The Era of Compulsory Garbage Sorting Begins

In one week, Shanghai will start enforcing its first regulation on domestic waste management, joining other large Chinese cities piloting a shift to make garbage classification compulsory, instead of voluntary.

Since the beginning of this century, China has encouraged people to sort household garbage voluntarily. While more people have realized the importance of garbage classification, the effect was not so great in terms of collection.

Shanghai’s regulation requires people to sort trash into four categories – dry garbage, wet garbage (kitchen waste), recyclables and hazardous waste. Individuals who fail to do so may be fined up to 200 yuan ($29.11), while companies and institutions face fines of up to 50,000 yuan.

Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou have enacted or revised regulations on garbage classification to enhance the guidance of people’s actions, strengthen classification in the whole process and supervise law enforcement.