City gears up for new garbage sorting regulations

Hu Min
Thousands of residential garbage dumping spots and public bins have been modified for the new law that takes effect on July 1.
Hu Min

A total of 13,000 garbage dumping spots at residential complexes citywide have been renovated in accordance with Shanghai's waste sorting requirements, which take effect on July 1.

This accounts for 75 percent of all residential communities, city authorities told reporters on Friday.

About 40,000 garbage bins on the streets have also been upgraded, according to the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau.  

A collection and transportation system of sorted garbage has been formed, and the city now has 982 vehicles for wet trash and 3,135 for dry trash. 

There are another 49 vehicles for hazardous waste, and 32 for recyclable items. 

"These vehicles have unified logos, and they are sealed during transportation to avoid mixed collection and transportation," said Deng Jianping, director of the bureau. 

"The number has been increased based on demand research to prevent mixed collection and transportation. 

"Residents are also encouraged to tip off authorities by calling 12345 or via WeChat account 'Where is trash going' if they spot mixed collection or transportation of already sorted trash." 

A number of social supervisors will be hired to help spot irregularities during garbage sorting, including mixed collection or transportation, he said.

The city's law enforcement and urban management authorities can revoke the domestic garbage operation and service licence if collection or transportation companies refuse to act after they are found to have mixed collection or transportation of already sorted garbage or mixing hazardous waste, industrial solid waste or construction garbage with domestic garbage.

A total of 6,106 collection service spots for recyclable trash have been established in the city, together with 121 transition spots for recyclables, and six large collection centers for recyclables. 

About 3,312 tons of recyclable items are collected daily citywide, and 6,164 tons of wet garbage are sorted out daily, according to the bureau. 

The city's dry trash incineration capacity has reached 19,300 tons daily, and its wet garbage resource utilization capacity is 5,050 tons daily.

The target is 20,800 tons and 7,000 tons by 2020 respectively, according to the bureau. 

Authorities randomly inspected 2,700 residential complexes in April and May, and found 62.5 percent met the requirements on the installation of garbage sorting facilities. 

The assessment results on the garbage sorting performances of 16 districts and 215 subdistricts and towns will be made public in late June and late December. 

The regulations state that a "designated spot, designated time" dumping system will be implemented in the city gradually.

The system has worked in improving the effectiveness of garbage sorting and it enhances residents' sense of participation, said Tang Jiafu, deputy director of the bureau. 

"Different residential complexes can have different practices based on their real situation, and it involves communication between neighborhood committees, property management companies and property owner committees," said Tang. 

Arrangements should take into account the working times of people, and seniors living in the residential complexes, and intelligent measures such as card-swiping before garbage dumping can be used as well, he said. 

The city has 18 supporting policies for the regulations.

Among them, hotels in Shanghai will stop providing six disposable items such as toothbrushes and combs from July 1 unless guests request them.

"Hotels should not place these items at rooms without the request of guests," said Jin Lei, deputy director of the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism. 

These items include toothbrushes, combs, bath scrub sponges, razors, nail files and shoe shine pads, the administration said. 

The category may be expanded in the future.

Hotels will first be asked to rectify the issue or face a fine of between 500 yuan (US$73) and 5,000 yuan if they continue to provide such items.

Restaurants and food delivery businesses will be banned from providing customers with four disposable items, including chopsticks and spoons unless requested from July 1.

The category of garbage sorting and dumping requirements, and measures to control the treatment amount of domestic garbage have also been released.

A "no sorting, no transportation and no treatment" mechanism has been established to ensure the implementation of the regulations. 

An information supervision and management platform covering the whole process of garbage sorting and transportation, transition and terminal treatment has been established in the city as well.

In Hongkou District, intelligent supervision and management of garbage sorting is being trialled. 

By Tuesday, 1,224 cases involving irregularities of garbage sorting had been handled by the city's urban management and law enforcement authorities, involving fines of more than 500,000 yuan. 

From July 1, enterprises can be fined up to 5,000 yuan for failure to have correct garbage-sorting and collection containers, and up to 50,000 yuan for failure to sort waste.

Individuals will be fined up to 200 yuan for failure to sort garbage.

"Education will come first and a fine will only be imposed when people refuse to correct or fail to rectify the problem within a certain period," said Peng Yanling, deputy director of the Shanghai Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau. 

About 14,000 promotional events to explain the regulations have been hosted and about 15 million promotional materials distributed. 

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