China will charge urban dwellers for sewage and garbage disposal
before the end of 2007 in a move to protect the deteriorating
The country will use the price lever to promote environmental
protection, said Chen Deming, vice chairman of the National
Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) at an ongoing working
conference on economic reform in southwest China's Chengdu.
The money collected will then be used to build sewage disposal
plants and finance their operation, Chen told Xinhua.
Many sewage disposal plants in the country are not well run due
to a lack of funding, said the vice chairman. In some regions,
people even discharge untreated waste water, he added.
NDRC statistics show that China under-processes sewage and also
under-charges. In 36 mid and large-scale cities, only 55 percent of
sewage is treated and the 8.7 US cents charged per ton of waste
water only covers 67 percent of the treatment cost.
Another 600 cities have not built sewage disposal plants and
many of them do not charge disposal fees.
Regarding garbage disposal, Chen said garbage must no longer
simply be buried. Some garbage will be recycled, he said, but these
projects require financial aid.
He said that charges will be scaled to reflect the amount of
discharge and local governments will be responsible for collecting
Low-income groups will receive subsidies, said the vice
(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2007)