FAQ: What Hong Kong’s new waste charging law means for you

A waste charging law has passed in Legislative Council today, which says residents must pay for dumping rubbish.

Here are seven questions and answers about what the new law means for residents.

1.When will the levy be enforced?

There will be a preparation period of at least 18 months before it comes into force. An enforcement date will be set later.

2. How does the charging work?

Residents must pay for and use designated rubbish bags to throw away their rubbish.

3. How much does it cost?

It will cost 10 cents for each kilogram of rubbish. For a three-member family, they are estimated to spend HK$33 to HK$51 if they throw away 10kg to 15kg of waste a month.

4. How much will the bags cost?

The bags will come in nine sizes, ranging from 3kg to 10kg. Some examples are:

5kg: HK$0.60

10kg: HK$1.1

15kg: HK$1.7

20kg: HK$2.2

5. Are there any subsidies for the poor?

Those receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance can get a monthly subsidy of HK$10.

6. Where can citizens buy the designated plastic bags?

They can buy them at various shops, including supermarkets, convenience stores, post offices, petrol stations, vending machines and online stores.

7. What are is penalty for breaching the law?

There is a fixed penalty of HK$1,500. If summoned in court, a first conviction will lead to a maximum fine of HK$25,000 and imprisonment of six months. A second conviction will lead to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 and six months’ imprisonment.

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