About seven out of 10 Hongkongers agree a new scheme to charge for waste could help reduce domestic rubbish although residents remain split over how much they should pay, according to a poll released on Monday. It also found about a quarter of respondents were opposed to the scheme. The New Century Forum survey, conducted between December 24 and January 8, interviewed 1,233 people to gauge their views on the scheme, which the government hopes to implement by the end of next year. Under the proposal, most of the city’s rubbish would have to be disposed of in government-mandated plastic bags, with a fee of HK$1.1 for every 10-litre bag. At this level, a typical three-member household would have to pay around HK$33 or HK$51 per month on average, depending on the sizes of rubbish bags they used. The charge for bags would be reviewed after the first three years. According to the poll, 68.7 per cent of respondents believed the scheme would help reduce waste, while 28.3 per cent thought it would not. And 44.5 per cent of respondents also said they would reduce waste after the scheme was launched, but 27.5 per cent would not. The poll did not ask why. Some 42.8 per cent of those surveyed said the proposed charges were acceptable, while 41.6 per cent said the cost was too high, and 2.7 per cent said it was too low. Hong Kong’s waste disposal charging scheme may not be perfect, but it’s a good start The forum proposed setting up a subsidy scheme to help lower-income families. Environmentalist Angus Wong Chun-yin, head of policy advocacy and campaign at World Green Organisation, warned against setting the charges too low. “A monthly charge of HK$30-plus or HK$50-plus should be acceptable to most households,” he said. “If the charges are too low, people would not feel the impact and would not bother reducing waste.” A bill was tabled to the Legislative Council last November. Lawmakers are examining the details.