How much trash do Shanghai residents produce everyday?

With 24 million people, the city needs to treat 22,000 tons of household waste everyday. Booming package and food delivery business only increases the burden.

With a population of around 24 million people, the city needs to treat 22,000 tons of household waste everyday. So, what does that amount of garbage look like?

If we piled up Shanghai's garbage for 16 days, it would be as heavy as Jin Mao Tower. Keep going for 42 days and you'd have a pile that would give Shanghai Tower a run for its money.


Source: Shine research

Besides traditional household garbage, booming e-commerce has incurred a gargantuan amount of waste, such as cardboard packing boxes, tape, disposable food delivery boxes and other disposable tableware. 


Source: Shanghai Morning Post report

If we spread the 1.2 billion disposable food boxes out on the ground, they would cover 9 million square meters, which would be the same as 64 People's Squares. 


Shanghai's People Square

How are we going to deal with this?

To tackle the problem, the city released a three-year plan on garbage in April, aiming to increase its garbage treatment capacity to 32,800 tons by the end of 2020. 

The plan stipulates that residential communities in Changning, Chongming, Fengxian, Jing’an, Songjiang and Yangpu districts need to start garbage-sorting by the end of this year.

Huangpu, Jiading, Jinshan, Minhang, Putuo and Xuhui districts will catch up next year.

By 2020, garbage will be sorted across the whole city.


A resident in Jing'an recycles some cardboard paper using a "smart" dustbin. 

By sorting out household garbage, the city aims to reduce dry waste and improve recycling.


Source: Shanghai government

How do we sort Shanghai's trash?

The following is the guide released by the government. Authorities are also stepping up the construction and upgrade of trash treatment facilities. Among other efforts, 41 temporary large-scale garbage storage stations and 8,000 waste sorting and recycling stations will be built by 2020.


Source: Shanghai government

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