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China Struggles with Sorting of Residential Waste

In an effort to ramp up waste sorting, the State Council has issued a plan to make sorting of domestic waste compulsory.

For nearly 20 years, China has struggled with the sorting of residential waste. In the country, it’s much more common for waste to be thrown away unsorted and for scavengers to go through it and separate recyclables than it is for residents to actually separate materials into different bins.

In an effort to ramp up waste sorting, the State Council has issued a plan to make sorting of domestic waste compulsory. The plan, which is bring produced by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, will put in place legislation and standards for waste sorting by the end of 2020.

Eco-Business has more details:

Yaoyao, an eight-year-old Beijing girl, has been learning how to sort rubbish at school. Back at home she excitedly asks her parents to separate food waste, recyclables, and non-recyclables and to place each in the correct communal bin outside. But the next morning those different bins all get tipped into a single bin lorry – leaving her confused.

China has been trying to encourage waste sorting for almost twenty years but with little success. It is still much more common for waste to be thrown away unsorted and for scavengers go through it and separate anything that can be commercially recycled. Landfill remains the commonest destination for waste collected through the formal waste disposal system.

But this may be set to change. In March this year the State Council issued a plan to make sorting of domestic waste compulsory.

Read the full story here.

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