Beijing has started to carry out mandatory garbage-sorting to better protect the environment. XINHUA
If the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) is a guideline to save the planet, garbage-sorting is where the efforts start.
如果说3R原则 —— 即减少原料(reduce)、重新利用(reuse)和物品回收(recycle) —— 是拯救地球的指导方针，那么垃圾分类则是这一切努力的开始。
Since May 1, Beijing has started to carry out mandatory garbage-sorting in new efforts to better protect the environment. Under the new regulation, residents are required to classify household waste into four categories: kitchen, recyclable, hazardous and other waste. People who fail to sort their garbage properly can be fined from 50 to 200 yuan, reported Xinhua.
According to CGTN, online guidelines have been launched in order to instruct residents how to practice better waste management. If people don’t know how to sort the garbage, they can search for it on the WeChat account Guanchenglishi.
Some residential communities in Beijing have introduced incentives to encourage residents to sort their garbage. According to Xinhua, residents can earn points by classifying their domestic waste correctly and then exchange the points they accumulate for daily necessities such as soap.
And creative minds have even found some better solutions. Wei Li, a residential community director in the Haidian district, said her community had explored new ways of reusing kitchen waste as fertilizer for the residents’ rooftop garden.
Garbage sorting practices have reached over 70 percent of housing estates in 18 cities, including Shanghai, Xiamen and Hangzhou, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
Shanghai first enacted a mandatory garbage-sorting regulation in July 2019 and has had a 90 percent compliance rate among its housing estates. The city’s daily amount of recyclable waste increased by 431.8 percent year on year in 2019, Xinhua reported.
According to a report by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, over 90 percent of the public believe that garbage-sorting is important for the protection of the environment.
However, garbage-sorting is still a big problem in China. Only 30 percent of participants said they think they are adequately sorting their trash, the report noted.
According to Xinhua, it’s partly because many people lack the willingness to sort their own waste. Also, some previous garbage regulations didn’t include fines for people who failed to comply.
“It’s a must to have a legal guarantee to promote garbage-sorting,” Liu Jianguo, a professor from Tsinghua University, told China Daily.
Aside from China, many countries like Germany, Spain and Britain, also ask people to sort waste into specific categories. In Japan, there is a fixed time for the disposal of each kind of garbage and littering.