Mr CHAN Kin-por stated that as waste charging would incentivize the community to reduce and recycle waste, he failed to see the need to offset waste charges by rates reduction as such would defeat the intended purpose of waste charging. Besides, considerable administrative costs would be incurred by the offsetting arrangements. He opined that the community should decide the appropriate level of charging and the phased implementation of the waste charging scheme. As more effective educational and publicity efforts should be made to induce behavioral changes on waste reduction, he supported that reference be made to the experience of Japan where pamphlets and publicity programmes on source separation of waste were distributed/televised to familiarize households with waste separation practices, and celebrities were invited to join waste separation programmes.
Secretary for the Environment agreed that the implementation of waste charging would incentivize and induce behavioral changes on waste reduction. In the second-stage public engagement, the Government would be listening to views on the phased approach as an option for implementation of the waste charging scheme. More efforts would be made to educate the public on the need for waste separation.