Facial recognition adopted to encourage garbage sorting in Beijing

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A volunteer demonstrates putting a kitchen waste carrier back to a collecting shelf in Beijing, June 29, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

A facial recognition system is being used to improve household garbage sorting by residents in a community in the Xicheng District in Beijing.

Cameras attached to the bins scan the face of the person using them. Once the person is recognized, the bins open. So far 70 percent of the people living in that residential community have signed up to use the facial recognition system. Resident can also scan a card to open the bins, or just press a button.

Residents can get small gifts like daily goods in exchange for sorting their garbage.

A total of 29 sets of the high-tech bins equipped with facial recognition have been installed at 16 locations in the community. The rollout started in April.

To reduce the need to transport waste, a workshop to process kitchen waste was built on unused land in the community in 2014. The facility can process two tons of kitchen waste every day, accounting for about one-third of the garbage created by the community.

The municipal government plans to raise the coverage rate of household waste classification demonstration zones to 60% of the city in 2019, 90% next year. The city is also planning to mandate citizens to sort their garbage, said Sun Xinjun, an official from the city's urban management commission.

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