6 April 2017
China Establishes Household Waste Sorting and Recycling System
The State Council recently issued the Household Waste Sorting System Implementation Plan drawn up by the National Development and Reform Commission (see details in Chinese). Under this plan, laws, regulations and standards for the sorting of household waste will be basically established and cities where compulsory waste sorting is implemented will have a recycling rate of over 35% by 2020.
In household waste sorting, it is necessary to adhere to the principles of quantitative reduction, resource utilisation and harmless treatment and speed up the establishment of a waste treatment system featuring waste disposal, collection, transportation and treatment by category, according to the Plan.
The Plan clearly states that the system of compulsory sorting will first be implemented in municipalities directly under the central government, provincial capitals, cities with independent planning status and the first batch of demonstration cities. At the same time, all provinces (autonomous regions) will be encouraged to select suitable cities to implement compulsory sorting. Cities implementing compulsory sorting should draw up measures detailing the sorting requirements before the end of 2017.
The Plan stresses the need to strengthen the building of supporting systems for household waste sorting, establish a collection and transport system that supports waste sorting by category and a recycling system suitable for the utilisation of renewable resources, improve treatment terminals for different categories of waste, and explore the possibility of establishing bases for the co-ordinated treatment and utilisation of waste to ensure the co-ordination of waste collection, recycling, utilisation and treatment.