The waste management bureau of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, is planning to implement a user-pay system of garbage collection that will see residents dispose of their refuge in garbage bags bearing their family name.
Li Tinggui, director of the Guangzhou Management Committee, was quoted by the Nanfang Daily as saying the initiative borrows from waste collection programs in Taipei and Japan.
Li was quoted as saying the garbage collection plan will require residents to sort their trash that will then be classified into five categories. These will include wet and dry garbage and the number of bags left for collection.
Residents will be charged a fee based on the number of bags of garbage they throw away. There will be no charge for the disposal of kitchen waste.
Guangzhou's pilot project involving only a few communities is expected to start soon, said Li.
The city government's website offers few details on the new household trash collection plan, nor does it provide many specific details on how the plan is expected to work.
A city official told the Global Times his department needed advance notice before the city could discuss the new trash collection plan.
"This is a good move for Chinese environmental protection," Zhao Zhangyuan, professor of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, told the Global Times.
Zhao said the success of the Taipei model shows the government must play a lead role in the long-term garbage classification system, and Guangzhou should learn from Taipei.
As early as the 1990s, the Taipei government taught elementary school students how to sort different types of garbage and has had a complete classification system since 2000, said Zhao.
City officials in Guangzhou say their new garbage collection plan will be backed by laws and regulations.
Guangzhou residents in the pilot neighborhood will likely have to change the way they dispose of their garbage and more than a few locals seem bewildered by the pending changes.
A college student from South China Normal University doubts the new system will work well. "People will worry about their privacy if their real name is put on their garbage bags, they'll just throw their garbage somewhere else."