As one of the 46 Chinese cities selected to require garbage sorting, Shenzhen recently strengthened measures to require residents to throw away their household garbage in designated places and allocated staff to supervise the sorting at a fixed time and location.
As of the first half of this year, a total of 805 residential compounds had removed trash bins originally placed on each story of each building, which affected 480,000 households with 1.67 million residents, according to the Shenzhen Evening News.
At present, there are over 2,700 government staffers responsible for the supervision of garbage classification.
In fact, Shenzhen issued the country’s first guidance on household garbage sorting in 2017, which categorized nine kinds of garbage.
In particular, normal household garbage was divided into four types, namely glass, metal, plastic and paper waste; food waste; hazardous waste and other waste. Also, old clothes were given special bins for collection, while decorative plants for Chinese New Year as well as furniture and other large waste can now be handled by recycling companies with the help of property management companies.
According to the News, this classification rule does not require residents to distinguish between wet trash (household food waste) and recyclable or dry trash (residual waste including other trash except for recyclable, hazardous and household food refuse), which has reportedly been baffling many Shanghai residents recently.
Deng Youlong, a staffer from Shenzhen Yuanchuang Environmental Technology Company, said that Shenzhen residents have a good understanding about the types of glass, metal, plastic and paper waste but are not too familiar with the different types of food waste.
Polluted paper and plastic take-away boxes are considered “other waste.” Deng said that some residents mistakenly throw this type of waste into recycling bins for glass, metal, plastic and paper waste.
Regarding food waste, most residents incorrectly throw it away along with plastic bags. Additionally, toothpicks and napkins should not be discarded in food waste bins, added Deng.
A female resident who was interviewed by a media outlet and wasn’t identified said that her community has not yet promoted garbage sorting but was supportive of the move.
“I can tell what is dangerous waste and recycalable waste, but it would be difficult if we also had to sort garbage in a meticulous way like the Shanghai people,” said the resident.
Shenzhen will continue to promote its garbage sorting model across the city. Garbage collection fees are currently charged based on the amount of water consumed by each household but will be based on the number of garbage bags thrown out by residents in the future, said the report.