The cost of flat renovations is expected to rise slightly after next month's introduction of the construction-waste charging scheme aimed at cutting the amount of material dumped in landfills by at least 20 per cent . The scheme will affect all construction sites, building repairs and flat renovations. Environmental officials do not expect the impact on renovation costs to be significant, with extra expenditure of about $1,000 for renovating a 1,000 sq ft flat to the 'most luxurious' standards. But the extra revenue for the government might be less than the expected $150 million a year, as thousands of projects will be exempt during the initial period. From December 1, contractors or flat owners can file applications with the Environmental Protection Department to set up billing accounts. Exemptions will be given to projects sealed before that date provided an application for exemption is lodged with the department before 5pm on December 22. Assistant director of Environmental Protection Ellen Chan Ying-lung said it was estimated at least 2,000 projects worth more than $1 million and up to 20,000 smaller ones would be exempt. 'While we don't rule out some might flock to get an exemption, we do not believe that large contractors will move their projects forward to avoid the fee,' she said.