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改善廢物處理嘅一小步

2017/6/26 — 12:10

作者製圖

作者製圖

「廢物徵費」推動回收的成效顯然不足 —— 因此,政府應同時推出有效率的廢物棄置及回收方式,並加強加擊非法傾倒廢物,從而減少廢物製造,增加回收。

四月份,環境保護署上調了建築廢料徵費。送至堆填區的廢料徵費由每噸125元增加至200至;送至篩選分類設施的則由每噸100元增加至175元。於兩項廢料處理方法訂下差額的原意是鼓勵承建商將建築廢料分類處理。按估計,是次收費的加幅將為整體建造業每年帶來6.4億的額外開支。

僅僅每年6.4億的開支對整個行業可微不足道,因此我預期是次收費加幅並不能減少建築廢料的產生,反之郤會鼓勵承建商直接將廢料送至填堆區而非作篩選處理。與此同時,政府郤沒有計劃去修改法例或增撥資源,協助執法人員處理非法傾倒廢料的問題。因此,在徵費增加的影響下,非法傾倒的問題或將會更為嚴重。雖然,現時有計劃以全球定位系統追蹤建築廢料運送車輛,但成效郤有待觀察。

廣告

在現有制度下,地主可在工程進行時將惰性廢料暫置土地上(包括農地及受保護土地),但這項便利措施卻造成部份土地在工程過後沒有被還原,引伸環境破壞的問題。解決以上問題的正確做法是要求地主在暫置惰性廢料前申領許可證,並承諾在工程過後將相關土地還原。一旦發現在未經許可證情況下在其土地棄置廢料,地主則需要為此負上責任,而政府則有權進入相關土地將其還原,並要求地主支付相關費用。唯一不需要事先申請的應只有用作農業用途的有機廢料堆填,其高度亦不應超出現有標準(即1.2米)。

絕大部份的違法棄置廢料為裝修翻新產生的廢料、少量的建築廢料、舊傢俱以及不同組件,並普遍以小型貨車運送。依照我的觀察,承建商多為了趕着下班而貪圖方便,故將廢料非法棄置,而非送到正式的廢料收集站。有鑑於此,政府應設立更方便的小型建築廢料收集站。

廣告

另一方面,政府準備設立家居廢物徵費。在徵費實施後,若果政府未能妥善執法以及改善住宅大廈的垃圾收集,不難預計非法棄置家居廢物的個案將會增加——不論是為了避免徵費抑或一時沒有特定垃圾膠袋。

顯然地,基於個人私隱,政府沒有計劃透過辨認違法棄置家居垃圾中的物品——如有住址的信封——找出相關住戶。正確減少家居廢物的做法,是提升市民意識,鼓勵他們做廢物分類,並在社區有住宅大廈設立分類廢物回收站。同時政府亦應為回收公司提供合適地方,以作回收物品收集及分類之用。只要多管齊下,垃圾亦能產生其價值。

於荷蘭阿姆斯特丹的廢物收集站

於荷蘭阿姆斯特丹的廢物收集站

 

Better Waste Management

To promote recycling it is not enough to charge more for waste – Government will need to enable efficient disposal and collection, and enforcement against flytipping and landfilling.

In April, the charges for disposal of construction were increased by the Environmental Protection Department. Landfill charges rose from $125 to $200 per tonne, and the sorting charge will increase from $100 to $175 per tonne. The HK$25 difference is to encourage sorting and recovery of recyclables. The objective of the increase is cost recovery. The construction industry will incur HK$640 million extra cost a year as a result.

This is tiny when compared to the overall business volume so I do not expect that this will reduce the volume of construction waste. What it will do is to provide another incentive for fly-tipping and land filling. And there is no sight on additional resources or legislative amendments needed for the enforcement teams to combat either of these more effectively. Although there are plans underway for mandating the use of a global positioning system on construction waste collection vehicles, the question is whether this is enough to combat illegal disposal of construction waste.

It is hard to see how the GPS will stop land filling. Dumping inert waste on agricultural and conservation land is a development method. This can only be stopped by requiring landowners to first obtain a permit or certificate of exemption, and failing that they should be held responsible for reinstatement prior to any other development on their land. And if they fail to do so within a time limit, Government must have the right to enter the land and register the cost of reinstatement against the lease. The only landfilling that should be permitted at all times is when people deposit soil defined clearly as organic matter to support vegetation - up to a maximum height of 1.2 meter.

Much of the fly-tipping in Hong Kong is renovation waste, small volumes of construction waste, old furniture and fittings. These are transported in vans and small goods vehicles. From my observation, contractors just want to go home after a day of hard work, and can’t be bothered to drive to the remote landfills and transfer stations. Government should enable the renovators, their staff and contractors to go and see their kids by setting up easily accessible collection points for small volumes of construction waste.

Separately, Government is preparing to charge for municipal waste via building managers and by charging consumers directly with special bags. This will certainly result in flytipping of household waste – whether to avoid charges, or because someone ran out of bags – unless the logistics of waste handling is better handled, and strong enforcement is in place.

For some misplaced privacy reason, government does not plan on opening ‘lost’ bags of waste to seek for envelopes with addresses or other indicators. The real solution lies in promoting people to cleanse recyclables, and to make it efficient to dispose these separately (in boxes or transparent bags) for sorting at refuse rooms, or building or district collection points. The focus should be on enabling the economy of cleaners, scavengers and processors with spaces for sorting and stockpiling so they can work efficiently in retrieving value from waste.

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