How Does Hong Kong’s Waste Bag Charging Scheme Work?
Hong Kong/ Terra/ Sustainability

What You Need to Know About the New Waste Bag Charging Scheme in HK

What You Need to Know About the New Waste Bag Charging Scheme in HK Header

You hear the buzz in the streets and the notices piling up on your resident building board are all but full. The vague murmur of the ‘MSW Charging Scheme’ is the most talked about topic as you nod hello to your neighbours when you board the lift.

Somehow, you feel like you should already know how it works, but no one seems to have a good grasp of what this new scheme might entail, and if they did, they sure like to keep it to themselves.

Don’t fret, you haven’t missed the memo. It’s all just happening way too fast. Here is everything you need to know about the MSW Charging Scheme so you can get ahead of the changes to your cleaning routine before Aug. 1, 2024.

What environmental issue is the scheme addressing?

Hong Kong's waste charging scheme aims to tackle the pressing issue of municipal waste generation. In its’ simplest terms, the city generates a significant amount of waste daily, placing a huge strain on our limited resources and landfills.

In 2021 alone, one person averaged out at approximately 1.5kg of waste a day, amounting to nearly 550kg of waste per person each year. It is projected that all three of our current in-use landfill sites will be full in the coming years, calling for an urgent need to reshape the way we leave behind waste.

What You Need to Know About the New Waste Bag Charging Scheme in HK  1

How does the new Hong Kong waste bag charging scheme work?

The waste charging scheme operates on a "pay-as-you-throw" principle, which helps to visualise the amount of waste produced in numbers (the kind of number that hurts to lose). Under the scheme, households and businesses will need to purchase specially designated government-issued trash bags for disposing of their non-recyclable waste (which does not include construction, chemical, or chemical waste).

What types of bags are there and how much do they cost?

The government provides various sizes of MSW bags to cater to different household needs. These bags are durable, leak-proof, and designed to contain non-recyclable waste securely. While the exact bag options and costs may vary, you can expect a range of sizes to suit your disposal requirements – with large, oversized waste such as furniture requiring a different disposal method. As of now, there are nine sizes of disposable waste used for domestic purposes, from the smallest bag at 3 litres, to the largest at 100 litres.

The prices of the bags are set to cover the cost of waste management services and are set at HK$0.11 per litre.

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When do I have to start using the government MSW bags?

To comply with the waste charging scheme, households will be required to start using the designated government MSW bags from Aug. 1, 2024.

This means that starting from that date, non-recyclable waste should be disposed of using these bags to avoid any penalties or non-compliance issues.

I'm still confused...

Don't worry, you're not alone! Understanding a new scheme can be overwhelming at first. If you're still unsure about any aspect of the waste charging scheme, the Hong Kong Government's official website on MSW Charging has everything you need to know. Keep an eye out for any locally held workshops in your area that may provide more tips and tricks for the upcoming scheme.

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