delighted by
the great results demonstrated by this exercise, and we look forward to collaborating further with our various stakeholders to help achieve our sustainability goals.”

Moving forward, Swire Properties will continue to engage its tenants across its various portfolios to better prepare them for the MSW Charging Scheme and to promote waste reduction at source. These initiatives will include tailor-made waste reduction tips, workshops and tenant-engagement activities.

Mr Donald Ng, Deputy Director of Environmental Protection said, “The successful implementation of the MSW Charging Scheme calls for the concerted efforts and participation of different sectors of the community. In the process of facilitating the necessary behavioural changes, the Government will step up its efforts in publicity and public education, and would launch a promotional campaign under the theme of ‘Dump Less, Save More’ to promote waste reduction and recycling.

We hope the public would develop a good understanding of the arrangements for MSW Charging Scheme before its implementation and prepare for it. To this end, ECF has been supporting non-profit organisations in organising different community involvement projects in order to allow different types of waste producers to try out the charging mechanism and arrangements in real settings. Their experience will provide useful reference to different stakeholders in implementing MSW Charging.  The Government will also be preparing Best Practice Guides for the reference of property management companies and their frontline staff.”