More trucks, security cameras added to trash-sorting campaign

Four types of garbage collection trucks, each for a different category of waste, are being used in six of the city' districts, sanitation authorities said yesterday. 
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A volunteer instructs a woman yesterday in a residential complex on Hongqiao Road in Changning District on how to dispose of garbage at a community dumping site. Among other instructions, residents are asked to throw only food refuse into the bin marked for such waste. Those who carry food waste to the dumping site in plastic bags are asked to dispose of such bags separately in a bin marked for dry waste, not for recyclables. 

Four types of garbage collection trucks, each for a different category of waste, are being used in six of the city’ districts, sanitation authorities said yesterday. They also stressed that garbage collectors will be punished for mixing sorted rubbish.

This message follows residents’ complains that their garbage sorting efforts are being wasted by trash collectors who dump their separated waste indiscriminately in collection trucks.

In Jing’an, Changning, Yangpu, Fengxian, Songjiang and Chongming districts, specialty garbage vehicles are now operating in residential complexes that have started sorting their waste. In Huangpu, Xuhui, Putuo, Minhang, Jiading and Jinshan districts, these vehicles will start use in 2019.

Meanwhile, some residential complexes in the city are using surveillance cameras to catch residents who improperly dispose of trash. Volunteers and neighborhood committee members are also working to educate rubbish rule-breakers.

At one community on Hongqiao Road in Changning District, residents have embraced garbage sorting since a trial program was introduced there in April.

“It was not an easy job at first when we removed garbage bins from each floor of the 10 residential buildings, and started promoting garbage sorting,” said You Yan, director of the Chengjiaqiao sub-district office.

Residents now are required to put trash into four bins — designated for hazardous waste, recyclables, food waste and dry waste — at a dumping site near the entrance of the community. The site is open between 7:30 and 9:30am, and 4:30 and 7pm. At other times, the site’s bins are sealed. This sort of “designated time and place” model of trash management is currently being promoted across many parts of the city.

“Because the average age of residents here is over 80, it took time for them to recognize different types of garbage and keep the need for sorting in mind, and there are some ayi (domestic helper) in the community, making it more difficult,” said You.

At first, some dropped garbage outside the bins at night when trash-sorting volunteers were absent, she said.

To address these difficulties, resident volunteers and neighborhood committee officials made promotional materials and visited some households several times to inform residents about sorting.

Training was also offered to domestic helpers, and a surveillance camera was installed to monitor the dumping site.

After three months of efforts, progress is evident.

Wang Guizhi, a domestic helper at the complex, separates garbage into two bins at home, and takes them separately to the dumping site each day. She said another residential community on Hongmei Road where she used to work did a much poorer job at garbage sorting, as no one took initiative to manage such efforts.

“Here, the signs and directions for different types of garbage are very clear, making sorting an easy job if you take it seriously,” she said.

Qi Daolun, an 84-year-old retired teacher and resident of the community, now recognizes the benefits of garbage sorting.

“Garbage classification contributes to a better environment, which is good for everybody,” she said.

Authorities have also stepped up efforts to tackle concerns that sorted garbage is mixed during transport.

“In Changning District, we have four types of vehicles to collect different types of wastes,” said Zhu Gang, deputy director of Changning District Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau, “They look similar, but bear different color signs and run in different places.”

“A third-party assessment system is used to monitor sanitation enterprises and drivers will have their wages deducted if they are found mixing trash that has been sorted,” he said.

Tang Jiafu, deputy director of the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau, said a tip-off and reward system will be considered to further stamp out the mixing of sorted garbage.

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