70% of Hongkongers not confident over successful waste-charging scheme roll-out in August, more than 50% urge delay: survey

70% of Hongkongers not confident over successful waste-charging scheme roll-out in August, more than 50% urge delay: survey

About 70 per cent of residents are not confident about the successful roll-out of a waste-charging scheme in August, with more than half urging the government to postpone it, a think tank study has found.

The New Youth Forum on Saturday said only 13 per cent of 1,032 interviewees supported the scheme, which was pushed back twice since last December to August 1.

The survey found that respondents who had a habit of recycling were more supportive, whereas those who indicated they had never or rarely recycled would approve of a further postponement.

Nearly 400 people said that the government should consider postponing the scheme for another six months to one year, while 380 were looking to delay up to two years.

The think tank said most members of the public agreed waste needed to be reduced, but the main controversy was centred on how and when the government planned to implement its scheme.

“Hong Kong [residents] have reached consensus on the need to reduce waste and recycling, but the key is whether there are enough supporting facilities to go along the scheme,” it said.

The results showed although more than 700 people embraced the idea of waste charging as an initiative to go green, only 20 people said there were enough recycling facilities in the community.

Debate heats up on whether Hong Kong should press ahead with waste charging

The think tank added that more than 97 per cent of respondents thought the government had not fully consulted the public before it launched the scheme.

It also urged the government to roll out more support to the community, such as handing out free designated garbage bags and extending a grace period to one year.

A pilot run to gauge the preparedness for the scheme launched earlier this month, with a first batch of 14 premises including private and public housing estates, restaurants, retailers and care homes.

Secretary for Environment and Ecology Tse Chin-wan said on Saturday authorities would decide how to proceed after reviewing feedback from the trial run in around May or June.

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