Shanghai's environmental cleaning and protection process is scheduled to be thrown open to contractors from home and abroad.
According to Shanghai municipal government spokeswoman Jiao Yang, it is one of the metropolis' latest efforts to detach the government from the functions of the urban environmental cleaning and protection sector.
As a result, the government agency that supervises the cleaning and protection work will be scaled back to only handle planning, design regulations and standards.
Another major reform in the sector is that the municipality will establish a fee-collection system for the illegal disposal of garbage, in a bid to reduce pollution.
Companies will be charged up to 80 yuan (US$9.6) for illegally disposing of a barrel of garbage.
It will also charge some companies special fees. For example, supermarkets will be charged for using plastic bags, which are a major source of pollution.
A garbage collection fee for residents is also in pipeline.
(China Daily July 21, 2006)