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ENVIRONMENT

Exempt those living near landfills from rubbish fee, says Exco's Bernard Chan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 March, 2014, 4:47am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 March, 2014, 4:47am
 

People living near landfills earmarked for expansion should be exempted from a proposed fee for rubbish disposal, a top government adviser says.

Bernard Chan, a member of the Executive Council and chairman of the Council for Sustainable Development, said it was necessary to extend the landfills as "it will take time to build an incinerator". He was referring to the proposed HK$18.2 billion facility off Shek Kwu Chau.

The government has warned landfills in Tuen Mun, Tseung Kwan O and Ta Kwu Ling will be full by 2019, but the Legislative Council's environmental affairs panel has so far declined to endorse its expansion plans.

The Sustainable Development Council is reviewing the findings of its consultation on a pay-as-you-throw scheme, and yesterday Chan said exemptions could convince people to put up with nearby landfills for longer.

"The government could consider offering concessions to people living near these facilities - for example [new] recreational facilities, or a waiver of rubbish [handling] charges," Chan said. A family of three could face a waste-disposal bill of HK$30 to HK$74 a month under the proposals.

Residents remained opposed to the landfill plans at a Legco meeting on the matter yesterday.

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