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November 6, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

City to lessen impact of trash

SHANGHAI will spend the next three years building an effective garbage sorting system in urban areas to ease the current shortfall in waste processing capacity.

It also aims to cut daily garbage disposal demands by half by 2020 through improved practices, government officials said yesterday.

The city's environmental and sanitary watchdog will spend the next three years improving garbage sorting and recycling services in downtown areas and then gradually expand the practices to more outlying districts by 2015.

A well-functioning garbage sorting and recycling system could help to substantially reduce the amount of waste that needs to be transported to waste processing factories, experts said.

Local authorities have been putting colored trash bins in some local residential complexes in recent years to encourage people to separate their trash. However, the results have been disappointing as the many people do not know about the rules for separating garbage, while others are simply too lazy or don't care, investigations by the sanitary authorities found.

As part of the planned measures to reinforce future garbage sorting systems, officials said they may give out cash incentives to those joining the campaign to separate waste or even impose fines on those who ignore the rules.

Shanghai currently produces around 20,000 tons of garbage every day. Most of the trash is transported by ships or trucks to the Laogang waste disposal factory, located in the suburban Laogang Town on the coast of the East China Sea.

Its designed disposal limit is 4,900 tons per day, but the factory is now processing about 8,000 tons daily while the city is actually sending an average of 12,000-plus tons of waste to the site a day - the figures are still increasing rapidly.

"The factory has been working far beyond its capacity. The relevant authorities must look for better and safer -technologies," said local legislator Zhu Hongming, a member of a team which has recently completed an i-nvestigation into the waste disposal -factory in Laogang Town and its effects on nearby residents and the local environment.

Advanced practices in handling urban wastes showcased at Shanghai World Expo will also be incorporated into the city's future efforts to improve waste disposal processes.


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