China has decided to end government monopoly of public garbage disposal and open it up to the private sector, the Construction Ministry has announced.
Rapid urbanization has increased garbage in Chinese cities by five to eight percent every year. Though the percentage of treated garbage has soared to over 58 percent from two percent in the early 1980s, there is still more work needing to be done.
Governments at all levels have been entirely responsible for investment in and management of garbage disposal. However, government investment can no longer pay for the increase in garbage.
Ministry officials said public bidding -- open to both foreign and domestic investors and entrepreneurs -- would be held to choose investors, builders and operators in garbage disposal.
The Construction Ministry is already inviting joint-venture, cooperative, foreign-funded and non-governmental enterprises into the sector. These enterprises will compete in the market after receiving approval.
(Xinhua News Agency August 28, 2002)