Govt to charge construction waste disposal

2020-07-17 03:09     Comment:0

Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon, who is also the spokesman for the government’s top advisory Executive Council, announced yesterday that in six months’ time the government will start charging those who discard construction waste on the city’s only construction waste landfill in east Cotai.

Currently, those disposing of construction waste in the landfill, located in Avenida do Aeroporto, do not need to pay.

Addressing a press conference at Government Headquarters, Cheong said that the government had finished drafting a by-law regulating the city’s dumping and processing of construction waste, officially known as Construction Material Waste Management System.

Government-drafted by-laws, officially known as administrative regulations, do not require the legislature’s approval.

In his capacity as the spokesman for the government’s top advisory Executive Council, Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon (left) speaks during yesterday’s press conference at Government Headquarters about the government’s Construction Material Waste Management System, as Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) Director Raymond Tam Vai Man looks on. Courtesy: TDM

Landfill since 2006

The current landfill for construction waste, the city’s only one, has been in operation since 2006. The dump at the east end of Cotai was already overfilled a few years ago, and government officials have warned that the landfill is facing the risk of collapsing. The government launched a project to expand the capacity of the landfill – which is located near the airport and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) depot – last year.

The Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) carried out a public consultation in 2015 on the possible setting-up of the city’s first-ever construction waste management system, when it proposed that those dumping construction waste in the landfill would have to pay.

“As Macau has seen rapid economic growth in recent years, the volume of various kinds of waste has significantly increased, resulting in huge pressure on Macau’s only construction waste landfill,” Cheong said during yesterday’s press conference.

Cheong said that therefore the government has drafted the by-law which regulates the use of the construction waste landfill and its charging scheme, with the aim of reducing the accumulation of construction waste and pushing construction companies to sort the waste on their construction sites first before delivering it to the landfill.

The administrative regulation also aims to strengthen the government’s supervision of the illegal dumping of construction waste, Cheong said.

Cheong said that the new administrative regulation will take effect 180 days after its promulgation in the Official Gazette (BO) next Monday.

The by-law will regulate the sorting, transport, disposal and processing of construction waste, Cheong said.

According to the new administrative regulation, permits issued by the Environmental Protection Bureau will be required for vehicles dumping construction waste in the construction waste landfill, Cheong said.

According to the administrative regulation, the dumping fees will be based on the kind and weight of the dumped construction waste. The fees will be determined by the chief executive in an executive order.

In addition to the Environmental Protection Bureau, the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) and Public Security Police (PSP) will also supervise the implementation of the new Construction Material Waste Management System, according to Cheong.

Cheong said that the Macau government will set the construction waste disposal fees in reference with the ones in Hong Kong as both cities face scarce land resources and a rising amount of construction waste. Cheong pointed out that the dumping of construction waste in Hong Kong which has been sorted in advance is charged at HK$71 per tonne, while HK$200 per tonne is charged there for the disposal of construction waste which has not been sorted in advance. However, the policy secretary did not indicate whether the fees in Macau will be similar to the ones in Hong Kong.

Cheong said that according to the administrative regulation, those found to have illegally dumped construction waste will be fined between 50,000 patacas and 200,000 patacas if the dumped volume exceeds 0.2 cubic metres. Cheong said that if the dumped volume is less than 0.2 cubic metres, the perpetrators will be fined in line with the current General Regulations for Public Places, according to which they will be fined 600 patacas, but they will be fined between 2,000 patacas and 10,000 patacas if they dump construction waste in lakes and on hills. 

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