Shanghai plans to further improve garbage sorting

Hu Min
New criteria covering facilities and odor control will be included in the assessment of trash sorting at residential communities this year, say greenery authorities.
Hu Min

Residential communities across Shanghai are required to install tools to break open garbage bags as well as washing systems at their trash disposal spots this year, Shanghai's greenery authorities announced on Thursday.

New criteria covering facilities and odor control will be included in Shanghai's assessment system of trash sorting at residential communities, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said.

"Measures to control smells at trash disposal spots at residential complexes, and whether they are equipped with tools to break open plastic bags and washing basins, will be introduced into evaluations," said Xu Zhiping, director of the environmental sanitation department at the bureau.

Food waste and other wet rubbish inside plastic bags must be emptied into wet trash bins, and the bags themselves should be placed in dry trash bins. This may require the opening of bags at trash disposal sites.

"We have heard a lot of voices from the public saying that opening plastic bags is troublesome. The new act aims to make garbage sorting and disposal easier for residents and is in response to the call from NPC Shanghai Committee deputies and CPPCC Shanghai Committee members who forwarded a lot of suggestions over the issue as well," he said.  

"We will also guide residential communities and residents to properly install and use these tools," he said.

Water from washing at disposal spots should be discharged via nearby sewage pipes, he said.

"Odor control measures such as disinfection will also be part of the criterion to improve environment and ensure public health," said Xu.

Evaluation will be conducted monthly by third-party agencies, and street-side businesses across the city will be included in the assessment system for the first time, along with residential communities and enterprises, the bureau said.

Shanghai's garbage-sorting efforts maintained good momentum despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the bureau said.

"The garbage-sorting performances of city residents did not reverse because of the coronavirus, although a few problems in terms of garbage collection were spotted. Overall, the performance is stable," said Tang Jiafu, deputy director of the bureau.

In March, two-thirds of residential complexes among 20 inspected by officials had an excellent performance in trash sorting, and the rest were still rated good, the bureau said.

"Although volunteers were not at the scene due to the epidemic, residents can still comply with the city's garbage-sorting regulations," said Xu.

Volunteers helped guide and monitor trash sorting of residents at residential complexes before the coronavirus.

In March, 11,693 tons of dry trash were sorted out daily in the city, compared with a target of below 16,800 tons, according to the bureau.

A total of 7,394 tons of wet garbage were separated daily, 34.8 percent of the total, in comparison with 31.24 percent which was expected, the bureau said.

Garbage sorting at more than 95 percent of 13,000 residential communities and villages across Shanghai will be brought up to standard this year, the bureau said. Last year’s figure was 90 percent.

The target is that over 85 percent of subdistricts and towns across the city will reach model standard this year, compared with over 50 percent last year, according to the bureau.

Last year, 87 percent of enterprises in Shanghai had their garbage-sorting performance up to standard, also to be lifted to over 95 percent this year, the bureau said.

"We found that enterprises have a worse performance in garbage sorting than residential complexes, which will be improved this year," said Xu. 

The city's capacity in garbage collection and transport will be further raised this year as part of the efforts to improve sorting, the bureau said.

An extra 3,450 tons of daily capacity in wet trash recycling and dry waste incineration is on the agenda for the year to eliminate landfill of household garbage, the bureau said.

Authorities will also step up efforts to expand recycling and raise the sorting efficiency at universities, hospitals and transport hubs this year.

They will also promote the reduction of garbage from express delivery, catering businesses and hotels, the bureau said.

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