LOCAL businesses have asked the Government to make them pay for polluting and wasting resources. In an unprecedented move, the Hongkong General Chamber of Commerce yesterday presented a document to the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Tony Eason, supporting the principle that businesses should be charged for sewage and effluent disposal. It also recommended the Government be more open, phase out water subsidies, expedite the sewage disposal plan, adopt long-term policies for conservancy, and consider an incentive scheme for saving water. The chamber's environment committee chairman, Guy Clayton, explained that local businesses had decided conservation was an important long-term investment. ''We have to support conservation - even if it costs money,'' he said. ''A lot of people believe industry and commerce are antagonistic when the environment is being discussed. ''We have therefore decided to develop our own positions on a number of high-priority environmental issues [so] we can actively contribute to the formation of policy on Hongkong's environment.''