The story appears on

Page A4

November 18, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Rubbish response to garbage sorting trial

FEWER than half of Shanghai residents chosen to take part in household garbage sorting trials have actually done so, officials said yesterday.

And of those who did respond to the call, barely a fifth managed to sort their trash correctly.

Legislators were announcing the findings of a citywide survey into how the pilot program was being implemented at hundreds of residential complexes.

Through undercover investigations, lawmakers found that between 30 to 50 percent of the residents sorted trash before dumping it.

But only about 20 percent of that group actually followed the correct classification.

Consequently, up to 70 percent of garbage from these neighborhoods had to be re-sorted by specially assigned workers every day.

But in areas without such staff, efforts to promote household trash sorting were failing, legislators found.

Moreover, workers re-sorting trash were placed under great pressure due to the volume, while residents also complained about the smell.

Ma Yun'an, director of the greenery bureau in charge of the sorting promotion, said trials cover 827 residential complexes.

The government aims to have 1,000 involved by the end of the month and continue rolling it out across the city.

But legislators fear that, unless more residents can be persuaded to participate, while the figures may look good on paper they will bring little actual improvement to garbage management.

They also challenge the cost of the project.

Currently, the government pays 18 yuan (US$2.80) for each kitchen leftovers sorting bucket it distributes to households.

One neighborhood office reported that in the past six months it has spent more than 3 million yuan on buckets, plastic bags, hiring assistants and subsidizing volunteers.

The office estimated if the program is introduced to all its 65 residential complexes, it would cost 30 million yuan each year to sustain the current service.

Legislators say this would be too heavy a burden on government funds, raising questions about the scheme's feasibility.

White-collar workers also come in for criticism for their attitude toward the trial.

"We found in some upscale neighborhoods with well-educated young and middle-aged office workers, they were even less likely to participate compared to other residents," one legislator said. "They claimed they were too busy."

"It's urgent for the government to figure out how to make people understand sorting garbage is an obligation of each citizen," he added.

Legislators are considering local legislation to require kindergartens and schools to add classes introducing garbage sorting to pupils.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend