O2O app helps upgrade recycling in China

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Since using the app, the couple went from aimlessly wandering in the street to offering door-to-door services by receiving orders on the O2O platform.

In addition to providing a platform to link customers and trash collectors, the O2O application is also changing the final destination of the rubbish, Incom general manager Chang Tao told Xinhua News Agency.

Garbage collectors are the start of the long recycling chain. They usually sell garbage to small waste collection agencies, which will resell it to recycling enterprises. As the costs for processing recyclable materials is high for licensed recycling enterprises, says Chang, the prices they offer are less competitive than unlicensed agencies. As a result, a lot of garbage goes to underground collection and processing centers.

"I have been to some illegal processing centers on the outskirts of Beijing that exude a pungent smell. They don't have sewage treatment or proper environmental protection facilities. The chemicals are discharged into rivers or the earth, causing secondary pollution," Chang says.

"Incorporating Internet technology into the recycling chain not only expands the raw materials base, but also shows us who is recycling and where. We use the Internet to monitor recycled garbage and make sure it goes to legitimate factories where it is processed without pollution."

Upgrading the industry

More than eight cities, including Beijing and Shenzhen, have been exploring refuse classification since 2000, but so much is still discarded randomly due to the lack of workable methods and poor public awareness.

The O2O platform's detailed refuse classification system to some extent solves the problem of incomplete waste sorting, said Zhang Yuping, general manager of another O2O platform Recycling Brother.

With its detailed refuse classification, Recycling Brother has attracted the participation of more than 3,000 offline garbage collectors in cities including Shenzhen and Wuhan, and the platform's daily collection reaches 300 tons.

The rewards for selling garbage will promote the "trash-to-treasure" concept and encourage more people to participate, said Zhang.


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