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September 16, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

10-year aim for waste disposal

FROM next year, Shanghai plans to reduce the amount of non-recycled household waste per person by 5 percent a year to the end of 2020, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau officials said yesterday.

The move is to achieve a goal of a 50 percent reduction in the amount of garbage just buried or burned per person in 10 years, said bureau official Tao Yuan.

The city generated 7.1 million tons of household waste last year, 4.7 percent more than in 2008. But most of it was simply buried, imposing pressure on land and the environment.

Only 20 percent of waste was recycled, with most of the remainder burned or buried, Tao said.

If the city continued its current waste disposal methods, waste would soon become Shanghai's biggest environmental problem, local lawmakers said yesterday.

Burning and landfill have been the main approaches to disposing of rubbish in the city for a long time. The city had to enlarge the burning and landfill sites again and again to deal with the increasing amount of waste. However, the traditional methods would soon encounter problems due to limited space in the city.

The sanitation authorities plan to promote trash sorting as one of the ways to address the problem.

Meanwhile, Sun Yunshi, a deputy to the Shanghai People's Congress, the legislative body, advised the government to exempt waste oil from garbage disposal fees.

Many small restaurants sold waste oil to illegal vendors, who simply processed the oil and sold it back to restaurants, which was a danger to health, Sun said.

"They concealed the production of waste oil from the government, so that they can avoid the disposal fees and nevertheless, they can earn extra money for sales to illegal ones."

He advised the government to exempt waste oil to encourage small restaurants to hand the oil to legal collectors. The proposal had been piloted in Jing'an District and the government is now considering whether to promote it throughout the city.


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