15 July 2013
The Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill 2013 ("Bill") was published in the Gazette on 21 June 2013 and introduced into the Legislative Council for scrutiny on 26 June 2013. The date for a further reading of the Bill has not been notified.
The Bill seeks to amend the Waste Disposal Ordinance (Cap. 354) ("Ordinance") so as to enhance the regulatory regime for the depositing of construction waste1 on private land to deter fly-tipping (i.e., illegal dumping) of waste on such land.
The more salient amendments which are sought to be made to the Ordinance pursuant to the Bill are:
- The addition of the definition of "private lot", which means a piece or parcel of ground held under a government lease and identified by a lot number2.
Before a person deposits or causes to be deposited construction waste on a private lot ("Person"), the Person must obtain the valid permission of the sole owner or all the owners of that private lot.
- The permission, in order to be valid, must be given in a specified form, which must bear an acknowledgement by the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP).
- DEP will not affix an acknowledgement on the specified form unless:
- the specified form is submitted to the DEP, together with the requisite information and document3, at least 21 days before the intended commencement date of the depositing of construction waste on a private lot ("Depositing Activity");
- the sole owner or owners identified in the specified form is or are the person or persons specified in the Land Registry register (i.e., owners on record);
- the specified form is signed by or on behalf of the sole owner or all of the owners on record.
- The Person must display the specified form in a conspicuous place on the private lot at all times during the Depositing Activity.
The above requirements do not apply in either of the following circumstances: (i) where the area on which the construction waste is deposited does not exceed 20m2; or (ii) the depositing forms part of any building works commenced in accordance with the Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance (Cap. 121), or the Buildings Ordinance (Cap. 123) on the lot concerned.
The Bill proposes that it is an offence if a person:
- deposits or causes to be deposited construction waste on a private lot without the valid permission as specified above;
- submits to the DEP a specified form or any information or documents which the person knows to be incorrect or inaccurate in a material particular or does not believe to be correct and accurate in a material particular;
- fails to display the specified form in a conspicuous place on the private lot at all times during the depositing activity.
The Bill proposes to impose various penalties, comprising imprisonment and fines ranging from HK$10,000 to HK$500,000.
If enacted, the Bill will come into operation on a day to be appointed by notice published in the Gazette.
1 Defined under Section 2 of the Waste Disposal (Charges for Disposal of Construction Waste) Regulation (Cap. 354 sub. leg. N) to mean generally any substance, matter or thing that is generated from construction work and abandoned, whether or not it has been processed or stockpiled before being abandoned, but does not include any sludge, screenings or matter removed in or generated from any desludging, desilting or dredging works
2 As defined by Regulation 2 of the Lands Registration Regulations (Cap. 128. sub. leg. A)
3 Information and documents relating to the Depositing Activity that the DEP requires and which are specified in the specified form
Reference: Legislative Council Bill on this legislation including Legco Brief and papers