Garbage stars in popular videos

Garbage-sorting videos made by the Fangsong Community of Songjiang District have become an online hit with Songjiang residents.

Garbage-sorting videos made by the Fangsong Community of Songjiang District have become an online hit with Songjiang residents.

“Garbage Sorting: Mother-in-Law,” “Garbage Sorting: Kids,” “Garbage Sorting: Homework Tutoring” and “Tips on Garbage Sorting” can be seen on video-sharing app TikTok (also known as Douyin) and a new episode, “Garbage Sorting: Workplace,” is in the pipeline.

“Garbage sorting is a big issue benefiting both the country and its citizens, meanwhile, it’s a daily issue in people’s everyday life,” said Zhou Zheng, publicity official at the community who directed the videos. “Based on my years’ promotion work in the community, I learned that education delivered with a sense of humor will be better received among residents than rigid pedagogy. The short videos are fun and offer people basic garbage sorting knowledge.”

Chen Xiaoli, an official with the Lanqiao neighborhood committee who enjoys performing arts in her spare time, volunteered to play roles in the videos. The shrewd mother-in-law she portrayed soon became popular.

“What sort of garbage is a king crab?” and “What about a Chateau Lafite bottle cap?” are questions the mother-in-law in the video asks her future son-in-law to test his financial ability. The line “One who is a good garbage sorter won’t be a single dog” has become favorite saying with residents.

Officials’ family members also took part in the making of the videos. Twin sons of a publicity official played roles in “Garbage Sorting: Kids.” The boys, though young, endured mosquitos and smelly odor around garbage cans and assisted in the shooting.

“The volunteer actors and actresses are worth our respect. They are not paid for. The shooting conditions were not good. They had to prepare their own costumes and makeup. A simple gesture in the video was actually shot plenty of times, but the actor and actresses never complained about it,” said Zhou.

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