The Circular Economy Has Ushered in Huge Development Opportunities

The rapid development of industrialization and urbanization has brought more and more abundant life, but also produced more and more waste. Garbage recycling is an important project in urban development. With the gradual development of reaching carbon peak and carbon neutrality in China, the circular economy characterized by resource conservation and recycling will usher in a huge development opportunity and a large market. Multiple Conferences and spokesman have stressed the importance of circular Economy for that it fits the concept of sustainable development and plays an irreplaceable role in China’s realization of carbon peak and carbon neutrality.

The city is like an inexhaustible “mine”. 10,000 tons of scrap steel can make 8,500 tons of steel which can save 20,000 tons of iron ore.

In Honggu District, Lanzhou city, Gansu Province, there are a group of urban “miners”. Where do they mine? In the garbage.

18,000 computer integrated circuit boards can extract 288 kilograms of copper, 44 kilograms of tin, 1 kilogram of gold; 66,000 phones can recycle 1 kg of gold, 0.68 kg of silver… In the eyes of mining people, old cars, old mobile phones, and old home appliances are treasures, as long as they are properly utilized.

Dai Nanchang, manager of Lanzhou Xingshengyuan Renewable Resources Recycling Economy Processing Industrial Park, is such a “mining man”. The industrial park he manages has 12 sorting centers and more than 1,000 recycling outlets in Lanzhou and neighboring cities, where wastepaper, scrap metal, waste foam, waste batteries and other waste materials are finely sorted and deeply processed into new products for industrial production and daily life.

Urban mining is the image metaphor of the large-scale development of recycling and utilization of abandoned resources. It is no exaggeration to say that garbage is the resources in the wrong place. It is estimated that for every 10,000 tons of scrap steel, 8,500 tons of steel can be made, 20,000 tons of iron ore can be saved, 4,000 tons of standard coal can be saved, 12,000 tons of waste residue will be reduced, and 86% of air pollution will be reduced. If we recycled iron and steel, precious metals, plastics and other resources in waste mechanical and electrical equipment, automobiles and home appliances, the utilization is equivalent to the quantity of scarce primary mineral resources. “The potential for recycling waste is growing along with living standards and economic development, which shows that cities are like mines that never run out,” Dai said.

At present, the Lanzhou Xingshengyuan Renewable Resources Recycling Economy Processing Industrial Park has been developed many production lines. Within one year, it can process 60000 tons of electrical appliances, 50000 tons of waste wire and cable, all kinds of scrap motor vehicles more than 12000 sets, recycling, processing 350000 tons of scrap metal. The production value reached 2.4 billion yuan in 2020. The whole industrial park follows the principle of green environmental protection in the treatment of renewable resources and does not discharge slag, exhaust gas and wastewater in the production process.

According to the “14th Five-year Plan” for the development of circular economy, by 2025, China’s resource utilization efficiency will be greatly improved, the replacement ratio of renewable resources to native resources will be further increased, and the supporting role of circular economy in resource security will be further highlighted. This shows that the country attaches more importance to the use of “urban minerals”.

Dai said that in order to better recycle waste, the industrial park has built an information trading platform for western renewable resources, and established a complete online information ecological chain facing the market, from recycling, sorting and processing to finished products. “We used to collect waste by tricycles and carts, but now we have established a recycling network and a processing and utilization system through fully enclosed box electric vehicles and intelligent waste sorting equipment. Our workers have changed from recycling porters to industrial technicians.

A waste treatment plant so clean that can also be a place for wedding photos.

Standing at the side of the garbage pool and there is no smell. The plant generates enough electricity to power 800,000 people a year. Can you imagine a refuse treatment plant being a popular location for wedding photography?

When it comes to “garbage disposal”, many people still think of it as stinky and polluted. But when you walk into Beijing Chaoyang Circular Economy Industrial Park (hereinafter referred to as the industrial park), the national solid waste disposal demonstration center, you will see white factories, neat lawns and dense forests. The freshness of the air, accompanied by songs of birds, almost makes people forget that this is a waste treatment plant.

Greasy kitchen waste, and other types of garbage… Every year, millions of tons of waste come here and are treated harmlessly, eventually becoming pollution-free materials and energy for internal and external circulation. The whole process is not only safe and efficient but also low-carbon and environmentally friendly.

