Municipal Solid Waste Charging

The Government will implement Municipal Solid Waste Charging (MSW charging) on 1 April 2024. In line with the "polluter-pays" principle, the waste disposed of by all sectors in Hong Kong will be subject to charging based on its quantity.

Need for MSW Charging

In 2021, the daily disposal of MSW at landfills has reached 1.53 kg/person. This is higher than those of other major cities and brings about huge burden to landfills. To combat global climate change, it is imperative to promote resources saving as well as waste reduction and recycling in order to reduce carbon emissions and facilitate a transformation to low-carbon living. MSW charging is the centre of our overall waste reduction strategy. It provides the necessary incentives to drive behavioural and cultural changes, and to encourage different sectors of the community to cherish resources and proactively practise waste reduction at source as well as clean recycling, thus reducing overall waste disposal.

Two charging modes

There are two charging modes, i.e. (i) charging by designated bags/designated labels, and (ii) charging by weight through "gate-fee". The applicable charging mode(s) depends on the waste collection arrangement(s) used by the waste producers.

(i) Charging by designated bags/designated labels

For MSW collected by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) through refuse collection vehicles (RCVs), refuse collection points (RCPs) and bin sites, as well as MSW collected by private waste collectors (PWCs) using RCVs with rear compactors, charging will be imposed through requiring the use of pre-paid designated bags. The MSW will have to be properly wrapped in the designated bags before disposal. The per-litre charge for designated bags is $0.11 for the first three years of implementation. The designated bags will be of nine different sizes from 3-litre up to 100-litre to cater for the need of different users.

For oversized waste that cannot be wrapped into a designated bag, members of the public are required to affix a designated label on each piece of oversized waste before disposal. A uniform rate of $11 per designated label will be charged.

From February 2024, it is expected that members of the public could purchase designated bags and designated labels at a few thousands of authorised retail outlets (e.g. supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and online platforms, etc.).

(ii) Charging by weight through “gate-fee”

For MSW collected and disposed of by PWCs using RCVs without rear compactors, a “gate-fee” will be charged based on the weight of MSW disposed of at the waste disposal facilities, i.e. landfills or refuse transfer stations. Under charging by weight through “gate-fee”, members of the public are not required to use designated bags or designated labels for waste disposal.

Publicity and education

As revealed in the experiences of other cities, public education, publicity and engagement hold the key to the successful implementation of MSW charging. Our campaign efforts will be guided by three principles:

  1. a sustainable and extensive public education campaign targeted at the general public and specific groups (such as the elderly and ethnic minorities) under the theme of “Dump Less, Save More”;
  2. provision of first-hand experience of how MSW charging is implemented through the successive launches of setting-specific community involvement projects as well as close partnership and collaboration with government departments and stakeholder groups such as the Environmental Campaign Committee, village representatives, green groups and schools, etc. in launching activities; and
  3. provision of outreaching service and on-site assistance through Environmental Protection Department (EPD)’s Green Outreach team.

Enhanced support for waste reduction and recycling

Starting from the Financial Year (FY) 2019-20, the Government has allocated additional recurrent resources to fund various waste reduction and recycling initiatives, including (a) the setting up of Green Outreach under the EPD to provide on-site assistance to the community; (b) regularization of funding support for Recycling Stores and enhancement of community recycling network; (c) the launching of various pilot schemes of collection service on recyclables such as waste plastics from non-commercial and non-industrial sources and food waste from all sources; and (d) implementation of a pilot scheme to test the on-site application of reverse vending machines in Hong Kong.

The provision will be further increased to no less than $800-1,000 million from the FY when MSW charging is to be implemented. The amount of this annual provision would be commensurate with the estimated gross revenue to be generated from MSW charging in the initial period so as to achieve the effect of “dedicated-fund-for-dedicated-use”.


A six-months phasing-in period will be put in place after the implementation of MSW charging when verbal warnings will be given as far as possible instead of taking enforcement actions. While publicity and education will be the focus in the phasing-in period, we will issue verbal warnings to non-compliant cases as far as possible, and enforcement actions will be taken in cases where the nature or magnitude of the offence calls for enforcement, e.g. if the offender repeatedly contravenes the law despite warnings given. After the phasing-in period, strict enforcement actions will be taken on a risk-based approach, with particular attention given to black spots. Fixed penalty tickets at $1,500 each will be issued to offenders intercepted on the spots, and prosecution by way of summons will also be taken against serious and repeated offenders. The frontline staff of FEHD and PWCs will also reject any waste that have not been properly wrapped in designated bags or affixed with designated labels. A dedicated hotline (2838 3111) has been set up by EPD to answer enquiries and to accept complaints and reports on non-compliance.

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Last revision date: September 2023