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December 25, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

Shanghai gets to grips with waste problem

SHANGHAI is set to launch a pilot household waste-reduction campaign in 18 sub-districts and towns across the city next year to fight the pollution caused by the growing amount of waste every year.

Vice Mayor Shen Jun said yesterday the city aims to reduce the amount of rubbish that needs to be processed by 5 percent annually starting next year and realize at least a 20 percent reduction by 2015 and 50 percent in 2020.

At present, Shanghai can only process a daily 10,250 tons of waste, excluding industrial waste, in an environment-friendly fashion while the city produces almost double that amount, officials said yesterday at a meeting on waste management.

At present, the remainder is either burned or buried, harming the environment and using up land resources.

To achieve its long-term goal of waste reduction, the city is to oversee sorting, transporting, processing and recycling from next year.

Relevant government departments, professional companies and property management companies will be charged with the responsibility for rubbish collection, classification and processing.

The government will also set up a network to regulate rubbish reduction, classification, recycling, transportation and environmentally friendly processing.

"The government will allocate special funding on rubbish classification projects and give favorable policies to companies and business involved in the industry," said Shen.

Each district as well as Chongming County will choose at least one subdistrict to carry out trials next year on rubbish sorting at residential complexes. Residents will be given special bins to sort their trash into different categories.

"Shanghai has been promoting rubbish sorting in some 3,800 residential complexes by installing trash bins with different colors, however it hasn't been running smoothly," said Ma Yun'an, director of Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau. "Many residents have stopped classifying their trash after seeing that all the rubbish was just put together on the same garbage truck."

Problems like these will be eliminated by the government in order to achieve the rubbish reduction aim, officials said.

Regional rules and laws on rubbish classification and reduction will also be drawn up over the next few years.

Do it now

"It is such a tough and urgent job to promote rubbish reduction and classification in a big city like Shanghai. The work should be done from controlling over-packaging to reducing rubbish and avoid the waste of resources from the start," said Shen. "We will be living with mountains of waste which are not properly processed in the future if we don't do the job now."

Shanghai's Zhabei District, an industrial area, reported zero growth of household waste after a three-year drive of promoting trash sorting and recycling.

Shanghai generated 7.1 million tons of waste, excluding industrial waste, last year, 4.7 percent more than in 2008.


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