Beijing set to enforce new strict garbage sorting rules, fine violators

By Sun Haoran Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/15 18:13:28

Eight categories of smart trash bins at a residential community in Beijing's Xicheng district. Photo: Wang Qi/GT

Beijing will soon enforce new trash sorting rules that may call for fines of 200 yuan ($28.30) to individuals who refuse to properly dispose of their waste, while giving restaurants and hotels up to 5,000 yuan if they provide disposable products to customers.

According to a draft amendment to its trash management regulations released on the Beijing government's website, residents will be required to sort their garbage and place it in specified collection containers or face a fine of up to 200 yuan.

Companies and organizations could be fined from 10,000 to 50,000 yuan if they fail to follow the new regulations, according to the draft. The draft requires residents to sort their garbage into four classifications - kitchen waste, recyclable waste, hazardous waste and residual waste. 

The draft requires restaurants, catering service providers and hotels not to automatically provide customers with disposable tableware or disposable household items, and can be fined from 1,000 to 5,000 yuan if they fail to follow the rules.

"It shows that China is attempting to engineer a huge shift in how businesses and individuals deal with garbage," said Liu Jianguo, a professor at the School of Environment of Tsinghua University.

Beijing started to promote garbage classification citywide around 2010, but lacked effective management and supervision, said Liu. "The draft amends the weak parts of the existing regulations."

The new regulations will place new restrictions on food delivery and courier companies, showing that disposable products have become a serious environmental issue in China, Liu said.

Data analysis company Analysys International reported that China's takeout food market will reach revenues of 195.29 billion yuan, up 35 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019. 

Beijing's move appears to be supported by most internet users, but many also question the government's ability to effectively enforce the new regulations.

Shanghai was the first Chinese city to enforce new trash sorting rules on July 1. The city's compliance rate of garbage classification in the residential areas has increased from 15 percent at the end of last year to 80 percent in the third quarter of 2019.

From January 1 to June 25, Shanghai's urban management and law enforcement department carried out more than 13,900 law enforcement inspections, investigating 1,224 cases of violations and educating 13,739 people, the Xinhua News Agency reported on July 1.

A Shanghai citizen Lin Ting said she was told that spent batteries are harmful trash that is harmful to the environment and was fined 200 yuan. "After that experience, I understood the importance of the regulations and make sure I sort my trash right every time before I throw it away."

According to the Shanghai government's website, a hot pot restaurant was fined 10,000 yuan in September for failing to sort its trash.


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