A special levy might be imposed on tyre wholesalers to promote recycling, the environment chief said yesterday. The government would use the money collected to support recycling industries, Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung said. Explaining the green initiatives in the policy address, Dr Liao said discarded tyres were damaging to the environment and difficult to recycle. She said a levy would be one of the ways to encourage recycling. 'The levy is related to producer responsibility. As a responsible producer, they should bear some of the cost and this can be factored into their sale price,' she said on RTHK. Dr Liao said that a levy would probably be imposed on wholesalers rather than manufacturers, as Hong Kong does not have many tyre manufacturers. She said the levy could be used by the manufacturers if they came up with an acceptable recycling mechanism. 'Otherwise, the government can do it on their behalf using that levy to subsidise the recyclers,' she said. A recovery park in Tuen Mun for recycling industries will be ready for operation in 2006. The park will be run by one management authority selected through open tender. Below-market rent will be offered to recyclers as an incentive. The government also released a programme for covering 16 sections of open drains around the city at a cost of $1.2 billion over the next 10 years. Under the plan, eight drains without major engineering problems or land constraints in Mongkok, Shamshuipo, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung and Happy Valley will be finished within the next three years. Another four in Tsing Yi, Kwun Tong, Mongkok and Shamshuipo will be finished by 2011.