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Advisory Council on the Environment

Progress Report of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Flytipping Control (November 2002)

(ACE Paper 32/2002)
For information

Background

Following the winding up of a special inter-departmental task force set up under the auspices of Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to deal with a number of serious cases of indiscriminate and unregulated dumping of waste in the north-west New Territories, the then Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands directed that Task Force (Black Spots) (TFB) of Lands Department (Lands D) should be responsible for maintaining the momentum which had already been achieved and co-ordinating Government efforts towards quicker and more effective responses to such problems.

2. The Terms of Reference of the Inter-departmental Working Group on Flytipping Control (IWG) are:
 

  1. To co-ordinate the efforts of relevant Government departments towards the cleaning-up of illegal dumping of waste and to determine responsibility, where necessary, for specific clean-up operations.
     
  2. To monitor and co-ordinate the progress of the enforcement actions of relevant Government departments against cases of illegal dumping and provide support when necessary.
     
  3. To consider initiatives, including legislative measures, aimed at preventing and controlling illegal dumping activities and recommend implementation where appropriate.

3. A total of twenty-six Interdepartmental Working Group meetings have been held since August 1998. Departments currently represented at the meeting are Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), EPD, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD), Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), Housing Department (HD), Lands D, Drainage Services Department (DSD), Highways Department (HyD) and Planning Department (Plan D).

Main Achievements of IWG since March 2000

4. The main achievements of IWG since March 2000 include:

A. Central Database on Flytipping Sites



  1. The database is aimed at monitoring and ensuring the efficient clearance of the flytipping sites reported by AFCD, EPD, FEHD, HD, HyD, Plan D and Lands D. Data provided by the above departments are updated on a quarterly basis. The information is also shared by concerned departments.
     
  2. IWG agreed to accord high priority in dealing with outstanding cases. According to the database a total of 1041 dumping cases have been dealt with since January 1998.
     
  3. TFB completed 77 and 33 black spot clearances in 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 respectively. The total expenditure for TFB flytipping cases in these 2 financial years are $ 3,606,000 and $2,270,520 respectively. Please see Appendix I for details.

B. Prosecution of Flytipping Offenders



  1. 118 and 89 offenders were convicted in 2000 and 2001 respectively. The prosecutions were carried out by EPD and FEHD. Please see Appendix II for details.
     
  2. To facilitate and expedite the investigation and the prosecution process, IWG agreed the following:
    1. Lands D would provide the latest particulars of the landownership to the departments concerned;

      With a view to enhancing the administrative efficiency between departments, a flytipping case data form has been devised for the sharing of information by concerned departments.

C. Dumping Prevention Works



  1. IWG has actively invited its members to propose potential sites required for clearance and landscaping works so as to provide the public with a clean environment.
     
  2. TFB initiated the restoration works in Hung Lung Hang in late 2000. It has an area of about 5 ha and the hillside was badly eroded. The whole restoration works were completed in mid-2001 at a cost of $1,350,000.
     
  3. From time to time, TFB are requested to carry out minor works which help to discourage unauthorized use of land. 3 separate sites in Ngau Hom Shek, Ping Shan and San Tin in the Yuen Long district were identified. All anti-dumping fencing/landscaping works in connection with these 3 sites were completed satisfactorily during December 2001 and January 2002. These dumping prevention and landscaping works have proved to be effective measures in improving the environment as well as to prevent further dumping activities.
     
  4. Recently, the clearance work in future D6 Road in Sai Kung, which was jointly conducted by TFB and FEHD, was successfully completed and the dumping prevention works at the slopes along Anderson Road were also completed in 2001/2002.
     
  5. With effect from 1 January 2001, the landscape contract of TFB has extended to cover the Islands District.

D. Funding of Additional Clearance Work in "Grey Areas"
 

  1. In 2000/2001, FEHD spent $1,760,000 allocated funds from TFB for the cleaning up exercise in the NT. In 2001/2002, FEHD had spent $1,420,000 allocated from TFB and $360,000 from Lands D for the cleaning up exercise in the NT and Urban Areas respectively. Starting from this financial year, FEHD has direct funding to carry out the clearance exercise.

