Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has announced that citywide wastepaper collection and recycling services will start from 18 September.

The EPD had selected 17 contractors through an open tender for the processes.

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The contractors have been awarded service contracts to commence collection and recycling services of wastepaper progressively across the territory.

Cardboard, newspapers and office papers will be collected from street corner recycling shops, mobile recyclers or frontline collectors in the city.

Prior to exporting the wastepaper to the Mainland or overseas markets for recycling into paper products, processes such as screening, sorting and baling will be carried out locally.

An EPD spokesman said: “Starting from 18 September, the contractors and their associated street corner recycling shops and mobile recyclers are required to purchase waste paper that meets the specified quality standard, i.e. not wet or mixed with other impurities, from frontline collectors and other waste paper producers at a price which is not less than the designated recovery price of waste paper – not less than 70 cents per kilogram in the first six months of the contract period – and from then on the price will be adjusted every three months according to the actual export price of waste paper in the market).

“This is to maintain or even enhance the overall quality and market competitiveness of local waste paper, thereby supporting the wastepaper recycling industry, as well as employment opportunities in the industry, including frontline collectors.”

A Preparatory Period of three months will allow contractors to establish collection networks, processing plants and fleets, and hiring.