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Frequently asked questions
What schools are eligible for funding support under ECF?
Government funded schools including aided schools, schools of Direct Subsidy Scheme, CAPUT schools, special schools, etc are all eligible for funding support under ECF.
As for Government schools, they should earmark funding under the Government’s minor building works according to the prevailing practice and the Architectural Services Department will carry out the necessary retrofitting works upon the approval of the earmarked funding.
How long does it take for the Secretariat of the Waste Reduction Projects Vetting Subcommittee to process and approve an application?
The processing time depends on the sufficiency /adequacy of the information provided by the applicant and the complexity of individual projects. In general, the Secretariat recommends schools to submit their applications at least 6 months before the anticipated commencement of implementing ‘on-site meal portioning’ to allow sufficient time for detailed design, getting consents from relevant government departments for the conversion works, and tendering etc.
If we submit the application now, would it be possible for us to implement ‘on-site meal portioning’ in the next school term?
If schools could submit applications by end of March, there is a chance that the works for ‘on-site meal portioning’ could be carried out and completed during the summer vacation in the same year for normal cases. However, planning for the works would take longer if complications arise due to difficult on-site situations, missing drawing records, etc.
Will applications from schools of older designs (e.g. schools built in 70’s and 80’s) be considered and approved?
Schools may fill-in the ‘request for site visit to school to access feasibility of implementing on-site meal portioning’ form for return to the Secretariat of the Waste Reduction Projects Vetting Subcommittee under the Environment and Conservation Fund Committee. The Secretariat will arrange Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund (EMSTF) to carry out a school site visit for a preliminary assessment to determine the feasibility of such implementation.
The school is a small-scaled school, is there any requirement on the minimum number of students participating in ‘on-site meal portioning’?
The number of students and the class structure of applicant schools may also be considered during the vetting of applications. Although there is no minimum number of students/classes for applicant schools, if the relevant number of students or number of classes is relatively small compared to that of similar schools, the application may be given a lower priority depending on the situation of each case.
Will applications from schools without canteen / suitable dining area be considered and approved?
Schools may fill-in the ‘request for site visit to school to access feasibility of implementing on-site meal portioning’ form for return to the Secretariat of the Waste Reduction Projects Vetting Subcommittee for conducting feasibility assessment. Schools may consider to convert multi-purpose rooms, covered playground etc. to become designated dining area or arrange students to have lunch in classrooms. The Waste Reduction Projects Vetting Subcommittee will assess the applications on a case-by-case basis.
We are already implementing ‘on-site meal portioning’. Are we eligible for the funding support?
Schools which are already implementing ‘on-site meal portioning’ can also submit applications, and the merit of each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
What will be the long-term arrangement for the maintenance and replacement of works and equipment funded by the ECF?
For works, schools can apply for repair and maintenance in the annual major repair exercise. For equipment, schools will follow the prevailing practice by making use of the block grant provided to schools to cover the expenses on maintenance and replacement of equipment after the warranty period.
We are a school in housing estate maintained by the Housing Authority. What will be the maintenance arrangement?
Schools may follow the prevailing maintenance arrangement.
Who will bear the recurrent costs on manpower, electricity and water?
Manpower, electricity and water costs are meal preparation costs to be borne by lunch suppliers and reflected in the meal price according to the prevailing practice.
What will be the arrangement for new schools under design or construction?
We will endeavour to contact all these schools to offer advice on a case-by-case basis. If you are one of them, please come forward by ringing up Environmental Protection Department's Customer Service Centre 2838 3111.
Do we need to obtain a food business licence to operate the school canteen?
A food business licence is not required if the food preparation/handling processes in question are conducted in a school canteen provided for the use of the pupils, teachers and staff of the school.
Do we need to obtain a licence under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance to operate the school canteen?
Wastewater discharge from school canteens in sewered area are not subject to licensing control under Water Pollution Control Ordinance. Schools should adopt good kitchen practices to minimize wastewater and to properly operate and maintain the grease traps.