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Free gifts for locals who separate trash in Shanghai
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Locals will be given gifts by the Shanghai environmental authorities for separating their waste to make it easier to recycle, in a citywide scheme to promote greener lifestyles.

Environmental protection volunteers will visit communities to teach residents the correct way to separate their garbage and collect the separated waste once a month.

Families who separate their garbage will earn points that can be exchanged for gifts.

Locals can visit www.tryun.com.cn to learn more and register for an account for their family. The Website is in Chinese.

The activity will be promoted in more than 1,000 local communities, schools and companies this year, officials said.

"The gifts are not very expensive," said Fu Liping, an official with Pudong Environmental Protection and Public Sanitation Bureau. "We just want to promote public awareness about separating waste."

Most people lump all their garbage together, mixing recyclables such as glass and cardboard with waste such as batteries, expired medicine and electrical goods, which can't be recycled, said Fu.

The bureau's staff members went to a community on Pudong's Qihe Road yesterday morning.

Hundreds of families participated in the activity and received potted plants, mouse pads, soft toys and other gifts in return.

"I hope environmental officials can work with neighborhood officials to make this a regular event," said a resident surnamed Zhu. "But it's difficult for us to store up all our trash and wait for them to come and collect it, which they only do once a month at the moment."

(Shanghai Daily June 15, 2009)

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