Experts Call for Classification of Garbage

Increasing refuse and wastes from urbanites’ everyday life dumped in the suburban areas are encompassing almost all the Chinese cities.

Figures available at a meeting on green chemical industry held in the capital of central China's Hunan Province indicate that some 200 cities in China have trouble finding garbage dumpsites for unclassified waste.

China’s accumulated dumps now weigh over 6 billion tons, occupying some 500 million square meters of land space. They are not easily incinerated or put in a landfill, because they are not classified, said worried environmentalists attending the meeting.

Song Xiaolan, a mineral engineering expert with the Zhongnan (central south) University, pointed out that throwing away garbage without classification will help lift the price of recovering wasted paper, plastics and metal. Meanwhile, toxic and non-degradable garbage, such as used batteries and wasted oil, mixed in the trash make the disposal of degradable garbage more difficult.

Experts called for a campaign to improve public awareness of household garbage classification and reducing the use of such products that can be used only for once.

Sources at the meeting said the number of China’s state-run waste recovering outlets is dropping, which have discouraged residents’ interests in sorting out waste paper, plastic, used furniture and household appliances for a trivial sum of money.

More often than ever, they are seen littered with other garbage.

Experts suggest that relevant government departments work out regulations to mandate a garbage classification and collecting system.

(People’s Daily 01/03/2001)

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