Successful waste management strategies in Hong Kong call for the solving of two major impediments: the absence of a landfill charge and the heavy load of construction waste. Presently, the Government spends about $790 million a year on landfill dumping. It costs $125 to handle one tonne of waste. Each person in the SAR produces on average 1.4 kilograms of waste a day. If the Government decides to cover the full recycling cost, as proposed earlier, a family of four would have to pay about $300 a year. A landfill charge may act as an incentive for citizens to dump their waste in separate bins, as otherwise they will have to pay a penalty. The landfill charge is already common throughout the world. Under preliminary plans, families would be asked to separate batteries, computers, cans, electrical appliances, paper and plastic bottles at home, with the aid of new rubbish bins that would be placed in blocks to aid sorting and storage. A municipal services team would also be formed to collect waste from residential and commercial buildings and transfer it to recycling parks. These parks would be rented out cheaply to recycling companies. Under the original plan, property developers and construction companies were to be charged for landfill dumping. A source stressed the Government was determined to impose the controversial landfill charges next year. But the key question was whether general households should be charged in the first phase. Assistant director Plato Yip Kwong-to of Friends of the Earth said the user-pays principle should be upheld, yet people would have more incentive to sort waste if they were offered a cut in their rates bill. On the other hand, increasing construction waste would crip ple the existing strategic landfill system if the problem is not solved. Each year, around 10 million tonnes of construction waste are generated. The existing public filling areas will be exhausted by the end of next year. As there would be fewer reclamation projects in future and more demolition waste from Government's mass urban renewal plan, difficulties would arise in the next five to 10 years. Seeing this, the Waste Reduction Committee has suggested solutions to both the administration and the Legislative Council. To solve the problem of rising tide of rubbish, an artificial island, to be made from construction debris, will be built and designated as a waste dump at Lantau. To examine the size, possible location and environmental impact of such an island, a consultancy study will be carried out by the Environmental Protection Department. One-third of the island would be used as a waste recycling plant, with the rest to become a new landfill for municipal waste. Democratic Party legislator and environment spokesman Law Chi-kwong warned the Government must be careful when choosing the site to avoid environmental damage.