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Kitchen Garbage to Get a Price Tag

From now on, Shanghai's hotels, restaurants, and company and school canteens will be required to pay for the treatment of their kitchen garbage - charged at 215 yuan (US$26) per ton - the Shanghai Public Sanitation Bureau said yesterday.

Each day, 1,000 tons of leftover food is discarded in Shanghai - 70 percent comes from hotels and restaurants, while the rest is from canteens and homes, the bureau said.

"Treating kitchen garbage in an environmentally sound way is estimated to cost more than 1 billion yuan. Neither the city government nor the sanitation bureau can shoulder such a huge burden," said Shen Zhengchao, the bureau's vice director. "Charging treat-ment fee will be an effective way to alleviate our economic pressure."

Based on successful trials in Putuo and Luwan districts last year, the bureau will build three kitchen garbage treatment plants in Nanhui, Fengxian and Pudong districts, while biological treatment facilities are also to be added in Xuhui and Hongkou districts by the year's end.

"The new facilities are expected to turn 300 tons of kitchen garbage into animal feed or fertilizer daily," said Xu Zhiping, the bureau spokesman.

While these efforts will only cover 30 percent of the current hogwash, the bureau pledged that all kitchen garbage in the city will be treated cleanly by next year.

"The Shanghai Agriculture Commission banned all livestock farms from using kitchen garbage as hogwash two years ago, creating problems for us in treating the trash," Shen explained.

He added most of the kitchen garbage has to be dumped in local garbage landfills, posing a heavy risk to environment.

(eastday.com May 16, 2002)

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