Solid waste disposal is a top priority

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 November, 2010, 12:00am

Following the success of the levy imposed on plastic bags, the government might want to consider introducing similar legislation on solid waste.

The idea of 'polluter pays' can effectively deter us from dumping more and more rubbish. Once we are forced to pay for the dumping of solid waste, we will think twice before we throw away pieces of furniture and electrical appliances.

Yet fee-based waste disposal doesn't address the problem of shrinking landfill capacities. We also need to deal better with toxic waste, which can be absorbed by smaller organisms and passed through the food chain.

To tackle the problem, we need to install effective incinerators to reduce the amount of solid waste. To dispel people's fears of harmful emissions, the government should set up air-quality monitoring stations. Effective solid waste disposal is a top priority in protecting our environment.

Chris Ho

From the Editor

Thank you for your thought-provoking letter, Chris. The plastic bag levy proved a sad but important fact: money motivates people. People would rather bring their cloth bag than pay a small amount of money for a plastic one. This has meant a huge reduction in the number of plastic bags being used and discarded.

This attitude could actually prove beneficial for our future. Imagine if similar charges were brought in for other sorts of waste. Could we reduce the amount of rubbish we throw away? Would we work harder to separate our waste so that we could recycle every piece of plastic, paper and aluminium?

We shouldn't need the threat of being charged in order to make us care for our planet. But if this is the only way to make people more eco-aware, I am in favour of such fines. Similar charges should continue to be introduced until we realise what's at stake.

Karly, Deputy Editor