In the morning, at the clean incineration center inside the park, gray garbage trucks are busy unloading: a load of garbage enters the plant’s garbage tank through the dump door, and after five to seven days of fermentation, it is pushed into the incinerator at a temperature higher than 850 degrees Celsius. Industrial Park staff told reporters, now the garbage incineration is not the traditional incineration, but a harmless treatment, its advantages can completely eliminate the pathogen in the garbage, and it produces small pollution, but also can use the garbage as energy. However, this kind of waste treatment method also has higher requirements for technology and flue gas treatment.

Into the incineration center of the gray plant, it is quiet, through the glass, the reporter saw inside densely covered pipes and a variety of giant processing devices. Apart from the engineers in the control room, there was not a single worker in sight and all processes were automated and hermetically sealed. Even when standing next to the garbage pit, there was no smell.

Reporters learned that only clean incineration center, a year of power generation as much as 290 million degrees. If the electricity is provided to an office building with an area of 10,000 square meters, it can be used for a year. The total annual power generation capacity of the entire park is more than that of 800,000 people, which is equivalent to saving 186,000 tons of standard coal and reducing 530,000 tons of carbon emissions.

The staff of the industrial park proudly said, “Now all the electricity used in the clean incineration center is generated by us! The heating in the factory is also generated from waste disposal.

Under the green transformation, “waste free city”, information-based management promotes waste reduction and recycling

Not long ago, Zhejiang Shaoxing Zhongzheng Thermal Power Co., Ltd. found buyers for its fly ash through the solid waste trading application scenario of Shaoxing’s “Waste Free City” information platform. Fly ash, the tiny particles of ash emitted during the burning of fuel in power plants, is garbage to thermoelectric companies but precious to building materials factories, which make not just cement but all sorts of lightweight materials. Until solid waste trading platforms connected to supply and demand, dealing with fly ash was a problem for thermal power companies because of information asymmetry.

Dealmaking is an important application scenario of Shaoxing’s “Waste-free city” information platform. As one of the national pilot “without waste city”, Shaoxing to share data across different departments, implement the solid waste management hierarchy, cross-regional business together, through the use of information technology, the five kinds of solid waste, waste water, waste gas and polluted soil achieve full cycle, intelligent, digital closed-loop type management, increase the efficiency of the government service.

In addition to the dealmaking function, the platform also includes real-time supervision, credit evaluation and other functional modules. From the perspective of supervision traceability, QR code technology is used to assign codes to medical waste and hazardous waste, solidifying the type, quantity, generation time, location and other information. In the process of online monitoring, to achieve controllable risk, closed-loop supervision of solid waste transportation process, digitalization is applied.

Jiang Jianguo, a professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Environment, said: “Waste free cities are not about eliminating waste generation, but about effectively using solid waste, reducing the generation of solid waste, and solving the problem of historical solid waste storage to ensure a virtuous cycle from the perspective of urban management.”

Circular economy emphasizes the priority of “reduction”, which requires the implementation of green design and clean production of key products at the production source and the improvement of the replacement rate of raw materials. Qian Jin, head of Shaoxing Ecological Environment Bureau, said the city has implemented green mining to reduce the production and storage of industrial solid waste. Promote green manufacturing, carry out the circular transformation of industrial parks, and promote reduction and recycling of industrial solid waste sources; Implement cross-regional agglomeration of printing and dyeing chemical industry…

In terms of waste – free factories, Shaoxing is rich in yellow rice wine and has many wineries. In the process of making yellow rice wine, the main pollutants are waste lees and high concentration wastewater. Through anaerobic treatment, there will be biogas containing high concentrations of methane components, direct emissions will cause a serious greenhouse effect. Three years ago, Shaoxing city launched the rice wine enterprise biogas power generation project, to comprehensively utilize the biogas generated from wastewater treatment, and realize the harmless treatment and resource utilization of biogas.

Not only in production but also many aspects of the factory, the concept of recycling is practiced: electronic documents are promoted in the offices and the paperless green office is implemented; We will strengthen green procurement and green supply chain management in the procurement process and increase the procurement of raw materials with low production of solid waste and little harm to the environment. (Source: website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection)

Article source: National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)