Rubbish piles up as refuse drivers blockade landfills

THOUSANDS of tonnes of rubbish were left at collection points and construction sites yesterday as 150 trucks blocked entrances to landfills in a protest against dumping charges.

Drivers will have to pay $43 for each tonne they dump from September 20.

'We urge the Government to charge the polluters, such as factories, construction sites and commercial buildings, instead of shifting the responsibility on to us,' said Pang Shing-hong, chairman of the Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories Refuse Collection Vehicle Owners' Union.

Drivers estimate they will have to pay $60,000 in advance each month if the people whose waste they are dumping do not buy prepaid tickets.

Mr Pang said almost 90 per cent of drivers could lose their jobs because the market would be monopolised by bigger companies. The drivers were also worried they might not be able to collect the fees from the polluters.

He said the blockade would continue until the Government said it was willing to review the scheme.