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June 5, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

Garbage makes bureau see red

A LOCAL resident, wearing pajamas and holding a bag of garbage, stood in puzzlement in front of four trash cans in different colors, each one for a specific kind of garbage.

He looked nervous yesterday afternoon as an inspection team including government officials and reporters looked on to see what he would do.

But the man, who obviously didn't know what the different colors meant, turned back home, garbage bag still in his hands.

Although these colored trash bins have been put in place in most residential complexes in the city, many residents are not using them properly -- either because they don't know how to sort waste correctly or because they were just too lazy to do so, the public sanitary authority, who organized yesterday's inspection, said.

Officials said they are considering cash incentives to residents who actively join in the garbage separation scheme, as well as penalties for those who ignore it.

"It's still a big problem that many local residents haven't learnt how to sort garbage," said Ma Yun'an, director of the Shanghai Greening and City Appearance Administration Bureau. "Even when the residents managed to sort garbage by dumping them into separate cans, some cleaners would just put them back together again to make it easier for their work."

Huang Xinghua, vice director of the bureau, said 20,000 sets of trash cans for sorting garbage had been placed in 3,738 local complexes, 2,471 companies and public venues, and on 1,200 streets by the end of last year.

Each set has four cans painted red for harmful waste, blue for recyclable waste, green for glass and black for other waste.

By the end of last year, the new trash cans had been used to recycle a total of 1,300 tons of glass, 1,244 tons of paper and other resources.

mA total of 40 tons of harmful waste had been treated to avoid pollution.

But those numbers were insignificant when compared with the daily 20,000 tons of waste produced by Shanghai's residents.

Ma said their main job nowadays was to strengthen efforts in handling and recycling garbage from restaurants, house renovation and greenery planting.

He said many restaurants refused to send garbage to them for handling because they had to pay for the recycling.


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