Big fines for mixing sorted garbage

Companies in Shanghai will face a fine of up to 100,000 yuan (US$14,550) if they are found mixing already sorted garbage during the collection and transportation process.

Companies in Shanghai will face a fine of up to 100,000 yuan (US$14,550) if they are found mixing already sorted garbage during the collection and transportation process.

The city plans to implement a domestic garbage sorting scheme by 2020, and a draft of the regulations was reviewed by the Shanghai People’s Congress yesterday.

It aims to regulate all the processes involved in domestic garbage sorting — from dumping, collection to transportation and treatment — and establish a complete domestic waste classification system, said Deng Jianping, director of the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau.

Authorities are also seeking ways to reduce the amount of garbage produced in the city, and the recycling of trash.

Domestic garbage grew more than 3 percent year on year in the city since 2001. Nearly 7.5 million tons of trash is handled annually, the bureau said.

“The jump in the amount of garbage due to the city’s expansion and increasing population has posed an environment challenge and weighed on the resources, making the treatment of wastes a top priority in a metropolis like Shanghai,” said Deng.

The draft of the city’s first regulations on domestic garbage management bans mixed garbage collection and transportation. Violators will be fined and licenses will be revoked in serious cases.

Companies and factories should follow clean production methods and use eco-friendly manufacturing technologies, according to the draft.

The draft states that products that can be recycled will be given priority while eco-friendly materials will be encouraged at offices.

The use of disposable goods is one of the highlights of the draft, which also insists on on-site treatment of fruit and vegetable peels at all wet markets.

Limits will be set on packaging, the draft says.

To cut the number of packaging of express delivery goods, the regulations call for green packaging, electronic orders and transit boxes as the amount of goods delivered in the city is 1.5 times more than items flowing out of the city.

The draft has maintained the four existing categories of wastes used in the city, namely, recyclable, hazardous, perishable or wet, and residual.

It also sets the requirements on collection containers and calls for the construction of recycling resource collection system.

Shanghai authorities have been using “green account” incentives to encourage residents to sort their trash.

About 3.8 million households in the city have registered for the green account program, which was launched in 2013. Participants accrue points for sorting their garbage into appropriate bins. These points can then be redeemed for items such as milk, soap, toothpaste and phone cards, and for utility bill payments.

In April this year, Shanghai released a three-year action plan on garbage classification. Residential communities in Jing’an, Changning, Yangpu, Fengxian, Songjiang and Chongming districts will finish implementing the garbage sorting scheme by the end of this year. Huangpu, Xuhui, Putuo, Minhang, Jiading and Jinshan districts will achieve that goal by 2019. It will be implemented citywide by 2020.

By the end of August, more than 60 percent of residential complexes in the city had started waste classification. The achieving rate for sorting out the four types of garbage in Shanghai was 24.5 percent this year, up 1.2 percentage points from 2017. It was 19.2 percent for sorting out wet and dry wastes, up 4.1 percentage points from last year, according to the Shanghai Statistics Bureau.

A survey of more than 2,000 Shanghai People’s Congress deputies and over 14,000 residents found that nearly 83 percent believed a compulsory domestic garbage sorting system should be implemented.

In the first half of this year, 3,616 tons of perishable wastes, or wet wastes, were sorted out daily in the city. Shanghai is also promoting a model of trash management that encourages residents to dispose of their garbage at designated times and places, which has achieved good progress, the bureau said.

The city has 423 authorized wet garbage trucks and 14 trucks for hazardous wastes. There are also 1,475 collection spots for recyclable wastes. Shanghai will drop landfill of garbage by 2020.

Huangpu, Changning, Baoshan, Songjiang and Chongming districts had the best performance for sorting out wet wastes, authorities said.

In another survey of 2,000 residents by the Shanghai Statistics Bureau, about 32 percent said a shortage of sorting and treatment facilities was the major obstacle hindering the classification and treatment of domestic garbage.

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