Major Issues Discussed in IWG

5. Major issues discussed in the IWG since March 2000 include:



  1. At the 72nd ACE meeting, IWG indicated its support of the extension of trip-ticket system to cover the private sector and non-PWP contracts. However, it was noted that DEP considered there was implementation problem as getting every Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste producer registered would be difficult. Large corporations have been invited to incorporate the system into their works contracts. At present, in addition to KCRC, Housing Authority (HA) and Urban Renewal Authority (URA), MTRC has also participated in the trip-ticket system for its MTR station modification works.
     
  2. The Environment, Transport and Works Bureau (ETWB) had recently amended WB Technical Circular No. 5/99 to further strengthen the control of the existing trip-ticket system over the disposal of C&D materials from government projects.

B. Progress of the Implementation of Landfill Charging Scheme



  1. The proposed scheme to impose a landfill charge on C&D waste was discussed at the LegCo Environmental Affairs Panel in May and June 2002. LegCo Members were generally supportive of landfill charging in principle. It is estimated that the scheme would be implemented by end 2003/early 2004, taking into account the time required for legislative amendments.
     
  2. Under the current proposal, large C&D waste producers (accounting for 70-80% of C&D waste producers) will pay the landfill charge direct to Government through the opening of accounts. Accordingly, for waste haulers handling waste from these sources, there will be no financial incentive to flytip as they could not pocket the charge.
     
  3. The remaining 20-30% C&D waste arises from small waste producers, mainly renovation works. As it involves a large number of small ad hoc waste producers, there are difficulties in registering them for direct payment, and Government will have to rely on the waste haulers to collect the charges from the waste producers.
     
  4. It is envisaged that flytipping activities may increase upon the implementation of the scheme. It would be necessary to step up surveillance and enforcement actions against such illegal activities. Departments concerned would work together on this issue in the coming months before the scheme is implemented.
     
  5. In the meantime, IWG is coordinating a PR strategy with a view to educating the public against illegal dumping activities.

Other Business

6. Other matters discussed/actioned in 2001/2002 include:
 

  1. Distinction of responsibility between FEHD and Lands D for dumping on Government Land
  2. Abandoned Vehicles
  3. Use of Internet for Complaint and Publicity
  4. Landscaping work on fenced GL
  5. Weed Nuisance/ Grass Cutting

The Future/Feed-back

7. The work of the IWG is ongoing and it continues to look for new areas which it can consider with a view to making further improvements. The IWG welcomes new ideas, feedback and suggestions from all sources.

Task Force (Black Spots)
Lands Department
November 2002





 

Appendix I

Total Expenditure for TFB Flytipping Cases - 2000/2001

District Clearance/Fencing Landscaping Total
Yuen Long 1,287,896 436,205 1,724,101
North 299,203 1,200,029 1,499,232
Tai Po 113,231 ----------- 113,231
Islands 94,670 108,852 203,522
Tuen Mun ----------- 65,914 65,914
Total 1,795,000 1,811,000 3,606,000




Total Expenditure for TFB Flytipping Cases - 2001/2002
District Clearance/Fencing Landscaping Total
Yuen Long 175,946 392,300 568,246
North 246,394 723,166 969,560
Shatin 103,493 114,982 218,475
Islands 189,120 131,768 320,888
Tuen Mun ---------- 115,117 115,117
Sai Kung 28,547 49,687 78,234
Total 743,500 1,527,020 2,270,520






Appendix II

Statistics of Flytipping Control other than littering (2000-2001)


 
2000
2001
Department No. of Convictions Amount of Fines No. of Convictions Amount of Fines
EPD 117 Max: $20,000
Min: $500
Average: $5,818
Total: $680,700
83 Max: $12,000
Min: $1,000**
Average: $4,828
Total: $400,400
FEHD* 1 Max: NA
Min: NA
Average: NA
Total: $6,000
6 Max: $5,000
Min: $700
Average: $2,033
Total: $12,200


* Flytipping refers to illegal dumping of waste exceeding half lorry load in volume.
** In one case, the defendant was sentenced without a fine but to complete 80 hours of community services.

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 28 April, 2006