Household Garbage Sorting Gets Attention

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China will speed up national legislation on household , according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

The ministry will set up a team to craft the legislation and work out a draft law as soon as possible, Yang Haiying, deputy director of the ministry's urban construction department, said at a news conference on Friday in Beijing.

Fourteen cities have adopted laws and regulations on household garbage sorting, while 23 have included the issue in their legislation plans, Yang said.

In January, the ministry released a notice urging 46 major Chinese cities to have basically built treatment systems for household garbage and have laws and regulations in place for the sector by 2020.

In March last year, the ministry issued a plan requiring 46 cities to carry out mandatory garbage sorting by 2020. Under the plan, all public institutions and companies are required to separate hazardous waste, kitchen waste and recyclable materials.

However, the effects of garbage sorting in China are far from satisfactory and many challenges remain, Yang said.

In some cities, for example, different kinds of waste are put in different bins when they are collected, but then are mixed together when sent to the waste station, he said.

Many people are not aware of the importance of household garbage sorting, and they do not voluntarily separate different kinds of waste, Yang said.

In response, the ministry will conduct more public education campaigns, especially for students, on the importance of waste sorting, he said.

Although mandatory sorting has been adopted mainly by public institutions, residential communities are encouraged to follow suit. Some incentives have been used to drum up enthusiasm and participation by residents.

Wen Zongguo, an environmental management professor at , said the government needs to better inform the public about the cost of not sorting garbage, so that people know how they might be negatively affected by failing to do so.

The government should also speed up the construction of garbage disposal terminals, he said.

(Source: China Daily)