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October 18, 2019

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Most household waste now used for better things

More than 70 percent of the city’s household waste has been turned into biocompost, methane or incinerated for resource utilization or other recyclable use, Shanghai’s greenery and public sanitation authorities said yesterday.

The amount going into landfill was under 30 percent as of September, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said. The city aims to end landfill by 2020.

About 80 percent of residential complexes are complying with garbage-sorting standards, compared with 15 percent at the end of last year, said Xu Zhiping, director of environmental sanitation at the bureau, and 87 percent of office buildings have reached the standard.

The result is based on the inspections of 3,724 residential complexes and 443 office buildings in the city in the third quarter of the year, according to the bureau.

“The result is better than our expectation,” said Xu.

The volume of recyclable and wet garbage sorted in Shanghai has grown significantly after trash-sorting regulations took effect on July 1.

About 9,000 tons of wet garbage is sorted daily, an increase of 130 percent from the end of 2018. And 5,605 tons of recyclable waste was being collected daily by the end of September, a five-fold increase from the end of 2018.

As a result, daily handling of dry garbage has fallen below 15,276 tons, down 26 percent from the end of 2018.

More than half a ton of hazardous trash is sorted out daily in the city, a five-fold surge from 2018, according to the bureau.

The renovation of some 21,000 garbage-sorting and disposal sites as well as the upgrading of signage on about 40,000 street garbage bins has been completed.

Shanghai has a fleet of 1,327 vehicles for wet garbage, 3,084 for dry garbage, 86 for hazardous waste and 192 for recyclables.

The vehicles are sealed during transport to avoid garbage mixing.

“But the equipment of vehicles used for the transportation of wet trash cannot yet meet demand due to design flaw in their water system, leading to leakage due to increased moisture content with the correct sorting rate increasing significantly after the new regulations went effective, and improvement will be made to tackle the flaw,” said Xu.

A supervision and management system has been established to crack down on irregularities such as mixed transportation.

“The tracking system can trace down the root where garbage is produced to the original place,” Xu said. “It helps identify the responsibility of different parts involved.”

A total of 12,100 collection service stations for recyclable trash have been set up across the city, together with 169 transition sites for recyclables, and nine large collection centers for recyclables. The city also increasing its treatment infrastructure with 16 treatment terminals planned. Of eight wet trash facilities planned, one in Minhang District has been finished and five are due to be completed before the end of 2020.

The city’s companies and social organizations are also playing an active role in waste sorting.

At the China headquarters of Bosch in Changning District, smiling and sad faces are used to mark the garbage sorting practice of employees, and changes have been made in the tea and catering areas for the convenience of sorting. Paper cups have been replaced by mugs.

The Jiading District Hui’ai social organization has visited more than 90 residential complexes and conducted 360 activities turning garbage into enzyme over the past four years, reducing wet trash by 12.5 kilograms per family every month. It has a farm where these enzymes are used as fertilizer for fruit and vegetables.

“Households also use the enzymes as fertilizer for flowers, which have good effects and provide impetus for residents’ garbage-sorting efforts, cutting the amount of waste in the root as well,” said Qian Xiaolan, board chairman of the organization.


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