Because of the rapid urbanization and commercialization, the wastage of resources and excessive packaging has made the municipal solid wastes(MSW) problem difficult to tackle. In Hong Kong, 3.60 million tons of MSW were disposed of and the recovery rate was only about 50%. (EPD, HKSAR, 2012). In the past, the government mainly relied on landfilling to deal with MSW, which has caused serious water and land pollution. Hence, some environmentalists began to advocate voluntary recycling in 1980s, encouraging our citizens to separate recyclables from their garbage and dispose of them to recycling spots. Disappointingly, at present, many countries are still hugely depending on landfilling and incineration, while the voluntary recycling scheme, even with various incentives (subsidy or unit tax), has been recorded with low participation rate and effectiveness. As a result, for utilizing the potential recyclable materials in landfills and promoting recycling, many countries such as the U.S, Canada and Taiwan, have started to implement mandatory recycling scheme. Although there are few drawbacks such as inefficiency and high enforcement cost, the advantages are way more significant. These benefits consist in environmental and economic aspects. In environmental aspect, mandatory recycling scheme can reduce burdens on landfills and incineration, conserve natural resources and raise public awareness on environmental protection. Whereas in economic dimension, it can lower cost for treating MSW, and foster economic development of a country. This essay argues that mandatory recycling should be implemented, with comparison to the voluntary scheme and other waste management methods. At the end of essay, some improvement measures will be introduced. .
B. Benefits of Mandatory Recycling Scheme.
There are a great deal of merits of mandatory recycling.
1) Huge Reduction of the burden on landfills and incineration .