China curbs “foreign garbage” and intensifies waste management
China has improved waste management and recycling systems to tackle environmental issues caused by a build-up of garbage. Several measurements have come into force including garbage sorting and curbing “foreign garbage”.
Mandatory garbage sorting
In March 2017, China issued a plan requiring 46 cities to carry out mandatory garbage sorting by the end of 2020. Under the plan, all public institutions and companies are required to separate hazardous waste, kitchen waste and recyclable materials.
By the end of November, 12 cities had adopted laws and regulations on garbage sorting, while 24 had introduced work programs related to the issue, according to Wang Menghui, minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
Making the most of garbage
Besides garbage sorting during collection, China is also improving its garbage treatment facilities and disposal methods to achieve harm-free disposal as well as transform garbage into a resource.
More and more cities and companies are eyeing ways to make the most of garbage. Through technological innovations, they not only can dispose of garbage in a harmless way, but also use it as a resource.
Curbing “foreign garbage”
China has tightened control on imported solid waste, often referred to as “foreign garbage.” In July 2017, China’s State Council released the Implementation Plan on Banning Entry of Foreign Garbage and Reforming the Administrative System of Solid Waste Importation (Plan) (Full text in Chinese), which has come into force at the beginning of 2018.
Now China has forbidden the imports of 24 types of solid waste that cause great environmental damage and raise strong public concerns, including plastic waste, unsorted paper waste, crude textile waste and vanadium slag waste. According to this plan, China will phase out imports of solid waste that can be replaced by domestic resources by the end of 2019.
Action plan to phase out waste imports
China: National Plan on Banning “Foreign Garbage” and Reducing Solid Waste Imports
China announces import ban on 24 types of solid waste
China intensifies waste management