Aw man, and we were doing so good with those plastic bags….dang it. But yes, according to Global Entrepreneur magazine, China creates 30.6% of the world’s waste or an unbelievable 150 million tons every year.
Even though the government has created numerous landfills and waste treatment plants to handle the monstrous load, those facilities are struggling to keep up. Industry experts say the government isn’t targeting the real root of the problem too – it’s much too invested in “purchasing garbage vehicles, dustbins and constructing landfill and incineration plants, putting the final stages of refuse administration under high pressure” when what they really should be doing is encouraging proper refuse sorting from the public.
“If we have better refuse sorting, less poisonous gases will be produced by burning,” said one professional. “Utilizing the most advanced incinerator is useless if the refuse isn’t sorted.”
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the local populace is horrendous at sorting but take it from someone who knows: Xu Yinxian, a 58 year old Beijing sanitation worker says, “It appears the majority of local residents pay no heed to signs indicating where recyclable and non-recyclable waste should go and just throw their refuse in whatever dustbin they like…the ‘recycle’ and ‘not-recycle’ litter bins make no difference.”
Actually, walking the streets of Shanghai late at night (or shall I say side-stepping all the garbage scattered haphazardly across the city roads?) sometimes makes me wonder if we’ve even discovered the invention called the rubbish bin yet.