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Beijingers to pay for throwing out their garbage
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Under a new trash-collection scheme in the capital residents will soon be paying for what they throw out, as part of efforts to make the city more environment friendly.

A trial scheme will start next year and will involve a few communities, the Beijing municipal administration commission (BMAC) said.

People taking part in the trial will be required to pay fixed prices for a set amount of garbage they put out. They will pay more if they throw out additional trash.

Details of the new system are still under discussion.

Currently, local and migrant households in Beijing are charged fixed monthly garbage fees of 3 yuan and 2 yuan, respectively. Families that produce little waste pay as much as those who always fill, or overflow, the trash can.

BMAC deputy director Chen Ling said in a recent interview that his agency will assist the National Reform and Development Commission (NDRC) and other relevant departments to draft standards for specific charges before the Olympics next August.

A source with the BMAC's city appearance and environmental sanitation division added that local property management companies should be put in charge of these operations.

The BMAC also plans to set up renewable resource recycling spots in the pilot communities to reduce waste generation.

The goal of the pay-as-you-throw system is to encourage trash sorting and recycling, and "residents' garbage fees are not expected to vary much under it", Chen said.

Beijing is home to 17 garbage disposal facilities, capable of disposing only 10,350 tons of the 16,000 tons of waste generated each day, the BMAC estimated.

While eight such facilities were recently shut down, the total daily trash is expected to rise to 18,000 tons within three years.

To deal with this, the city will construct and renovate 15 waste disposal plants in the next two to three years.

Chen said Beijing will also stop burying its garbage.

The city currently buries or stockpiles 90 percent of its total waste, which takes up massive areas of farmland and severely pollutes their surroundings with foul odors and the like, he said.

(China Daily November 29, 2007)

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