Shanghai's waste scheme may spark recycling revolution

A worker depositing waste at a garbage transfer station in Shanghai. China is the world's second-largest producer of trash, generating 210 million tonnes of municipal solid waste in 2017, about 48 million tonnes less than the US, World Bank figures s
A worker depositing waste at a garbage transfer station in Shanghai. China is the world's second-largest producer of trash, generating 210 million tonnes of municipal solid waste in 2017, about 48 million tonnes less than the US, World Bank figures show. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Trash sorting initiative, if successful, would point way for rest of China after past failures

Shanghai resident Cui Wei was confounded when the city launched its waste-sorting scheme this month. He did not know what to do with the leaves used to wrap rice dumplings.

Eventually, Mr Cui found out - through friends and some research - that the wrappings were classified as dry rubbish, one of four categories for city residents to sort out their trash. The others are wet, recyclable and hazardous waste.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2019, with the headline 'Shanghai's waste scheme may spark recycling revolution'. Print Edition | Subscribe