Government works out details of new domestic garbage rules

Chen Huizhi
The government is getting ready to implement its first domestic garbage regulation from July 1.
Chen Huizhi

Shanghai is preparing to implement Shanghai's first domestic garbage regulation from July 1, the city’s legislative body said on Tuesday.

The government is working on standards for green packaging in the parcel delivery industry, and a list of banned disposable items offered in restaurants and hotels, according to the legislation commission of the standing committee of Shanghai People’s Congress.

The introduction of the above rules will be synchronized with the regulation on domestic garbage management.

To reduce garbage, the regulation bans hotels from providing customers disposable items in rooms unless specifically requested, and restaurants and food delivery businesses will also be banned from providing customers with disposable tableware such as chopsticks and spoons unless requested. When such items are requested, businesses should provide environmentally friendly, disposable ones.

Meanwhile, since residents are expected to sort out their domestic garbage according to the stipulations, they can now look up the categories of particular kinds of garbage on two government public WeChat accounts: “shanghaifabu” and “shlhsr”.

By entering the name of the garbage together with its material, such as "glass bottle" or "porcelain bowl," a definitive answer will be provided as to which category the waste fits into, and therefore which bin it should be placed in. This function is available only in Chinese at the moment. 

Hazardous waste has a red label, while recyclable waste is blue, household food waste or wet waste is brown and residual waste or all other waste is black. Such labels will be found on garbage containers for different kinds of garbage.

Residents will be required to separate household food waste from other waste, and they are encouraged to turn in recyclable waste at recycling stations or put it in specific containers, while hazardous waste is strictly banned from being mixed with other waste.

Recycling stations will be found in public places such as residential complexes and shopping malls, and the government will put into trial some self-service tanks for recyclable waste. By the end of this year, the government plans to build 8,000 recycling stations, 170 terminals and 10 district-level dump sites.

The government is also working on regulations for the recycling of large waste such as used furniture. Residents can take such waste to designated places for recycling or book a recycling service.

To make better use of household food waste, every ton of which could produce 0.3 tons of organic soil, the government is pushing for the waste to be used to improve soil in parks and forests, as well as in agriculture.

Residents will also be able to report garbage transportation businesses that mix different garbage types together when transporting it away from community terminals, and businesses that violate the regulation will face fines and suspension of business licenses.

By the end of this year, the government aims to collect over 5,520 tons of household food waste or wet garbage, over 3,300 tons of recyclable waste and less than 21,000 tons of residual waste or garbage that’s not of the other three categories every day.

The new regulation will be further publicized through lectures, campaigns, volunteer activities and by setting up examples of effective efforts to implement the regulation.

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